This may be the last blog post you get from me, because I anticipate being arrested fairly soon.
Because I walk around all day with a 6-pack and two huge guns.
**cue laugh track**
But, seriously, I singlehandedly rearranged my living room last week and I am feeling RIPPED UP. Yes, most of our furniture is from Ikea so therefore made up of mostly dryer lint and hamster shavings, but it was sweaty lifting nonetheless. So sweaty in fact that I sat down, opened up some of the random decorative baskets that we throw things into and got lost in a cloud of nostalgia. Sometimes being married to a pack rat pays off: old photos, notes, journals and christmas cards – I came up for air about 2 hours later, feeling all welled up. Feeling thankful and giggly and sober all at once.
It’s amazing how quickly and thoroughly I forget. How bitter, how sweet to remember. What a journey God has taken me on.
I go through those old boxes and find the familiar pictures, the inside jokes, the clothes we wore and the food we ate. The fights we had and the gifts we gave. I find these things and they feel familiar and funny and unsurprising. The things that do surprise me are the stories – the small and persistent triumphs and redemptions God orchestrated. The blessings that rained, the prayers that were answered, even the darknesses that were endured. I am consistently astonished at how quickly these fade from my memory.Every word to every Goo Goo Dolls song, every line from every episode of FRIENDS, every ballet dance, every bad picture – these find space in my head. But God’s hand and how He carried? The small miracles, the lessons learned, the sorrow-turned-to-joy? Somehow those are always pushed out, those are foggy.
How quickly I forget.
I’m still working on that whole read-through-the-whole-Bible-quest. And if there’s one message that keeps popping up as I read (aside from the ever-present, ever-important “do not be afraid”) it’s REMEMBER. Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, David – all of the big voices, the wise men say it:
REMEMBER, REMEMBER, REMEMBER.
Early on in the story, Moses, waiting with the recently-emancipated Israelites on the edge of the land God promised them, tells them,
Remember what God has done for you. Remember the amazing journey He has taken you on. Remember His commandments and how well they’ve guided you in the past and how miserable you are when you forget and disobey. And don’t just remember now – remember every time you eat, write down your memories, tell them to your children. Be vigilant! Be obsessive!
So far, the rest of the Bible has been more of the same: a cyclical reminder. The same story, different humans. We break, God binds up. We wander, He pursues. We forget, He remembers.
And I get it. Because, without fail, the very second I start to forget, fear creeps in. Fear, in all of its many faces and forms: doubt, anxiety, apathy, insecurity. In record time, I forget the ways He has carried and provided and I am back to scrambling for my own control, worrying about my future, finances, security. I forget that I’m Beloved, I start to believe the lies, start to trust the Fear instead.
Human nature does not change, but thankfully, neither does the nature of God. He is always reminding me, remembering for me, begging me to remember for myself, to build memorials and to celebrate holidays and keep record. To see that He does not change, but I do. To look back at how far I’ve come and to recognize Goodness and Mercy following me through it all.
Because if rooting around in those boxes of nostalgia with my enormous muscles showed me anything, it is that through it all – good and bad and dark and light: God is always good and I am always loved.
And while you’re remembering, don’t forget to LIKE, SHARE or FOLLOW.