It was a scary time, and I nearly died; but the Lord completely healed me with no lasting impact from the disease. The story’s intense. I write more about it here.
I thought this would be a good day to pull a post out of the archives from four years ago. It’s an odd feeling to revisit my thoughts from years gone by and find myself ministering to myself. This particular post produced that very emotion within me this week.
So, on this, my Life Day, I don’t just celebrate my healing. I remember what happened. I remember the pain.
I spent many days during my recovery trying to forget. Memories haunt in the dark–they visit in the form of nightmares and sleeplessness. During those days I didn’t want to talk about the events, my feelings, or the future. I wanted to forget.
I’ve talked with many victims of trauma who spend their lives trying to forget pain. I understand their efforts.
Life-long learners focus on remembering–even those uncomfortable moments. Remembering is what separates learners from a loon. If you have pain from the past, don’t forget it. Instead, remember.
Here’s three reasons why:
- Forgetting is Only a Mask. Pain demands attention. When we claim to “move on” by forgetting a trauma, we don’t deal with pain. We bury it and pretend–and buried pain can inconveniently resurrect. Masks are good for costume parties and football. In life, masks are burdens. Remembering enables us to live mask-free, meeting God face-to-face, saturated in health and hope.
- Forgetting Clouds my Future. Life is full of painful events. Even though I nearly died during my heart failure, all my pain tokens weren’t used up. I’ve had more painful moments since then. Pain will bake some of my days yet to come. Remembering pain from the past reminds me that God is still my Savior. He saved me before, and He’s not afraid of the troubled waters ahead.
- God Restores Broken Things. The earth and our lives are broken. We see it everyday: injustice, selfishness, greed. The Bible is God’s story of making all things right. But we don’t realize our need for Jesus until God speaks to us about our brokenness. Pain makes our lives feel even more broken. Trying to forget pain doesn’t set our lives right, it separates us from the only One who really restores.
Deuteronomy 5:15 says “Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the LORD your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. (NIV)”
Whatever your “Egypt” is, may your heart turn towards a place of remembering, and through the memory, may God grant you peace!
If you have a thought, be sure to leave a comment below: How do you deal with painful life situations?