Brothers and sisters, I do not consider that I have made it my own yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
PHILIPPIANS 3:13 AMP
One of the hardest things for people to do, it seems, is to forget. I mean, we can forget alright, when it’s our car keys or the password to our laptop, or the number of eggs you sent to your mother last month. We find it easy enough to forget mundane details of our daily existence. However, there are certain memories that seem to wake up with us everyday.
When I first read that God had cast my sin in the sea of forgetfulness, it didn’t quite register. How is there a sea of forgetfulness? Don’t things sink to the bottom and stay, waiting to be discovered like precious treasure by pirates? I couldn’t quite get it. Well, this was mostly because I wasn’t used to sin and error being cast aside so…cavalierly. Like it never happened. Really? There had to be a catch. Turns out, there actually is a catch.
This kind of thinking affected me for so long that I found it hard to believe that my errors didn’t make a dent in God’s goodness and love for me. I was brought up drunk on justice, with a little bit of mercy on the side, so I thought that I should always be rewarded for my good and bad actions but I should relent where others were concerned.
See how twisted that is? And it turned into resentment after some time, with me wondering why I had to forgive other people if they wouldn’t forget what I had done. Because, in the real sense, forgiving is forgetting. Not forgetting as in amnesia; forgetting as in, it loses its hold on your mind. It ceases to torment you day by day. It ceases to hover over your consciousness like a shadow. It ceases to inform your thoughts and feelings toward yourself, others and God.
Now, when did I learn all this?
After I got super tired of being angry and bitter at (guess who?) myself. That’s who was hurting. That’s who couldn’t move forward. That’s who couldn’t forget. And that’s who needed to forget. And not in a phony, “OK, I’m not thinking about it anymore” way, but in a real, “Sweet Jesus, I’m tired of doing my style and I want to do yours so I throw this on you and I’ll not take it back” way. And it always works.
See, you don’t surprise the Lord with your failings and your unhealthy need to want to fix yourself. However, He really would rather you left the fixing up to Him.
I looked up Scriptures on His love, healing, His goodness, the covenant, forgiveness and comfort. And then, I prayed. And then I cried. And then I raved. Then I cried some more. And prayed some more. And for the first time in a long time…ding! I could see hope. I wasn’t looking at the past all the time. I wasn’t shackled there and trying to free myself in my effort.
I was seeing a bluer sky and browner grass (it’s that way in my city during harmattan).
Did the memories and thoughts come back?
As persistent as you please. But now, I don’t let them hold me in their grasp for too long before I shake myself. I remember quicker that that’s not me;
I’ve let bitterness go, and I’m living a good life.
“The Lord your God is in your midst, A Warrior who saves. He will rejoice over you with joy; He will be quiet in His love [making no mention of your past sins], He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.”
ZEPHANIAH 3:17 AMP