Chronic Soul Amnesia

Ann Voskamp wrote about a phenomenon she calls chronic soul amnesia. I'm prone to this condition. I learn lessons from problems, then face similar problems later on, and feel as if I'm learning the lessons again for the first time. It's like when I was parenting babies many years ago and the next baby was ready to start solid foods. I vaguely remembered that I had navigated a child through this transition before, but I forgot all the specific details about how we actually accomplished it.

I only knew that I had managed it once (or twice) already, so I trusted we could get through the process with the next child, too. And, clearly, we did. We've progressed onward and upward to teenage challenges in our household now, which are equally (if not more) messy, just in different ways.

One area of soul amnesia for me is fear. I'm pretty good at envisioning how a situation may go south. I can look at a problem, analyze its causes and effects and intricacies, and see no logical way that the dysfunction could be untangled. This is why I'm so grateful the Bible offers ample commentary on how to manage fear and worry.

Did you know how many times scripture encourages us not to be afraid? It's stated 366 times throughout the Bible. In other words, we have a reminder each day of the year, plus a bonus "fear not" for leap years.

Why do I forget that God is an every present help in trouble? It's soul amnesia, I tell you. Each time I come upon a reminder in scripture to be strong and courageous, even though I already know these verses in my heart, my soul rises up like I'm hearing them again for the first time. How necessary it is to keep these promises in our eyes and ears, on our lips, and tucked into our hearts? Say it louder for the people in the back!

Fear not, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

God is fighting our battles today. We can brush off the forgetfulness and remind our souls of God's steady faithfulness.

As an aside, I'm getting to the point where I'd like to do this:

And that way, this reminder will be written visibly to help prevent my soul amnesia for all 365 days a year.

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