Wednesday, 21 June 2017

When You Need to Forget Who You Are


Sometimes I just need to forget.

I’ve written a lot about not forgetting – about the intense desire I felt just after my father’s death, the fresh, urgent need not to forget his intricate nuances; about the key to knowing what to remember as we seek to live out our ‘believe’; about never wanting to forget the reason behind our beginning (homeschooling); and about the clarity that comes from not forgetting what I really want for my children.

I’ve even implored you to remember never to forget.

But sometimes I need to forget.

Simply forget who I am.

Now I realize this may sound particularly foreign, even detrimental, in a culture that promotes the countless benefits of healthy self-awareness and a robust self-esteem. But nonetheless, I am convinced that there are times when a needle eye focus on my ‘self’ is the last thing I need. 

Let me explain, and maybe then you’ll agree that you need to forget too.

When I’m in the middle of yet another ‘fight’ - my back against the wall and my fists up, it helps to forget…

When I’m so deep in my own troubles that I can barely see my ‘brother’ let alone offer a helping hand, it helps to forget…

When my plans all fall apart, and I wind up feeling like a failure, it helps to forget…

When I feel completely unprepared or ill-equipped for the task before me, it helps to forget…

When the dross of old or repeated sin dulls my joy, it helps to forget…

When fear seizes my mind and paralyses my body, it helps to forget…

When I wake up another day and the grief is still so thick, it helps to forget…

When the millstone of comparison weighs me down and tells me I’m not enough, it helps to forget…

Yes, in all these times it helps to forget who I am and remember who God is.

Remember that He is the victor when it feels like I’m losing the battle. [Psalm 76] 

Remember that He is 'the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort who comforts [me] in all [my] troubles' so that I can comfort another. [2 Corinthians 1:3-5]

Remember that He has a plan for me that is far better than anything I can imagine.

Remember that He is able and willing to equip me for whatever He calls me to.[2  Peter 1:3]

Remember that He is faithful and just, offering always to wipe away my sins and 'restore the joy of... salvation'. [Psalm 51:12]

Remember that He is Love and that His perfect love drives out my fear. [1 John 4:18] [1 John 4:8]

Remember that He is my 'refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble' [Psalm 46:1], and nothing can separate me from His love. [Romans 8: 31-39]

Remember His incomparable gift of calling me His child - 'fearfully and wonderfully made' in His image. [Galatians 3:26] [Psalm 139:14]

But, these are not the only times I need to forget. Perhaps even more importantly, on the roller coaster of life I must choose to forget who I am not only in the valleys but during the mountaintop highs as well.

So…

When the birds are singing, the flowers blooming and life is rosy and bright, I need to forget…

When my family is prospering and my kids succeeding, I need to forget…

When the accolades are high and the criticisms low, I need to forget…

When there is more than enough for my family and me, I need to forget…

To forget who I am and remember who God is.

To remember that 'every good and perfect gift is from above'… from our heavenly father.[James 1:17] To remember that it is not about me, and that if I should boast may I boast in the Lord alone. [Jeremiah 9:24]


So, my friends, I hope you understand now why sometimes I need to forget who I am. Focusing on me- in the good times or bad- can leave me trapped in a place I don’t wish to remain. Only when I stand in awe of God and behold Him in all his glory and majesty, holding Him in highest esteem and humbly accepting who He says He is and who He says I am, does it help to remember who I am.

All because of Him and all through Him.

Then and only then, my sadness turns to joy, my fear to courage, my worry to peace and my selfishness to love. I am filled anew with hope as I remember that His Spirit dwells within me, that His power is available to me and that He delights in me. 

Yes, remembering who I am is so much sweeter when I take some time to forget. 

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What about you?
Are you in one of those times? One of those peaks or valleys?
Do you need to forget who you are 
and remember who God is?
I pray that you’ll use this as your personal invitation 
to take some time today to forget.
And while you're forgetting 
I hope you will enjoy my new playlist 
that has helped me in remembering just who God is. 

Blessings,


Carlie

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

When You Really Need Someone To Talk To


There are times when you really need someone to talk to. Someone safe. Someone who wouldn’t judge you. Someone who is really great at listening. It doesn’t matter if you can see the person or if they are very far away. You just need someone.

Recently, one of my son’s friends whom he met through X-box Live had a mini-crisis. He was home alone, scared and anxious as he awaited his parents’ return. So in true brotherhood and a moving show of loyalty, two of his online friends (my son included) arranged a Skype call and waited up with him until his parents came home. Together they bore him up in his time of need. They listened to him, and helped calmed his nerves with jokes and laughter.

I kept my door open, asked to be continually updated on the status of the situation, and then I prayed. I went straight to my Father in heaven and interceded on behalf of this young man and his family. I reminded my son to pray for his friend.

“It’s gonna be a long night”, he said in a somewhat ‘proud-to-be-able-to-help’ manner. I sighed, but the time did not matter, my son’s friend needed support, and even though we were thousands of miles away, together we would keep watch. 

Thankfully, it was just around midnight that we got the all clear.  Despite an accident that had delayed them for hours, the parents were now home safe and sound. Amen.

Someone to talk to ... a friend to sit with you, talk with you, listen to you, to help you pass the time when you’re going through a difficult time.

Or how about when you have a secret... you want to tell someone but you’re afraid. Afraid you’ll be judged, misunderstood. So you keep it in until you find someone safe. Could be someone you don’t even know well, just an acquaintance... but somehow that person seems safer than your closest friends. Things wouldn’t have to get awkward ... uncomfortable.

My daughter experienced something similar. Wise beyond her years, she is often great at listening and giving advice, nonetheless she was surprised when out of the blue a friend shared a secret with her. It was if her friend just had to talk, she tells me, had to find someone to share her secret with.

I smiled. Sometimes you just got to tell someone.

I think we are wired that way... with an innate desire to connect with others. To voice how we feel and know that someone listens... and cares.

But no matter whom we find on this earth, there’s no one quite like our heavenly Father when we really need to bare our souls.

...

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To read the rest of this post, please click on over to my sister, Marva's site - SunSparkleShine. This past week I had the pleasure of hosting the Sparkle Circle and I would love for you to visit me there

The #SparkleCircle series is hosted by my sisters, Marva, Andie and me. Through these monthly posts, we hope to inspire friendship and community among women whose aim is to shine for Christ. Because doing life together makes it so much sweeter!
Plus, great news! My sisters and I have formed a new Sparkle Circle friendship forum, through which we hope to make it easier for all of us to keep in touch. I hope you’ll create your login while you’re over at Marva’s site so you can join in the conversation. Marva even has a special free gift waiting for you when you do.
Blessings,
Carlie