When I was a teenager, I had a memory that made me able to repeat entire conversations, word for word, long after the conversations took place.
Once I became a mother, I just wanted every moment to be retained in my memory. Pictures were taken consistently because I wanted every moment captured. I didn’t want to miss out on anything my little one did nor did I ever want to forget the moment… and the next moment…and the next.
Then, through an ungodly relationship I learned to pray to God to remove all thoughts that I held onto that I did not need, that did not Glorify Him and that hindered my emotional and spiritual health. I found myself praying: “Lord, somethings hurt and are hard to forget. Please remove any memories I do not need to remember and that do not benefit my relationships or Glorify You. Help me to let go.”
It didn’t take long for my ability to remember every word of a conversation to cease. My memory deteriorated quickly in this way.
Most of the pictures of my children that I took while trying to savor every moment were stolen while in storage. Memories gone!
Those unhealthy relationships; God took memories away that I don’t have to remember any longer. He freed me!
I later experienced an unpleasant event and lost basically everything. From that experience I was able to explain that someone could take my attention, my time, my money, and anything material from me but no one could take my memories from me.
Shortly after thinking I understood what it meant to have everything stripped away from me except my memories, I got the privilege of caring for my father during the last 5 months of his life. When I arrived for my unchartered adventure of caring for a dying parent he was in Hospice and needed 24-hour care. I had all kinds of memories flood my mind during these days. They brought tears of joy, laughter and probably every emotion you can think of while growing up. Along with some clarity and understanding.
One day, dad asked me who someone was and I explained that this person was my child and his grandchild. He didn’t understand how he could have a grandchild because he didn’t have children. His memory was gone. He didn’t remember me nor the majority of his life. His memories had disappeared; his heritage, his identity, his life. 64 years of events and relationships that he experienced firsthand were vanished. They vanished in a lot less time than it took to live them.
As I cherish the memories I currently have, I know I may not have them as I enter everlasting life. Thankfully, our eternity doesn’t rely on us having to remember everything of this earth. Although we have beautiful memories, we also have some memories that we hold onto that just don’t matter and would benefit us if we let them go. Thankfully, if my memory is taken from me today, I have already made my confession of faith in Jesus and He remembers my sins no more. (Jer 31:34, Heb 10:16)
I am thankful for – John 3:16 – 17 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.