This is an interesting word: Forgetting.
Often times, we associate forgetting with a negative. Sure, we don’t want to forget our car keys or forget to pick our kids up at school, or forget the faces of our loved ones.
Forgetting has a liberating aspect to it, too. There is emotional and spiritual freedom in forgetting. Of course, we never truly “forget” those wounds that this life can inflict on our souls.
How can we move on if we set up housekeeping in a past that we can never, ever change? How can we make room for the joys of the present moment if we continuously ruminate about the traumas of the past?
The past will always loom in those quiet, shadowy corners of our existence. Once done, actions can never be undone. Once said, words can never be unspoken. Once written, those words can never truly be unwritten.
Memories can be triggered by what is seemingly inconsequential events: the squeal of tires on asphalt, a frighteningly familiar face in an airport terminal that turns out to be mistaken identity, the scent of Old Spice cologne in a crowded store, raindrops pelting a tin roof in the middle of the night. Yes, there are a multitude of triggers that dredge up memories that aren’t always comforting.
What to do with memories that aren’t always comforting, memories that can be triggered, that lay dormant beneath the surface of our lives until resurrected by something we hadn’t really noticed? Until, we did. And, those memories hurl us into a dark abyss and dump us into that darkness once again.
Isaiah 43:18 says: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.”
Isaiah 43:19 says: “See, I am doing a new thing! Now, it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in a wasteland.”
God promises us that He is making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
Isn’t this life like a wilderness? We wander lost and we suffer from thirst deep down in our souls.
God promises us, His children, that He is making a way for us. He promises us that He will make streams in the wasteland.
God always keeps His promises.
He tells us not to dwell on the past.
He promises us that He is doing a new thing.
So, how do we move on from the past? How do we not dwell there in those dark spaces?
Joshua 1:9 says: “Have I not commanded you?” ‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go’.”
Trust that God will be with you even when you are in those dark spaces, trust that God is always with you.
God is greater than any fear that we have. God is greater than any anxiety or depression that we might have. God is greater than any past trauma that burdens us and attempts to spoil the joy that we have in this beautiful moment called the present.
To forget is not an easy action, but with God’s perfect love and His absolute protection, we can move on from the past.
After all, Our God has promised us.
Trust in God with all your heart, mind and soul.
And, that is the way to forget the past.
Because He is making a way in the wilderness for each of us.
God’s peace to each of you.
Jenny W. Andrews copyright 2023