"The real power of any moment is fully realized when it is remembered. The experience might have been painful or pleasant, but its intensity and meaning grow when we remember and reflect upon it."
As Jennifer explains, our thought closet is like a library in our heads, holding the stories of our lives, with both good and bad books. We should look back only on what is profitable. Jennifer defines profitable when it:
♥Adds to soul wellness
♥Prompts maturity and growth
♥Contributes to personal and understanding
♥Challenges broad thinking
♥Can be pleasant or painful
♥Protects from repeating mistakes
♥Guards from needless worry
♥Becomes stepping stone
"Even hard times in our lives can contribute great wisdom to our thought closets."
Painful memories allow for some great soul talk. They provide reflection on what the pain brought: peace, trust, gratitude, and meaning. ...Beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair... Isaiah 61:3
"If you don't label a painful memory with meaning, it will retain a negative connotation. It will be stripped of its potential profit." What a revelation. Imagine if we all began to add meaning to our painful memories. We'd have a closet full of profitable memories, instead of ones that pull us down with anger, resentment, bitterness, and unforgiveness. If we see meaning in our pain, we can even release from our closets all the negative effects and feelings created by the pain and transform the effects into positive and profitable.
Forget me not. Forget Him not. Forget not what He has done. Forget not the good He has brought in the worst of times. "Remembering the good things of God sometimes causes you to reflect back on the bad things of life. But don't shy away from those painful memories because in those dark, difficult places, we often become more deeply acquainted with the good and comforting presence of God." Amen, sister! Is that not the truth?! In our darkest of times, we find the unimaginable comfort from God. Unimaginable. It is in those times, we see the greatness of God. Without the bad in life, we cannot experience the depth of good from God.
Though we are prone to forgetfulness (from what I hear starting at 40)...
Let us promote "forgetting not".
Let us choose to remember.
I will remember my songs in the night.
I will meditate with my heart,
And my spirit ponders...
I shall remember the deeds of the Lord;
Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.
I will meditate on all Your work
And muse on Your deeds. Psalm 77:6, 11-12
I will. I shall. Remember. Meditate.
"Meditating on the past is a form of remembering, but meditating on the future is a form of worry. Ever thought of that? Are you good at meditating?" Well, yes. Unfortunately, I have a resounding yes to both forms of meditating. I desire to increase the remembering and decrease the worry.
Not true yet. Oh how such worry can come from three little words. How can we so easily worry over something that is not true yet? How can that be? God specifically tells us to not worry about tomorrow. If it's not true yet, then it's worry over tomorrow. If it's worry over tomorrow then it's not true yet. Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:25, 35
In her interview with Jennifer, Alicia Britt Chole (a former atheist) says "Meditation on untruth is unprofitable for the soul. So if it's not true, or not true yet, I won't allow myself to go there." Alicia shared how she has to train her brain to not dwell on the unprofitable, not-true-yet thoughts. Want to guess what she does to combat those thoughts? You got it...praying for other people and reading God's Word. Surprise, surprise. Are those not the two strengths in life we have for everything: prayer and God's Word.
I leave you with a final thought of Jennifer's. "Remembering can turn even the most difficult milestones into stepping stones on a path of gratitude, contentment, and peace."
I have definitely learned to label the worst and most painful milestones in my life as a spiritual marker. If it were not for this extremely difficult heartache being a spiritual marker of God's, I'd never survive. I gleam such encouragement and hope from knowing that my pain has purpose and from my tragedy and heartache there is so much 'spiritualness' to be gained and nurtured.
God kept speaking this verse to me.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8
Remembering Him and Meditating on His,