There is a freedom that comes with remembering things. Even painful and traumatic memories can lead to freedom. The freedom comes when I invite the Lord to be with me.
Lately the Lord has been leading me to remember how He has protected me and has been with me from the beginning. There was a time when I felt I could not remember being comforted or feeling safe. It was in a counseling session that my counselor asked me to recall a time of safety and comfort; by others or by the Lord. I could not name one, so I decided to pray and ask the Lord to remind me because surely there was a time. A few months later and God has been doing just that; He has been reminding me.
I have had a few dreams detailing moments in my life where God had been with me – prior to these dreams, I could think back on those same memories and question where God was. I was in conversation and a word was said that made me remember time when I felt unsafe, but this time I was able to see the Lord standing in front of me; as my protector.
One of the most repeated memories was the one I had a dream/nightmare about; it was the dream I told my counselor which prompted her question. I was in the second grade (8 years old); one day I was standing outside in the car-riders area with my teacher waiting for my mom to pick me up – this was not my first time being a car-rider; I was looking about the line of cars for my mom. A man came up to my teacher and told her he was coming to pick me up. I froze. I looked at the man and could not recognize him – I had never seen him before. My teacher put her hand on me and asked me if I knew him; I could barely shake my head no. She pulled me behind her and told the man he had to leave and that he could not take me with him. The man persisted. My teacher sternly told him to leave, eventually he left.
My eight year old brain could not understand what had just happened. More than a strange man coming to my school and trying to pick me up, he asked for me by name. The man knew my name yet I did not know his face, much less his name. How did he know my name? There is something unsettling about that. Whether the man had been creeping around my school's campus and listened for my name, I have no idea. But what I do know is there was someone else who knew my name and that person I could recognize; Jesus!
The Lord was with me that day! Who knows what my life would be like today (or if I would still have my life) had the Lord not been with me, had the Lord not been with my teacher and protected me.
The feeling of safety comes when I feel I am protected; when I feel I can trust and when I feel seen. I know God will protect me, He is trustworthy and He sees me.
I now have an answer to the question my counselor asked me. I also have a deeper level of love and adoration for who God is and who He has been in my life. I owe that to remembering.
The act of remembering brings me to humility and allows the Lord to show me where He was in all the memories I have, the good and the traumatic.
What does the Lord want you to remember?
He wanted me to remember that He is with me always, "Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
I encourage you to ask the Lord to help you remember. I encourage you to sit and to invite the Lord in your memories.
I will leave us with a prayer,
Father, I thank your for your word. I thank you that I can freely worship, praise and speak your name. I thank you for your Spirit that helps me and is my comforter. I thank you Father for allowing me to remember. I thank you for the gift of remembering even when it is hard, for it is in those times when I can see your hand and I am thankful for your protection and for your love for me. I ask that you would heal the places that come up as I sit and remember. I ask that you would give me the courage to feel and to ask for your comfort as you lead me to remember certain things. Father I ask that you would protect my heart, that it may not harden as painful memories come to me, but that I would lean even further into your arms and love for me. I thank you for the healing that is to come and for the freedom you have for me. I pray these things in Jesus' name, amen.