I have a knack for remembering special dates, & sometimes it can be quite annoying.
This date isn’t a nice one for me. On November 28, 1990, when I was 19 years old, my mother threw me into her living room wall during an argument we were having. I wish I didn’t remember that evening so clearly, or the date that it happened, but I do.
Although I’ve forgiven my mother & God healed my back injury she caused that night, it’s still an unpleasant event to remember.
While I was thinking about this a little while ago, I thought of something else. Just because I have forgiven my mother for doing this to me doesn’t mean I have forgotten the event. It also doesn’t mean it doesn’t pop into my mind once in a while when something reminds me of it (such as today’s date) or that I’m completely OK with this memory.
So many people think once you’ve forgiven someone, you should never remember the event again. Forgive & forget. I disagree.
While dwelling on a traumatic event indefinitely isn’t healthy, there is a time to focus on what happened so you can completely process your emotions about it & forgive the person who hurt you. And, once you have done that, it still may pop into your mind periodically. Less often as time passes. When it does, chances are you will feel a little uncomfortable with the memory. To me, it reminds me of remembering a bad dream- you know it can’t hurt you, but the memory is so unpleasant, it makes you cringe a bit just thinking of it. Also, you may forgive your abuser, but how can you be completely OK that it happened to you? Being abused was not fair! I don’t see any way that one can be completely OK with being abused even if forgiveness has happened.
This is normal! And that is what I wanted to tell you today, Dear Reader. If you still remember traumatic events, even ones from many years ago, & you believe they weren’t fair or right, you are normal! You aren’t a “bad Christian” or holding onto bitterness or unforgiveness. Instead you are perfectly normal.