Forget what hurt you but never forget what it taught you.
In September of 2007, on a Sunday, I remember sharing in church about how I was doing. I had just gotten back from a long sabbatical where I spent time recuperating from breast cancer treatments. During my interview, I shared a few lessons learned, of which I’ve forgotten many, but there was one that really stuck in my mind. It was, “don’t forget the lessons learned.” Don’t forget the lessons learned! This resonated. It stuck. You can imagine when recovering from breast cancer, many valuable, life-changing lessons are learned. But, the one that really stuck was, not to forget the lessons. Every time we go through any experience, lessons are learned: good experiences, hard experiences, challenging, joyful, and even scary experiences produce lessons. Lessons are learned every moment, of every day. The problem is, over the long haul, we often ignore or forget the lessons, because we don’t store them in our long-term memory. And then what happens? We don’t use them when needed! This season has so many lessons. Some wonderful, some deep, and some life-changing, others hard and painful, but all valuable. God has wiped clean our previous normal lives. He has given us a long season of social separateness, a long time-out from what life used to be. It has had many challenges. But, lessons have been learned. Slowly, very slowly he is reintroducing us back into a new-normal. But, don’t forget the lessons. Forget the pain; minimize the sadness; overcome the hurt; but never forget what this once-in-lifetime experience taught you.
This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.