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Anniversaries, milestones and memories

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I have two degrees in history which can be interpreted that I enjoy remembering and preserving the past. One of the things that comes of being a history scholar/buff is that you’re really good with remembering dates and anniversaries. You remember why specific dates are important and what happened on that day in history. You may not exactly want to relive the past but you know why it’s a significant date and worthy of remembering.

I sometimes wonder if things fall on certain dates or milestones and it’s just a coincidence and me trying to connect everything or if God’s the one in control.

Again it’s always really good timing when the message at church seems to correspond with both posts I’ve written about recently or ones that I’m getting ready to write. It makes me feel like God is tracking with me and helps me to hear what I need. This past week in church, our pastor talked about how “For better or worse, human character always impacts history. But divine character, led and influenced by the Holy Spirit, always impacts eternity.” He talked about things can happen and we can just classify them as being just a coincidence and brush it off or is it something much more significant and important than that?

There are certain dates that are upcoming in the near future that to the average person aren’t important and could be written off as just coincidences. And to be honest, sometimes I question why I feel so strongly about these dates. Is it nostalgia? Sentiment? Wishful thinking at trying to make everything fit? Or are they all part of God’s bigger plan and I’m aware that I’m a part of it?

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I really don’t try too hard to make everything connect together. It’s not like I’m sitting here trying to find the tiniest little thing that matches up with something else. But when things DO fit together and you look back at them, sometimes there’s just nothing else you can say but how it’s totally a God thing. There’s no other explanation. I’m not trying to manipulate the circumstances at all.

I talked about last week about how the die has rolled a certain way in my life and I was meant to be in a certain timeline. Sometimes I question why because it just seems like everything can feel pointless and am I really making that much of a difference. But then I’m reminded that sometimes all I need to really do is just plant the seed and God will take of it and he’ll do all the work. Even if I never see what comes of it this side of heaven, I just need to do what I’ve been told to do.

So as these anniversaries go by, I don’t have to make a big deal of it. I don’t even need to recreate everything that happened in my mind and relive those memories. But I also don’t need to constantly ponder if these things happened for a reason because I know that they did. I know that God purposely planned out everything and even if I can’t see or understand it now, I just need to trust in Him. He’s used me and he’ll continued to use me as he sees fit. He’s placed me in THIS timeline for a reason.

“And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14b)

Life is so complicated. But God calls us to trust Him. To rest in Him as He holds us in His hands, as He fulfills His promise to work the details of our everything together for our good. http://shereadstruth.com/2013/08/08/wob3day4/

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I Forgot to Remember to Forget

There’s a line in my favorite Chronicles of Narnia book, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, that has always stuck with me. It’s the scene when Lucy has to read the magician’s spellbook to help save the Dufflepuds become visible again. And during the list of spells she flips past through are two that I would have been very tempted to say myself: “how to remember things forgotten, how to forget things you wanted to forget.”

There’s also the memory spell from Harry Potter that I sometimes wish I could perform on myself:

For believe me there are many things that I wish I could forget in my life.

In the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, the main characters have their memories erased of each other to forget the pain and hurt that happened due the breakdown of their relationship. It seems like it would be a brilliant invention. To have your mind swept free of all the negative feelings that were the result of heartbreak. Sometimes I wish that actually took place.

Of course you do grow because of the pain. You do grow from your experiences. As much as I hate what I’ve gone through, I know that because of the bad stuff, I’ve become a better person. And that part I’m ok with. I try not to dwell on the painful past though. It does no good to sit there and be reminded constantly of how much you were hurt. I just hate it when the memories sneak up when you’re not expecting it. I’m not talking about if a song comes on the radio that used to be your song. I mean like looking at patch of grass and a flood of memories comes back.

Sometimes I wonder if the other person remembers things too. Obviously what you place importance on will stand out more to one person than another. But other times it feels like the other person literally did wipe out every memory of you just like Clementine did to Joel in Eternal Sunshine. And because you don’t want to be the only one with the memories, it’s easy to just want to shut them out too. And that can hurt.

(FYI: some cursing. Also I totally forgot David Cross was in that movie)

If I had a super power it would be the ability to absorb knowledge and never forget it. I’d be able to give out information in the blink of an eye. My name would be something like The Encyclopedia or the Archivist. I remember things. I remember birthdays, important anniversaries, events. I retain information like a sponge. Now I don’t have a photographic memory. I can’t look at something and automatically remember what was there. But I do have good reading comprehension skills. And I’m good at picking up on small details.

Senior year in high school, it was a joke among my friends that if anyone needed to remember anything, they just needed to turn to me and I’d remember it in my brain or my “files”.

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Sometimes I don’t let on that I remember things or people. I feel weird because I remember tiny little details that everyone else seems to have forgotten. I try not to be that person that brings up that embarrassing moment from 6th grade that you had tried to block out of your mind. If something triggers a memory in me, while it may bother me on the inside, I try to keep my mouth shut because it was only important to me.

People always say to me “I can’t believe you remember that!” Sometimes I wish I didn’t.

I’ll see people from years ago and I’ll totally recognize them but they don’t seem to recognize me. Sometimes that bothers me a little because it makes me feel like I didn’t exist or that I was so unimportant that I’ve been erased from their memory. This hurts especially when we used to be good friends.

It sucks also when I make plans with someone and I remember the plans. But then it feels like the other person doesn’t remember. And I’m never sure if I’m supposed to remind them or wait for them to remember. I don’t want to nag but at the same time I want to think that I was important enough to be remembered.

However, I totally realize that everyone is different and not everyone has a memory like mine. I’m good at remembering faces, little details, etc. I mean that’s part of the reason why I decided to study history. To me, remembering things is important and priority to me.

The hard part is just remembering (heh) that not everyone else is like this. Again you’d think I’d realize this all the time, but it’s only starting to sink in. Just because I place priority over something does not mean everyone else does. Sometimes you do have to push people to remember things and it doesn’t mean that it makes you any less of important. Other times, people just choose to forget you and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Ironically as I look at my Timehop app for today, an app that triggers a lot of memories, one of my Twitter statuses from three years ago was this