My husband (boyfirend) and I in the sixties, the day after our Seniors Banquet, held by our church for a place to go instead of Prom. We were standing in front of a rose bush that I had babied since it was a stem. And I was in my favorite dress, one I loved more than my "Prom Dress." Sixties Hair LOL
In a post from Max Lucado’s daily thoughts, for Aug. 24, he wrote the following:
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 NLT
The present-tense Christ. He never says, “I was.” We do. We do because “we were.” We were younger, faster, prettier. Prone to be people of the past tense, we reminisce. Not God. Unwavering in strength, he need never say, “I was.” Heaven has no rear view mirrors . . .
Can God be more God? No. He does not change. He is the “I am” God. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” “
I am a person who looks back a lot. I have had a need for healing of my memories, and in looking back I find myself faced with two situations. I can live in the memories and be sad – for the extremes of the bad times and the memories of the hurts that still hurt me, and sad that I am not younger, faster, prettier, thinner, etc. Or I can look into the past seeking the glad memories to help them out weigh the sad ones, while always allowing that thing from the past to bolster my now, while, at the same time, seek healing for the memories that still hurt. Memories are like wounds if they are bad ones. And they must heal. I said MUST HEAL.
Bad memories must be dealt with. Stuffing them into the past to stay is not what Mr. Lucado is talking about in the comment above. He is helping us remember that God was in our past and when we were hurt, we were not alone. God knows what hurt us. But He wants us to have a resurrection attitude –realizing that we can be free from the past and healed of the pain. But looking to a future with Him as well. For me, when intense pain was a part of a long period of my life, the past was my life. It was hard to break free from that stronghold. I became hurt with God. I found myself in what seemed like a pattern of living hurt over and over, as if something I was doing was causing my hurt, and as if loving and serving God meant I had to continue to be hurt. That was true to the extent that I was in a pattern, but there was an escape.
Thinking about your memories is only the surface result for what can happen to a person living out of the past. The mind can actually develop a pattern to respond to every situation in life the same way as it did when hurt. So when someone else hurts you, you will react as if that person hurt you again, and also the next time someone hurts you. It is subconscious, and you often don’t realize it. You are actually LIVNG IN THE PAST. When you do, you may not know how to get out of the pattern. Max Lucado is soooo right when he says God is the “I AM.” Because living in the present does not have to be a reflection of what you lived in your past. God wants healing for our past pains and traumas.
I know how the Lord chose to heal me, and the mental scars as well. For someone else he may chose a different path to healing, but seeking healing from my past was the best thing I ever did for the prospect of living a better today and a better future. And now, I love to reminisce about the lovely things in my past, because they bring me joy, and help me remember that God has always been there. Yet, the one thing I still bring into check, while looking back, is to not fall into the pattern of saying I was prettier, thinner, faster, whatever’er, because whatever I have today, is still better than what is gone, as long as I know Christ is still there. And of course we all know that our Future is only brighter looking to live it walking in His presence.
If someone reading this has trauma to heal from way back in their past, Pray: “Lord heal my hurts, Heal my memories.” And hang on for the ride of your life. It was not easy for me and it may not be easy for you. Unlike a roller coaster, it was not a ride I want to take again, because my memories suddenly were as clear as if they were happening all over again. However, it is a ride I would not turn down. NO. NO. Never! Unlike a surgery that you might say, “If I knew what this was going to be like, I would have never agreed to it,” I would recommend to anyone to seek God for the chance to revisit bad memories and find healing from the pain. For what God was able to do was to rewrite those memories, so that I always see Him there in power, in control and bringing me through.
For example, my worst memory haunted me in my sleep sometimes. I could see the face of the person who hurt me, glaring at me showing his power over me, proud of his power and frightening me. I could see the evil one in his eyes. And I remember how frozen with fear I was. He laughed a haunting laugh back then. How did God heal my memory? The day the Lord healed my hurt, he gave me a new memory. Now when I remember that night, I see the evil one afraid of the Spirit in me, and I see him draw back, knowing that the Spirit in me is greater than any evil thing the world can throw at me. Now, I sometimes remember fear in his eyes, and forget the evil laugh. Yes, I had to live through the experience, but I don’t have to continue to live in the experience, because God healed my hurt, and my fear. I actually, look back now with joy, and I look back less often. Just as God would have it. God is willing to give us new memories, not just today, but by healing the ones in the past.
He is the God of Yesterday, Today and Forever. If ever God says in the Scriptures to look back, He often is saying, “do you not remember how I …?” He wants us to not see the past as “everything was better then”, nor as “I was such a victim then that I still am.” God wants us to be able to disconnect from carrying the weight of the past, so that we may move freely in the present. Not that we should live so much for the future dreams and hopes that we forget to live, LIVE, in the present. Today is the Day we Live.
One final note: when I was a child, I experienced a lot of trauma. Yet as a child, I was always happy. I cried for a short time, and I came into the present with a good happy outlook on my life. I loved living. It was only when I became an adult married to a man who hated to see me cry, (so much so that he put a stop to it,) that I lost that child-like ability to move on. I knew when I was losing it too. I felt as if I were losing life itself, and I was right. It was only in the healing of my memories, coming to a point of freedom from repeating the pattern, and living apart from the subconscious repetition of that cycle which develops from living out of memories, that I was renewed to that childlike place. I no longer react to new hurt the same old way every time.
Heaven doesn’t lack the ability to see the past. Heaven just doesn’t drive looking in the rear view mirror. Therefore, no need for rear view mirrors. LOL
Can the children of the bride-chamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them?
No man puts a piece of new cloth into an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up takes from the garment and the tear is made worse.
Neither do men put new wine into old bottles, else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish. But they put new wine into new bottles and both are preserved. St Matthew 9:15-17
Lord, Thank you for healing from memories that draw us into the old ways of life. Thank you that each step we take is new, and to be lived as if it were new. And thank you that you are able to change our past memories so that we may have power over the pain, frustrations or wishful thinking that holds us to a past. Help me accept this day as a gift, and cherish it. Renew my mind. Heal the one out there who reads this and wishes for healing from the past. Loving you today. Amen
PS. In the picture above there were trash cans behind the rose bush. The bush was so enormous that it needed pruning so the trash collectors could get to the can. Behind that big smile was a young woman who had covered her pain, by growing a rose bush that kept not only the trash collector from gathering my trash, but kept me from putting the trash in the cans. My favorite picture is also my most revealing.