She could remember everything- in a stunningly, vivid way, the memories playing in her head like old movie reels, over and over. She’d always had a memory such as this. She could recall details from her childhood with an exactness that shocked her family. These memories would flood her, especially at night, when she was laying in bed, bringing her either comfort from the past or haunting.
And now that she’d been giving nothing but time to them, unable to return to her normal life after what had happened, she was being tormented by them. They’d taken on a life of their own, robbing her of her present.
How could she forget his face? How could she move past this? She’d held his still, tiny body for only a moment in the hospital before they’d taken him away, but still she saw each beautiful feature perfectly. And she saw everything that had happened until his birth or death, those two the same, replaying in her mind. She even heard her own sobs from that particular day, wrenching, though her tears had long since dried up.
And then, over a period of time, her mind had traveled further back from losing her child to her own childhood, to remind her of both good and bad, all that had happened. But she had no one to share these recollections with, and they became twisted so her perception betrayed her, and even the good no longer seemed pleasant.
And high school and college, every wrong path she’d taken, popping back up, when she thought she’d left all that behind, bringing her back to such commanding, overwhelming feelings of failure and despair and hopelessness which matched what she currently felt while now suffocated by the past.
They had to stop, or she knew she would be driven to the point of insanity. So finally, she’d cried to Him whom she knew could save her.
She begged, “Heal me. Purge me. Take these things from me.”
And then miraculously, in the night, after wrestling once again those commanding memories, she dreamt as though she were dying. Meaning, while fast asleep, she literally saw her whole life pass before her. Yet the visions did not seem to pass quickly but as if in condensed real time. They started from her first available memory and slowly journeyed to current.
And then, she woke. What had happened, she wondered. She lay silently, analyzing what was different about those memories replayed, those that she’d seen countless times before. Yes, never in succession, but still there was something more.
And then she realized. There had been no emotion attached to any of the memories. Memories that before had woken her weeping, were this time viewed as a mere onlooker rather than participant.
She’d been delivered from their power.
Today she still is able to recall things from the past. Yet now she chooses which memories to focus on and which to leave behind. Nothing has been entirely forgotten. She can certainly remember each moment in her life that God has been good to her, and smile gratefully, enjoying that reminder. And of course, she does not suffer from amnesia, so those things which were bad, yes, she is aware that they occurred, but if a memory threatens to rise up, attack, she takes it captive, sees with clarity that she no longer needs to identify with it.
And her son. She never will forget him. But God has healed that anguished memory and replaced it with a vision for the future, a vision in which she is reunited with her child in God’s kingdom.
As for now, she has no regrets. She is not a slave to the past. She looks forward because God is doing a new thing.