I’ve been reviewing 14 years of Blue Cotton Memory posts over the last few months. I’m working on a project, so they’ll better understand what I’ve been doing in this space for all this time. As I dug around, I found this post – it feels like I wrote it just yesterday, but it was about 12 years ago. Some things are worth repeating.
I love a good story. I love listening to a story well-told. Three of my sons are fabulous story tellers. Last week, I listened to the youngest tell the story of how I broke it to him about our golden retriever, Sadie, only had days left of her life. All our hearts were broken, but he had us in stitches. Only a gifted story-teller can tell broken-hearted stories, let you feel the love, and make you want to cry and laugh at the same time. I wish I’d taped his telling of it. It was a keeper.
However, some stories need letting go from the collections we store inside ourselves, stories kept like beloved books on a shelf. Only they aren’t worthy of keeping. They don’t edify the soul. There’s nothing beloved about them, not in a redeeming way.
My husband said quietly, “If you’re still talking about it, you haven’t forgiven it.” Forgiveness deletes stories.
I realized these hurts that I carry around were like cheap trophies boasting of no great win. War wounds continually picked at couldn’t heal, wounds not of nobleness and courage but of weakness and loss. Not a fireside story of inspiration. Why did I keep telling the hurt stories? The injustice stories?
. . . because I wanted resolution, restoration, justice.
But forgiveness is not about resolution. It is about letting go, and that means to stop talking about it – unless it is a redemption story, a ministry story, a where-God-took-me-after-forgiveness story to teach others about forgiveness.
God shows us how to forgive. He shows us forgiveness throws sins into unretrievable places.
- He ” throw(s) them into the depths of the ocean!” ~ Micah 7:19
- “as far as the east is from the west, “ ~Psalms 103:12
- “behind your back“ ~ ~Isaiah 38:17
He WANTS to “remember(s) your sins NO MORE” (Isaiah 43:25). He does not retell how you have slighted Him. He sent His son to build that bridge of forgiveness to Him. He built it on the cross: “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).
Today, I walked away from the offense, the hurt. Crossed the bridge of forgiveness into a place of blessing, green pastures, milk and honey, shade, streams of living water, peace. The hurt stories and the injustice tales couldn’t follow me across that bridge—and I couldn’t carry them across. If I wanted to get to that place on the other side, I had to drop, fling, or just set those stories and tales down.
Across the bridge of forgiveness, God will heal, strengthen me—and the stories I tell will change, transformed by my forgiveness, my setting down.
Are you still talking about it?
Do you need to hit the delete button of your story collection?
Remember Me Monday: #101 & Link-up
“I’ll make a list of God’s gracious dealings,
all the things God has done that need praising,
All the generous bounties of God,
his great goodness to the family of Israel—
. love extravagant.”
~ Isaiah 63:7, The Message
In the Old Testament, God repeatedly, quietly and loudly, tells his children, “You have forgotten me!” (Jeremiah 3:32, Ezekiel 22:12, to name a few). It’s a heart cry from a father to a child who has forgotten all the love, all the saving, helping, little and big blessings – and it leaves me stunned when I realize our Father, the creator of the universe, who knows things I cannot begin to fathom, who authors storylines that leave me amazed, delights in all of us so much, He cries out, “Remember Me.”
While every day is a Remember God Day, I am inviting you to join me on Monday mornings to come by and remember what God has done for you, for your family. Maybe God sent a cardinal darting out in front of you, as if to tell you, “I’m here,” or broke a child’s fever after you laid it all down at His feet in a 2 a.m. bedside vigil. Maybe He stood with you in the wait of a prayer sent out, or brought someone you loved to Christ. Maybe He healed your broken heart, gave your courage, or you gave Him your dreams as a love offering only to have Him give them back in an unimaginable way. Maybe God helped you survive to bedtime after a crazy Monday, or forgive yourself for missing it with your kiddos –– Whatever it is, let’s Remember Him. . . in a “Remember Me Monday” love letter.
“My mouth will tell of your righteousness,
Of your salvation all the day long,
Though I know not its measure.
I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, O Sovereign Lord”
~ Psalm 71:15-16.
Let us delight in Him by telling the stories of what He’s done! If you wrote a blog post remembering what He’s done for you, join the linky. If you didn’t but still want to praise Him for what He’s done – write it in the comment section. Then visit a comment before or after yours! One of the beautiful things about the blogging community is the relationships it builds!
Rules? Write long or short, a list or a story, include photos or not. Just Remember Him and what He has done, and let the gratitude of your heart guide you. Let’s make Monday so Rejoice, that the goodness of God spills into the rest of the week!
Places I’m Linking at This Week:
Inspire Me Monday, Instaencouragements,
Legacy Link-Up, Recharge Wednesday
Faith on Fire, Tell His Story, Grace&Truth
Let’s Have Coffee Wednesday Celebrate Your Story
Scripture&Snapshot, Sunday Scripture Blessings
Sweet Tea & Friends Monthly Link-up