I was spending some time with Jesus and came upon this verse, Job 11:16:
You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by.
Well that’s a lovely promise, I thought. At first. And then I realized that I don’t want to fully forget.
Yes, I want to forget inasmuch as I don’t walk around carrying resentments like pebbles in my pockets that seem to get bigger on their own. I want to forget in that I want to be able to look people in the eye who have hurt me and be able to keep my head up, be able to be genuinely kind to them. I want to forget so that I allow Christ to heal the wounds that have been left by the trouble that has come through my life. I want to forget the details. I do not want to be able to recall exact conversations from ten years ago, from one year ago. I don’t have the energy to carry all that with me anymore. And I don’t have room in my life to do so. I simply don’t have room for all that old pain and all this new hope and joy that I’m anticipating.
But I don’t want to fully forget. I want to remember the feeling that came with being spoken to harshly so that I don’t speak to others in the same way, so that I recognize it and can run from it in the future. I want to remember the feeling that came with being in relationships that were suffocating so that I don’t suffocate anyone I love. I want to remember the feeling that came with being abandoned and confused so that I can offer comfort and empathy to those I come across who are feeling abandoned and confused themselves.
It’s sort of like burning your finger on the stove as a child. You don’t want to feel that pain each and every day, you want it to heal and fade. But you want to remember it enough so that you won’t touch the stove again, and so that you can treat someone else gently who burns themselves in the same way.
But I can say, even the memories that are fresher and newer than childhood wounds are beginning to fade. I have to squint a bit to remember when such and such happened, when that mean comment was made. Where were we again when that took place?
I’m so glad. I’m so, so glad that we’re not made to carry every hurt as if it just happened this morning (Can you imagine?) I’m so glad that healing is coming. I’m so glad that I can feel happiness and joy. I’m so glad that I don’t cry every day anymore. I’m so glad that it’s like waters going by.