Three weeks ago as I munched on chips and salsa at a local Mexican restaurant with one of my dearest friends, I poured my soul out to her on life, love, failing at being intentional, broken hearts, badly written music, and days that seem to never end.
It was the kind of conversation I didn’t expect to have, not that day, not ever really, but it was so deep within me that I could not hold it in any longer. I looked at her with the deepest sense of overwhelming uncertainty, and she gave me the most simple, basic advice I think I’ve ever heard.
She said, “It’s ok to forget some things.”
I dropped my chip in the salsa and just stared at her. Because she was right.
Because she was so perfectly on target with where I was spiritually and emotionally, and I hadn’t even realized it.
I think I had always felt like I had a duty to myself, to others even, to remember, to hold on, to not let go. This, then, was like an epiphany! I finally understood that while I have attempted to be intentional in every area of my life, I have neglected to be intentional about the memories that I allow to stay in my life.
How can we move forward if we constantly are holding on to what is behind us? It is impossible to walk ahead if something is perpetually pulling at us from behind. In order to be intentional about the future, we must also be intentional about what we release from our hearts and minds.
I’m always shocked at how God uses different methods, people, and circumstances to speak to me when I least expect it. It’s almost as if I forget how He works, because the perfection of His timing never ceases to amaze me. The week after my chips and salsa binge, I received two separate emails on two separate days from two different bloggers that said almost exactly the same thing as what my friend had told me. After reading each email, I had to stop for a moment and ponder the graciousness and beautiful mercies of Jesus.
“Make sure you know what you are saying… Make sure you are intentional when it comes out of you. Try your hardest to not want to take things back when you release them.” – Hannah Brencher
It’s ok to forget some things. It’s ok to release some things. But when the deed is done, don’t wish them back. Don’t pine for them, don’t turn back to the “what was” and live in the shadow of what your purpose is now. Your purpose may be little more than a simple dream at this moment, but if takes letting go of the “what was” to go forward with dreams and what will be, take the leap of faith and trust that God will be right beside you the entire way.
“Some of our dreams are so huge, we’re embarrassed to say them out loud… [but] Let this be a story of hope. Let this be a call to intentionality. Your life can become a support to your biggest of dreams. It may take sacrifices, but in the end, your dream might just become a reality.” – Hey, Sweet Pea
So, I threw the memories away – literally.
I finally got the gumption together and stuffed the offending items into the kitchen trash, tied the bag, and put what had stared me in the face every single day for the past three years in the dumpster. I can not begin to explain to you the complete freedom that came with that simple action. It was like a burden had been lifted, a dark storm cloud finally broke away that allowed the sun to come shining brilliantly down on what was so dismal and grey.
Your purpose may be little more than a simple dream at this moment, but if takes letting go of the ‘what was’ to go forward with dreams and what will be, take the leap of faith and trust that God will be right beside you the entire way. It’s ok to forget some things. It’s ok to let God have complete control of your life. It’s ok to cry in remembrance of those memories, but don’t forget that there are seasons of life, and when it’s time to let go, be intentional and look forward to the joy and exciting possibilities that future seasons hold.
“As children bring their broken toys with tears for us to mend, I brought my broken dreams to God because he was my friend. But then, instead of leaving Him in peace to work alone, I hung around and tried to help, with ways that were my own. At last, I snatched them back and cried, ‘How can you be so slow?’
‘My child,’ He said, ‘What could I do? You never did let go.'”
Even the Apostle Paul admonished the church to allow Jesus to wash the old man free so that the Spirit of Christ could redeem us: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (II Corinthians 5:17, KJV).
“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”(Philippians 3:14, KJV).
I press toward the mark that is the high calling of God, the calling that is significant because it is my purpose. And because I have this calling, this exceedingly important purpose, I will strive to live with intention in all that I do. I will let go of the things that hold me back, I will forget the things that weigh me down from fulfilling the life that I have been called to live in Jesus.