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.


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. 


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. 




  1. I love your poetic words, Carlie. And just this morning in the midst of my doldrums, I turned to God's Word and found Isaiah 43, which reminded me that God will be with me, through the waters, through the fire, He will always be there. Good news, right? Let's not forget that!

    1. Always be there... sweet salve for the soul. Thanks, Marv! I love that promise from God.

  2. This made me smile and reminded me that in the midst of frustration over my day I need to forget myself and remember who God is. Thanks for all the great examples.

    1. I'm glad you liked it, Theresa! Yes, in the middle of things going awry, I have to stop, pause, forget and remember. Sounds silly, but it helps me.

  3. Yes! I often need to foget who I am and remember who God is. I am weak. He is strong. He is able. He is good. Love this!

    1. So glad you can relate, Charlie! Thanks! Loved your post today; when I forget who I am and remember who God is, His plan for me comes into sharper focus, and I get to meet Him when He shows up in my day.

  4. What a timely article. I need to remember to forget who I am, and who God is more often. Lord help me to focus on your Word and promise's in every area of my life.

    1. So grateful this blessed you! Yet, not my timing, but God's. He always knows just what we need when we need it. May God bless you richly as you draw ever closer to him.

  5. Oh, this is so beautiful! I love the verses you're sharing and the encouragement to focus on who God is. Love this!

    1. Thank you, Laura! Such a pleasure 'meeting up' with you today.

  6. Hello Carlie, I needed to hear this. I am a past-oriented person, and I like your list of things we need to remember (and forget). Sharing on FB and Twitter!

    1. Hi Sarah, I'm always so amazed how God sends the message we need to hear. It's a message I've been needing as well. I'm so glad it blessed you. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Replies
    1. I do too, Kimberly! Now more than ever! May we stick close to the only One who is sovereign over all. Blessings to you!


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