When my mom died in 2010, I had already lost my dad also. I truly felt like an orphan. Here I was in my 40's and had no mom or dad to talk to or turn to. I went through a bit of depression and felt pretty lost for a time. When I received that letter from Karen it brought some great memories but also reminded me of that sadness. I realized that I had no one from those days that knew me then, except this one friend. I had no one who remembered who and what I was. Who remembered what I looked like then, how I acted. I had no one any longer who shared that history with me. That made this letter all the more special because here was someone who did remember and reminded me of the Gail back then.
I had never really thought of all that. How important shared history is, how good it makes you feel to have someone remember you. To have someone remember the big things, but also the silly little things like working at Dairy Queen together. That shared history makes you feel special, makes you feel a part of things.
All of the introspection made me realize that I do have someone who remembers who I was back then. Who knows what I looked like, what I did, how I felt. And He delighted in me even when no one else did. He was there when I felt all alone. He watched over me when I got good grades and He saw me when I misbehaved. He saw when I treated myself like I was worthless and He never gave up on me. He knows my history from before I was born, because He lovingly crafted me in my mother's womb. Before I was a twinkle in my father's eye I was the apple of His eye. My history was and is His story. His creating me. His giving me the family that He did. His desire that one day I would choose Him and accept His redemption and love. His plans for me, for my good. His gifts that He has placed in me, including this one of writing. His bringing into my life a godly man who would introduce me to my Father and to my Saviour. His blessing my with three beautiful children and two wonderful step children as well as all of my amazing grandchildren.
I have a great God who not only sees my tears, but collects them. I love how The Message says it, "You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights, each tear entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book," Psalm 56:8. So last night when I only slept for an hour and half God saw, He was with me. And when I was about in tears because of aches I had physically, but also emotionally He saw that too. He also sees my joys and triumphs. He rejoices in my right choices. He is delighted when I am and I believe He laughs when I do. He knows my innermost thoughts. I don't think I would want to be around a person who could always read my thoughts; because as much as I try every day, I am not always the best me I can be. I do start out my day asking His help that I be good and kind, but I often fail. You know how it is when your thoughts just go off. You might never say it out loud, but you think unkind thoughts of someone. I know I do, and I do try to catch it right away and ask forgiveness and that the Lord bless that person. I know I have prayed more than once, Lord I am such a crappy person sometimes, (pardon the language, just being honest here) and I can picture the Lord just shaking His head and saying, 'Yes Gail sometimes you are'. I can almost see Him using the line that Cher did in the movie "Moonstruck", 'Snap out of it!' He knows the good, the bad and the ugly and He loves me through all of it. Because He not only knows my history, He knows my future. He knows I am growing, He knows I am daily seeking to be more like His Son and to glorify Him in all that I do.
History is being made every day in our lives. New memories, new treasures to look back on. If you are like me and you don't have family and longtime friends to reminisce with, hold on to the thought that God does know and does remember and does treasure every moment of your life. And I think think that just as the bible says that He is faithful to forgive our sins when we have received salvation and confessed our sins He also, as it says in Psalms 103:12, "as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us." So while He remembers our history, those sins that we have confessed, He remembers them no more. He blots them out. Hebrews 8:12 says, "For I will be merciful to their iniquities, and their sins will I remember no more," (ASV). I don't know about you, but that amazes me. Think of an argument that you have had with someone, especially your spouse if you are married. It starts out, you forgot to get milk at the store, or you didn't take the trash out. Then it turns into you didn't mow the lawn last week, you never fold my socks the way I want, you always let me down. Back to the day you met, all of the wrongdoings brought back up as ammunition. Imagine forever letting all of those transgressions, all of those aggravations go, never to be brought up again. In fact, totally removing them from our memory banks. Ain't gonna happen...Well, that is why God is God and we are not!
God is the keeper of our history, the maker of His story. And He cherishes us and every moment of this beautiful life He has gifted us with. Hold on to that the next time you feel alone and forgotten. Hold on to the fact that His story in our lives is making new history every day.