God has been prodding me to clean my room. While I am pretty much a slob, I don't mean normal dusting or picking up laundry. I'm living in my old bedroom from when I was in high school, the storage and resting place of many momentos and such over the years. It's a large room and I've really only been occupying about a fourth of it since I moved home after college. In order to prepare for moving to India and also just to do it, God's been writing 'clean out your room' on my to do list for a while... and I've been pushing it aside.
|One of the momentos I found today|
Today I found a cluster of mementos and papers from my early college days and a few from high school. And over and over again, God used them to remind me of the journey He and I have been walking together.
There was a service sheet from the Teens for Christ Easter service we did in high school. I had been an usher... I had forgotten that. I hadn't forgotten the service, I'd just forgotten my part of it and had only remembered that my sister had done the scripture reading.
I found these index cards I'd stuck in my window. See, I'd had a first floor room right against a common walking path on campus the second semester of my sophomore year. This meant I kept my blinds shut for privacy... but it also meant I recognized I had a chance for ministry. I'd noticed I could read things people would press against their windows even on higher floors if I was looking; how much more would it be noticed if I did it at eye level? So I wrote on index cards things like "Did you pray today?" "Smile!" and various Bible verses and the like. I did it in bright colors and it was my hope to minister to my classmates as they walked past. And I'd totally forgotten about it.
I found words of adoration on notepads that I'd scribbled in the heat of love, when I just had to express my love for God somehow or explode! I found posters and such I'd painted and drawn to decorate my room. I wasn't very discerning as far as neatness or design went, but if I was moved by a Bible verse or a quote I'd write it out on a piece of paper or poster board and put it on the wall.
I found lists of people I'd prayed for and to whom I tried to show God's love. I found mementos of special events and days where God was very near: service pamphlets from church services, notes from friends, and things that are only meaningful to God and me.
And through every one of these things, God was showing me who He is. He was lovingly guiding me to remember, to strengthen my faith and have confidence in my walk with Him. He knows me. And He knows when I look back, I tend to remember my failures. I think "yes, this awesome thing happened.." but then as I reflect on it, a giant boulder lands on my heart and I think "and then this horrible thing happened. Sigh." It's hard for me, where I'm at, to remember the good.
In the eyes of the world, my life is failing. Yet I know it's not. And I don't just mean that in 'because God says so' cry to deny it, but in a more confident "because amazing things of God are happening!" way. There is fruit. There is evidence. God walked with me before. Because of where I am, I tend to think the past was failure. But God shows me that I was blossoming. And I know I was, I even remember it that way when I let myself. I've just been listening to so many lies and weakly saying 'no.... no.... no...' to them while I feel myself languishing away, instead of stopping up my ears and singing "MY GOD IS AMAZING!" at the top of my lungs.
Earlier this evening it came up that I know I have a memory from August 1988... when I was two years, six months old. And our home burned down ten days before my third birthday, and I have several memories that took place there, so I know I have many memories from before I was three. God has given me the gift of an amazing memory (long term... not so great short term!) but it's been twisted. My enemy has been trying to use my memory to show me, again and again, my failures and shortcomings, my regrets and mistakes, my heartbreaks and the times I was betrayed...
But today, God swooped in and He thrust index cards and little wooden crosses in my hands and said, "No, no, no, remember!" He's told me I'm not the girl who failed at this and didn't do well at that... I'm the girl who painted a poster in French declaring my love for God. I'm the girl who huddled under a bush during a rock concert with my Bible and had a date with God. I'm the girl who surrendered my life in a rose garden even onto death. God helped me to see me through His eyes. He helped me remember the work He'd done through me in the past. He's loved on me in a way that I'm having trouble pouring out here, but suffice it to say that I have tears in my eyes right now.
And over all, He brought this to my mind,
"And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more" Hebrews 10:17
He's God. The Creator of the Universe. The Creator of Me. The Creator of Memory. And He wipes the tears from my eyes and says, "I don't remember your failures." And He takes my hand and says, "Now Remember Me, in all you do, and never, ever forget that you are mine."
Linking up with Brag on God Fridays.