Because often, I forget


I think in the day to day, I forget. I forget how sad we were when we were told it would be hard to get pregnant. I forget that when I was a little girl, I could scarcely imagine having the comfort of the kind of home and family life I have now. I forget that I am prone to wander. 

When my kids are driving me nuts, when Chris doesn't meet my impossible expectations, when something reminds me of broken relationships and I get an unexpected sting from the remnant of pain that is still there, I forget. I tend to focus on my disappointments. I forget how faithful and how good God is.

Likewise, when I'm being praised for my creativity, when my kids are being sweet and racking up compliments, when Chris and my friends really make me feel known, when life is fun, I forget. I forget that these things are not things I earned myself and therefore deserve. I forget that it is GOD who is good and that the blessings in my life are a gift, not a guarantee. 

God never forgets us. Not in our pain, not in our joy, and certainly not when life is routine or mundane, either. But me? I forget. 

A year ago, I sat in the middle of my bed, bawling my eyes out. Motherhood had rocked my world, yet there I was feeling completely overwhelmed with raising the three children I already had and yet was still considering fostering / adopting more. Chris and I had made the very hard decision to not proceed with trying to conceive baby #4, and in many ways, I was mourning that decision. So I threw myself a really enthusiastic pity party. There was wailing. There was a bed strewn with crumpled up tissues. There may have been gnashing of teeth. 

In the middle of that, a friend, one whom I hadn't seen or talked to in over a year, reached out. "I don't know why, but you're on my heart and are you okay? I am praying for you right now." 

This friend was Erin, whom I had only met twice before (once at Alt Summit and once at TxSC). She all the way up in Indiana, me all the way down in Georgia. At the onset I was touched by her thoughtfulness and courage. How many times has someone popped into my head, out of the blue, and I've continued on with whatever was occupying my time in that moment (reading Hollywood gossip or taking a quiz on Buzzfeed, probably)? Yet she listened to that nudge and she reached out. I didn't feel so alone anymore. 

But deeper: how thoughtful was GOD in that moment? To place me in the heart of a faraway, praying friend right when I needed Him the most (yet, shamefully, hadn't cried out to him during this pity party)? Erin had no idea that Chris and I were struggling with our big decisions and that I was feeling so alone in the process. I was struck by the fact that God moved in this small, simple, yet profound and undeniable way. I didn't feel forgotten anymore. 

I think about this day often, and I keep coming back to the fact that God never forgets us. It is we who need reminding. That's why the Bible says over and over and over again "Remember". Remember! We are commanded to remember because we are a forgetful people. 

One of my favorite books in the Old Testament is Exodus, the rescuing of God's people. Exodus is completely outrageous to read-- to see God part the Red Sea for Israel's escape from Egypt, to see God make water spring forth from a friggin' rock to satisfy his people's thirst, to see God provide food from the freaking SKY EVERY SINGLE DAY for FORTY YEARS. Yet, right there, in the day to day, the people forgot God's provision and faithfulness. We read it now and we are aghast. We say, "HOW COULD THEY FORGET?! Such fickle, sinful people!" 

And then I take a step back and look at my own life. How could I forget? 

Maybe I'm a lot like the Israelites wandering in the wilderness more than I care to admit. 

I wrote about it earlier, but I am trying my best to remember. For me, that looks like journaling and recording gratitude. It looks like reading the Bible in an intentional way and memorizing scripture. It looks like seeking out and building community with like-minded people who also want to / need to be reminded of how good and how faithful God is.

For a long time, I've wanted to purchase  a mantra bracelet from Moulton, but in a lot of ways I saw it like a tattoo... it would be something meaningful and with me always. I could never commit to a singular word hand stamped by my friend Jen on the bracelet. 

But as I was riding in the car a few weeks ago, trying (and failing!) to get my kids to stop arguing, I found myself frustrated and thought, "How is this my life???!"

And then the whisper: remember

"Remember", God says. "Remember", God urges. "Remember", God commands. 

So I'm trying my best to do just that. To remember. I finally have my mantra. It is my prayer that this becomes the refrain of my heart.