Wednesday, 5 March 2014

When your memory fails you; God doesn't

I have a terrible memory.  I have a bad long term memory; bits and pieces of childhood and adolescence, usually jogged by pictures or hearing a story retold (my wedding produced more than one funny story that I had no recollection of).  I often feel like something is just on the tip of my brain but out of reach.  I'll hear or read something that I think is profound enough to remember and then I find myself struggling internally to even think of what it was referring to or where I read it so I can look it up again.  If I don't write stuff down immediately, it's gone.  I keep a pretty detailed to-do list/phone lists, to keep my thoughts straight or at least I know where to look when I have that panicked, I'm forgetting something feeling.  I would consider this a weakness.  I would love to have a sharp memory, to recall Bible quotes, to remember what I went downstairs for, to not draw blanks in the middle of a conversation because I lost my train of thought.  I don't think this is age related either.  I just turned 30, I'm not going senile, it's just a part of me. 

But I have had an "A Ha" moment.  It first occurred to me when I asked my husband if he ever reads the links I post on Facebook.  I only share the articles/blogs/stories/videos that I find really impactful, many are related to motherhood, parenting or Christian faith life.  He admitted that he didn't read many of them, understandably they are not targeted at him, but if they are important to me I like him to be aware.  He felt that many of the "Mommy blogs" were along the same lines of women encouraging other women, sharing that they are not perfect moms either, that we're in this together and we need to keep it real with each other and stop comparing ourselves and always rely on God. I like to read things along these lines as I find them encouraging and a good reminder.  And that's what occurred to me.  That because I have a bad memory, or because I'm a frail human, I often read things that are written about similar subjects with a different twist by someone much more articulate than me, and I am inspired and comforted, even though it might be something I have processed before. 

I have also been seeing the tag line "Preaching the Gospel to myself", and again it hit me.  How often do I read a passage of scripture, a devotion, hear a sermon or read a book or article that seems so fresh and enlightening to me, when I have probably heard it before.  That's the power of scripture.  It is meant to be read over and over and it will impact you differently at different times.  Even the most simple truths can be so powerful when you come across them at a different time.  I heard a great metaphor the other day in my women's Bible study "Coffee Break".  A wise sister shared that it's like eating, we need to do it every day and even if we don't remember what we ate last week, it was still vital to our health.  Even if we don't remember the details of the sermon or the exact words of the scripture, when we heard it, it fed us and was important for our spiritual growth.  There will never be a time when we are done eating, learning, reading, etc.  I wish I could remember the words and citation of the passage I'm thinking of, but I know that I will spend my whole life reading and hearing the Word and it will always be fresh and exciting to me. 

The amazing thing is that although this is "news to me", it is a universal truth.  God is constantly telling us to remember in scripture, because He knows how forgetful we are.  We celebrate annual holy days, to remember.  We go to church weekly, to remember.  We read the history of God's people and His faithfulness, to remember.  We celebrate the sacriments, to remember.  We do daily personal devotion, to remember.

In conclusion, I will "preach to myself", a few of the truths that I keep coming back to and find the most encouraging in my daily walk.

  • God's grace is sufficient for me, for His power is made perfect in weakness
  • I am not supposed to be in control and do it on my own - only the Holy Spirit can sanctify me
  • I am not meant to live a comfortable life - God wants me to be constantly dependent on Him
  • I am to be content and thankful in all circumstances
  • Worry is unbelief; anxiety is not acknowledging God's plan
  • Don't compare yourself to others - we all have different gifts and abilities 
  • Be Humble - don't think less of yourself but think of yourself less
  • Don't try to be super mom/do everything - do a few things well

With a Bushel and a Peck of blissful ignorance,


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