Our memory is a great gift from God.
The problem is that we are sinners living in a sinful world, and we have all been hurt in the past. These wounds stay in our memories and can be instrumental in developing fears and anxieties within us—fears and anxieties that bind us up and rob us of our joy and confidence in the Lord. But no matter how bleak our memories may seem, there is great hope. Jesus died for every scar and every wound, and he is always ready to heal.
If you want to seek this kind of healing, a good way to start is by examining your fears. Ask yourself, “What am I most afraid of? Do my fears prevent me from doing what I know I should do or what I feel God wants me to do? Are there one or two important events in my past that have contributed to this kind of fear?”
Next, replay these past events in your mind as best you can. Try to picture Jesus with you as an event unfolds. Imagine yourself taking his hand, and tell him why this event has made you so fearful. Tell him how these fears affect you and why you want to be rid of them. Ask him to take away the fear and the pain.
As you pray through this event, write down what you sense the Lord is saying or doing. How is he reacting as he holds your hand and watches the event unfold within you? Do this over and over again as time allows. Don’t be afraid to pray for long periods without saying anything. Just try to calm your heart and to sense what Jesus is doing in you.
As you go through your day, should you feel fear rising up in you again, put your memory to good use! Recall what you sensed Jesus doing in your prayer. Remember his words of consolation, his gestures of comfort, and the sense of hope and promise you felt as you prayed. Keep telling yourself, “I can do all things, and that includes overcoming my fears, in Christ who strengthens me.” Over time, you will see these painful memories heal, and your fears melt away.