"Thought breeds thought; children familiar with great thoughts take as naturally to thinking for themselves as the well-nourished body takes to growing; and we must bear in mind that growth, physical, intellectual, moral, spiritual, is the sole end of education." ~ Charlotte Mason

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Memories Held by God

For the last few years, God has been calling me to a place where I can gain freedom from the past. It's been a slow, then accelerated process. I remember when I took my daughter in for surgery a while ago, the nurse was explaining what it was like in the hospital and she said it was best described as: "Hurry up and wait". I remember thinking at the time that it sort of feels like that sometimes with God's process but not exactly like that more like this: "Accelerate and rest". This past week I was cleaning through a box of older items but was not expecting some items from my childhood I found to be laying at the bottom. In the space of a few moments memories and emotions slammed into me with a great deal of force. Growth in my relationship with the Lord is much like this. He digs deep, asking me to trust, then brings something out so I can take a look at it, acknowledging what happened and then asking me to give it back to Him because He's redeemed me from it. Sometimes this takes a while and it feels terrible in the moment. I didn't have the greatest childhood, some have had worse happen, others not as much I realise but all the same it is painful to look back on it. I don't care to think of it at all. But it's apart of me and so deal with it I must at different times in my life. That afternoon was no exception. I stood looking at the items while my children played around me, oblivious to the emotions and memories that created turmoil in me, but I realised one very important thing: God was WITH me. I prayed, I put on Praise and Worship music and opened my Bible. When the memories or emotions come, I decided a while ago I would have a game plan so I set about it immediately. Pray, praise, read. That's my game plan, it works. :) Sometimes it takes a while to fight the battle and other times it's over in moments but always God is WITH me. I feel like the time of accelerating is the time of deep growth as I'm handing it all over to the Lord, learning to trust as I seek Him out. It's such an involved and present task. Then, after I have learned to trust more fully, to lean unto His understanding, then and only then comes the rest. Isaiah 40:31 "but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint" and my life verse: Isaiah 41:10 "Fear not, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed. I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." This time around it took a while to work through it out but God is ever faithful and He knows me. He has plans for me even now, who I minister to (whether that is my children, husband, friends, a neighbour), where I go, what I do. He knows all my past, the sin I struggle with and yet He still hears me. I'm learning to trust, more deeply, more fully, with every memory, every emotion. I'm learning to walk more in obedience and find the freedom this brings. I am reading through Ann Voskamp's book 1000 gifts for a second time and I am amazed at what I read again and how it struck a cord with me this time around. It's amazing how the Lord fits all things together, how He reveals Himself in all the moments of our lives, past and present right into the next moment. Ann said "Trauma's storm can mask the Christ, and feelings can lie. I draw all the hurting voices close and I touch their scars with a whisper: sometimes we don't fully see that in Christ, because of Christ, through Christ, He does give us all things good----until we have the perspective of years. In time, years, dust settles. In memory, ages, God emerges. Then when we look back, we see God's back." (when she says back she is referring to the time when Moses saw God's back and God safely tucked Him in the cleft with His hand). It is safe to trust the Lord with all that we were and all that were are. Learning to trust is a process: "Accelerate and rest/wait". When we let Him in to fulfill the good work we experience Him in the deepest parts of our soul.

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