A note from Kelly King: As you consider Memorial Day today, would you take a moment to pray for men and women who are currently serving our country? I’m grateful for their service and for those who gave their lives for our freedom. Also, pray for those who have served our country and suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. As Kaye Hurta mentions in today’s article, remembering can be an act of healing.
Memorial Day is a national American holiday honoring the men and women who died while serving in the United States military. While some may think of this day in May as the official beginning of summer, cook-outs, and sunburns, Memorial Day began as a response to the unprecedented carnage of the Civil War. Made official on May 5, 1868, we (as a nation) have been engaging in the healing act of remembering those who sacrificed their lives every year since.
Over the years I have spoken to many veterans who appreciate the remembering.
Nothing will change the horrific conditions of wartime, but when others remember and acknowledge the sacrifice, there is healing.
Remembering is more than simply recalling to the mind something forgotten. Remembering, as an act of healing, is an intentional act that can be a gift to our souls.
Here are four ways remembering can become an act of healing:
- Recall. Recall the event, the loss, the situation, and the season. It seems basic, but all too often we are more intentional about forgetting what was painful. In order for a memory to be healed, it must first be recalled or remembered. If your situation was traumatic, it is best to do this in the safety of a trained counselor’s presence.
- Reaffirm. As you remember, reaffirm God’s presence and activity in your situation. How and through whom was He present? Journal the ways you saw Him at work. Where was He in your story? How did you see His fingerprints?
- Reframe. Reframing is just as it sounds—taking the “old frame” off of a past memory or event and putting a “new frame” around it. The new frame is a retelling or a way of viewing and experiencing the events, ideas, concepts, and emotions to find positive alternatives. For example, I remember the day the agency came and removed a foster baby from our home to be reunited with his mother. It was painful for my heart. When I recall that day, I reframe or turn the situation to the positive: the Lord allowed me a certain amount of time to influence and care for a sweet life. The experience also enlarged the capacity of my own heart to care and love for others.
- Restore. This is a process of allowing the Lord to bring restoration to painful memories through prayer, His Word, wise counsel, journaling, or whatever way He chooses. We are linear; we cannot go back in our past and change events. The Spirit of God is not linear. When we remember an event, we can invite the Holy Spirit to apply a healing to that memory in a way only He can do.
Even as I write this, I am mindful of many in pain who are desperately trying to not remember traumatic events from their past. If this is your story, I am so sorry.
For some, remembering should be done under the watchful care of a trained counselor.
If you or someone you love has served or is currently serving country in any way, thank you.
Thank you for your sacrifice.
Kaye Hurta has a Masters Degree in counseling from Liberty University and is a crisis counselor for Women’s Events through LifeWay Christian Resources. Whether speaking, singing, or listening, Kaye’s passion is to help others find intimacy with Christ and soul transformation through the living pages of His Word. Kaye met and married her husband Chris in Austin, Texas in 1987. They have two daughters through the miracle of adoption, Madison and Cami. They live in the Chicago burbs where they are both on staff at Willow Creek Community Church. Kaye is also a contributing author for the LifeWay resource, Women Reaching Women in Crisis.