Monday, January 18, 2010

Making Old Memories Become New, Revised Versions

The following was copied from my friend Bekki's blog. It fit my thoughts for the evening and I wanted to share it with you.


“Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future.” -Lewis B. Smedes

We must be careful with our words, with our actions, with our choices, and with essentially everything we do...lest it create a memory of pain and grief; a memory that cannot be erased by forgiveness. Yes, healing can occur but in the recesses of our mind, the memory will live on. If not dealt with properly through forgiveness, true repentance, and a new way of looking at the hurt, it WILL come back to haunt you and try to steal the peace forgiving had brought.

I am reminded of a story that my sister shared with me recently. I will not go into details about the circumstances but a very, very terrible thing had happened in a family. It resulted in jail time for one member and immense bitterness from several others. It resulted in a blended family being torn apart by the bitterness and ugliness of the betrayal. Yet, in the midst of this tragedy was a person who admitted their wrong, paid their due to society, all the while, leaning on the everlasting Father whom they had come to know after the offense had occurred. This person lived for God the whole time they served their 5+ year sentence.

After the sentence had been served, the person tried to reconcile with the family only to repeatedly be rejected because the other family members were so bitter And then one night, the person came to the church for a special service and this time the sibling who had been so tragically hurt by the person, came to them, took them by hand, and together they went to the altar. They knelt together and prayed. Healing took place that evening. Forgiveness was offered and received, not only from each other but also from God.

By the end of the altar call, the whole family had joined these siblings and were weeping and praying together. A family healed. But the memory of the offense will live on and could come back to hurt them again...if....they don't surrender their bitterness and their futures to God. To look back won't help them now. They must look forward to see what God can do through them to help others who face their same dilemma. In other words, create a new way of remembering and let God take care of the future.

If you have experienced hurt and have painful memories of the past, I challenge you to talk with God, surrender your bitterness, and then go to the offender and offer them forgiveness. Make a new future of HOPE...don't let the devil steal your joy because of a painful healed, renewed, and grind the devil under your feet as you walk in a glorious future of reconciliation, restoration, and joy.