As I worked through the recovering of memories that had been blocked through disassociation, I found myself with intense grief over what had happened. The pain of the true reality of my life was overwhelming. It encompassed not just the memories of past abuse and the realizations of the people involved, but it also began to creep into every time period of my life. Regret over lost opportunities, loss, and mistakes made throughout my entire life, both consciously and those I had not been aware of until recently, began to overcome me. It became so painful every time I saw a photograph, present or past, I would be hit with deep pain that clouded my every moment including my dreams. Sorrow, sadness, regret, guilt and condemnation seeped into every crevice of my heart, mind and soul. I was grieving constantly. The loss was real, the trauma was real, but I was being completely overwhelmed by it.
One night, I made a fateful decision. As I lay in bed mulling the situation over I began to think of what people say about moving on from the past, putting it all behind, and moving forward. Maybe I was just thinking too much about the past. Maybe that Scripture from Paul in Philippians 3:13-14 applied here. Time to put it all away (like the popular song says – “like an old photograph”) and move on. So, I stopped the slideshow of pictures on my computer screensaver and replaced it with cute animals. I made the conscious decision to completely stop thinking about the past and “move on.”
I slept fairly well and woke up the next day with noticeably more energy! Thoughts of regret didn’t bother me and with no reminders of past mistakes or loss I went about my day in blissful ignorance. It was glorious! Well, almost. I noticed I was having trouble focusing. I was “checking out” when people were around. I would attempt to have genuine conversations with my family members and found myself strangely disconnected – overwhelmingly disconnected. I wasn’t sure what was going on. It had seemed like I was finally having a good day. Why couldn’t I connect with my family and the present?
I went about my day in blissful ignorance.
This disturbing disconnection continued and even heightened until I received an email from a ministry I subscribe to. It was speaking about breakthrough and why we get stuck. It said to write down areas we still need breakthrough in our lives and ask the Lord to show anything that might be blocking that. Knowing my family and I were presently still waiting on some important breakthroughs, I dutifully did this. The questions nagged at me all day: “What was blocking me? Why was I unable to breakthrough these different areas? What was I missing?”
As I was tucking my youngest in that evening and praying for the ability to connect with people again, I suddenly had a flash moment of clarity and realized what I had done. In “putting the past behind me” and “moving on”, I had inadvertently cut off the truth and in doing so had cut off parts of my own self! By not wanting to remember the past due to the pain I felt, I was forgetting me. I had essentially committed soul suicide! The one who wrote the blog on how God transforms the truth of our lives to heal us had done the very thing NOT to do! In that moment of awareness, the Spirit of God enlightened my understanding: I had applied a real Biblical concept to the wrong area.
I immediately repented for choosing to cut off my past (and present!) and asked the Lord, “What do I do with all this pain?” He reminded me of Isaiah 61, that instead of cutting off memories and pain, He transforms them—beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. I repented for my attempt to handle this in my own feeble way. I repented for “forgetting” what was not meant to be forgotten.
I repented for “forgetting” what was not meant to be forgotten.
He was asking me to remember the truth but to not hold onto it; to give it to Him instead. I began to consciously give Him every memory and every thought that caused pain. I remembered to ask Him to re-write the memories according to what He sees from His untainted perspective and to show me what only He could do with the painful realities of the truth of what had happened in the past and the very real consequences that I was now facing in the present. I asked Him to take the painful realities that remained and give me peace about them. I acknowledged that only He could cause Isaiah 61 to become an actuality and transform this pain to peace and the sadness to joy.
Immediately I literally began to experience a deep heaviness leaving me. The enormity of the transaction caught me off guard. For over an hour the Lord removed demonic bondage and structures that had held me captive to the sorrow, sadness, regret and pain. The sheer amount of demonic garbage God removed from me over this seemingly “reasonable” act of forgetting was astounding!
“Putting the past behind us and moving on” when it comes to grief over real things that have happened is NOT Biblical. To do that in this context, we have to block out reminders and memories that aren’t meant to be forgotten. Instead of resolving the grief, it moves it out from under God’s protective covering to the realm of our own strength (flesh). We are at that point now in charge of handling the pain all by ourselves. Unfortunately this only opens us and our memories to demonic influence and attack which causes a deadly sickness to seep into our souls. This demonic influence affects our view of ourselves, others and especially God. This distortion of Scripture is a demonic attack in itself as “forgetting” the truth is what causes us to re-expose ourselves to abuse and abusive people again and again.
“Forgetting” the truth will cause us to re-expose ourselves to abuse and abusive people again and again…
Making a decision to “forget” the truth is denial of the truth. This denial becomes a stronghold in our minds affecting our personalities and even affecting our bodies. It’s an issue of the soul but will effect even the physical body. Suppressing truth can become a literal “mental illness”. We become emotionless and disconnected from people and our own selves. It’s not a good way to deal with the pain of grief, trauma or heartbreak since the root of it all is a rejection of God’s provision for us at the cross to transform and heal our brokenness.
The answer to pain is not “forgetting” the truth. The answer to pain is to bring it to the cross for healing. Isaiah says in chapter 54 “He bore our griefs and sorrows”. If Jesus paid the price on the cross for grief and sorrow then it is important to Him. Yet we are not meant to carry it upon ourselves. It belongs on the cross with all the other demonic garbage Jesus conquered there! This is not “forgetting” but a real transaction between us and God.
The answer to pain is not “forgetting” the truth.
Without remembering what is causing pain, how can we give it to Him? We can’t. And if we don’t actually give it to Him, He cannot turn it into good. (Romans 8:28) He wants us to bring it all to Him so He can TRANSFORM our pain and sorrow in a literal way.
Now when I am faced with a memory, a remembrance, a reminder of a painful situation or the effects from trauma, I stop and remember to ask the Lord to transform that moment. I ask Him to show me where He was and is and to give me a new view—His view. Sometimes He shows me an “overlay” picture of where He was and what He was doing on my behalf in a dark situation. Sometimes He shows me His blood that covers my sins and mistakes and the sins of others against me. Even in the most difficult situations and realizations, He draws very close to me and assures me He is with me and is working things out. There are memories that have literally became transformed and re-imprinted in my remembrance. Some He has completely removed from me as they were traumatic. But He doesn’t deny they were real. Instead He takes that memory and pain off me and puts it under the Blood of Jesus and applies the Blood to every wound bringing true and lasting healing.
How amazing is the love of the Father! To walk with us through every concern, every memory, every situation and remake them in His beauty!
In all things, He points me to His Word and the promise of restoration for all that is still in process and reminds me of all the miracles He has already done as proof the rest will be transformed as well. With each transaction, not only is my memory being healed and transformed, but even greater still, my relationship with my Heavenly Father is growing exponentially deeper! To realize again that to transform us into His likeness – whole, healed, complete – is actually His delight is life transforming in itself!
It is His delight to transform us!