Seeing in the Land of the Living: My Favorite Memories (Part 5)

If I am being completely honest, there were several days that I struggled to remember what I had been promised.

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In November 2018, I was just days away from a big appointment regarding a rare condition I had been diagnosed with months before. I was confident the stage was set for God to do a big miracle. However, if I am being completely honest, there were several days that I struggled to remember what I had been promised. I started to wonder if God had really healed me. I hadn’t gone more than a few days without a headache or other symptoms of the rare condition. Maybe a few symptoms were as good as it gets? In the dark of the night, I wondered if my prayers really mattered. Do they actually change things?

In September 2018, a dear friend invited me to a women’s conference. I remember walking into the church on the first night of the conference a little nervous. The church isn’t my home church, and I really didn’t know what to expect. Thankfully I got way more than a fun weekend with a girlfriend. God met me at that conference and spoke to my heart in such a sweet way.

Days later, I was looking back over my notes from the conference and one of the messages came back to my mind. The women’s pastor spoke about the power of remembering. So for the past several days, I have been remembering with Jesus. The list of memories and ways God has provided for Dan and me is large… but I want to share two specific memories.

Growing up, my parents often prayed with me before I went to bed at night. The first thing I genuinely remember praying was that God would allow me to attend a Christian school. I cannot tell you what sparked my interest in going to a Christian school, but I remember praying nightly for many years that God would allow me to attend a Christian school.

My parents were not wealthy, however, the summer before I started 5th grade, doors opened for my Mom to work at the daycare for a Christian school. My tuition was included as part of her compensation. Now, some of you reading this may say that my parents worked hard to pave the way for me to go to a Christian school. You aren’t wrong, my parents worked very hard to provide for me, but the doors that opened for them to walk through were not just a happy coincidence. They were opened through the fervent prayers I prayed before I went to bed each night.

In 2015, Dan and I moved from South Dakota to Missouri. We left behind an amazing support system and moved even further from our families. Dan and I spent a few days in Missouri together, before he headed back up to South Dakota to prepare our house for sale. The month I spent by myself was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I didn’t even know how to get to work without using the GPS on my phone. I had never felt so alone.

One particularly lonely Saturday, I remember sitting in the living room of our rental looking at this grove of trees. I was tired and sad. I remember asking the Lord to send me strong women to be my friends. I prayed for a forest of strong oaks. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was praying for women who were rooted in the word.

A few months later, I found an online support group called Moms in the Making. I joined the private Facebook group thinking that I would find some support for our delayed fertility journey. I never expected to find a forest of women who would become my lifetime friends. I am now surrounded by strong rooted women of God who are planted all over the United States.

In the dark of the night, when the enemy whispers to me “your prayers don’t matter”, I can remind him that they do. In fact, I was able to attend a Christian school for three years because God was faithful to answer. When I feel like I can’t break that lie off, I can call on my forest of women (who are also an answer to prayer) and have them help me stomp on the enemy.

Using my memories as a tool against the enemy has been incredibly powerful. I could write for hours about the amazing things that God has done in our lives. The doors that He has opened and the ways He has provided.

As the pastor at the women’s conference said, “Remembering helps us say yes to the things we can’t see and declare things our flesh is unsure of.”

The idea of using remembering as a tool isn’t new. In Genesis 22, God asks Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. The son he had waited 25 years for. Many of us have heard this story before, but it wasn’t until I was sitting at the women’s conference back in September that this story really came to life.

Imagine if you will, Abraham, Isaac, a donkey and two young men went to make a burnt offering. God had already told Abraham that he was to offer Isaac as a burnt offering. Abraham was walking in obedience. He was going through the motions and following the path God had called him too. When they had gone so far, Abraham turned and looked at the men and asked them to stay with the donkey. He said (in Genesis 22:5) “Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go over there to worship; then we’ll come back to you”. So, then Abraham and Isaac went on their way. Abraham was still walking in obedience.

Okay, we need to pause here, because I am not sure you got it. Abraham told the two young men to stay behind because he and Issac were going to go worship. Then he said WE’LL come back! Friends, you don’t say WE when you are expecting to come back alone. After 25 years of waiting on God to provide Isaac, Abraham knew God would provide. Now, I am not saying that Abraham understood what God was doing. However, He knew God had promised that He would be the father of many nations. Isaac had been born when all seemed impossible. He remembered that God had provided before so He knew he would do it again. I truly believe obedience and remembering go hand in hand. It’s easy to be obedient to where God is calling us when we remember how He has made a way before.

When Abraham and Isaac arrived at the place where the burnt offering would happen they built the altar. Isaac then bound his son and lifted his knife to slaughter him. However, before anything could happen, God stopped him. God provided a ram to replace Isaac as the offering. Just as Abraham had seen before, God provided when it seemed impossible. Think of the story Isaac had to share!

Here’s the thing, remembering isn’t just important as a weapon against the enemy. When we talk about the things the Lord has done, it becomes a testimony for years to come. Revelation 19:10 says, “For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” When we remember and then share what God has done for us, it becomes the power that someone else can cling to in the future.

Remember that forest of women I talked about? Many of them have testimonies of God’s provision that include healing. When the enemy whispers “you aren’t healed”, I have the power to use the testimony of my friends as my tool to tell him to shut up and go back to hell. I can remind the enemy of what scripture says and then I can remind him that the same God that healed my friend, is my God. I am not forgotten. Healing is mine too.

He is a God worth remembering. He has done great things in all of us. Today, I challenge you to make your list of your favorite memories. Take note of the things He has done in your life, so when the enemy comes in and tries to whisper lies to you, you can remind that slimy bug who your God is. Don’t stop there, once you have your list, share it. Your testimony may be just the tool someone else needs to gain victory!

 

 

This is an updated edition of a post originally published on https://borderless.blog/.

Featured Image by Rosie Fraser

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About the Author

Melissa Forster lives in Missouri with her husband, Dan, and their adorable gray cat named Leo. She loves Jesus with her whole heart and loves following Him to a place where her faith is without borders. She collects llamas, t-rexs and grand adventures. Her favorite place to be is tucked in at home with copious amounts of coffee and a great book. Melissa and Dan have been struggling with delayed fertility for ten years and have two precious babies in heaven. Melissa writes from her heart about her (slightly dramatic) near death experiences, grief, joy and who Jesus is in the midst of all of it.