Memories can be a funny thing. They can flood over you with no notice at all. They can be triggered by a person, a song, a smell, or food. They can be cherished or they can be dreaded. It’s always been amusing to me how some memories can stay so well preserved in our mind. I have found most memories are there because that incident was paired with a surplus of emotion– either a surplus of love/laughter or a surplus of pain.
Here I am, a 34 year old woman and I can clearly remember making mud pies in the little alley-like strip of yard between the house and the fence where I lived as a kid. I remember falling down the back steps of that same house and having scratches on my nose. I can sing ( although I would never do this and am surprised that I am even admitting it) the song from my Christmas play in third grade. I remember staring out the window at all of the damage as we drove back into town after hurricane Hugo. I can remember catching crickets in my backyard. I remember what I wore to my granny’s funeral. I can show you the spot where my brother and I would go outside and pray when our parents were fighting. I remember the first time I saw Otis at a basketball game and then the first time he walked into our church for a Sunday night service.
My point is that not all memories are created equal, yet they all have a hand in making us who we are.
Some we want to remember- we take pictures and save ticket stubs. Others we pray to forget.
So here is my question- why are we so quick to conveniently forget about all that God has done for us?
I have pretty much been in church my whole life. Have I made mistakes? Yep. I clearly remember when I was making those mistakes, knowing that it was wrong and not what God wanted for me…..but also trying desperately to just fit in.
When I look back at my life, I can see all of the times that God has so obviously has His hand upon my family.
I mean He has protected us and provided for us. He has been our healer. He has been our constant when the world seemed to be falling apart. When stress is doing its best to overtake us, He is where we find our peace.
I could name specific stories over and over, like when Otis was held at gunpoint in a robbery or when Gary fell down a flight of stairs at 11 months old.
The biggest example that sticks out to me is the fact that I never imagined that we would be where we are in ministry.
When I was in college, I only changed my major twice. I went in my freshmen year thinking that I was going to be a teacher. Then I saw all of the extra work that seemed to be associated with that. I took the basic classes for a while under the “undecided ” label. I remember sitting in my counselors office and her asking me if I was a religion major. My quick response was ‘of course not’. She just noticed that I had taken a lot of religion courses and that they were some of my highest grades. Back then ( makes me feel kinda old saying that), but everyone at my Christian college that was a religion major was going to be a pastor. I was just a Christian girl that enjoyed those classes, but was not going to be a pastor. I remember deciding on the major of humanities and fine arts simply because that would allow me to take the most religion courses without actually being a religion major.
If I would have known then what I know now. Just saying.
So why after years of seeing Gods faithfulness in my life time and time again, do I make the choice to stress and worry over the details of this life. I mean, especially when I know that He has clearly called me and spoken to me specifically about things to come and direction. I was purposeful in calling it a choice because that’s what it is. We choose to dwell in our worry. We choose to ignore all of the facts right in front of us– all of the memories of God doing exactly what God does. He shows up right on time.
Even though we have amazing memories and testimonies of Gods goodness and faithfulness, some times it can be so hard to trust.
To take that step…
It’s like the moment when you jump with one of those bungee cord attractions. You’re scared at first. There is a brief moment in time where you wonder what’s taking so long because you have taken the leap, but your cord has not tightened yet. Then it does and you wonder why you ever doubted. And after you are on a high and ready to do it again.
That doesn’t mean that you still won’t get butterflies or anxiousness the next time.
Life seems to be a series of trusting over and over. Don’t let the fear overtake you. Look back and think about all of your memories.
God is so faithful and He shows up right on time.
“Understand, therefore, that the LORD your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands.”
Deuteronomy 7:9 NLT
“Remember the wonders he has performed, his miracles, and the rulings he has given,”
Psalms 105:5 NLT