Optimize Your Storage
You may laugh, but I have an iPhone 6s Plus with 16GB of storage. For those of you who don’t find the humor in that, just try being a photo and video-happy, jetsetting mom with minimal memory on your phone!
Last weekend, when we were in Spain, I had to stop in the middle of the most beautiful cathedrals and attractions to delete random memes and screenshots in order to capture the sights worthy of my phone’s memory. My attempts at taking the most Instagram-worthy photos were continually interrupted with the alert, “This device does not have enough storage space to store all your full-resolution photos and videos…” It then gives me the option to “Optimize iPhone Storage.” In order for me to properly memorialize images of beauty and adventure, and moments of celebration, I would need to delete images that don’t add significant value to my photo library.
I stood in the middle of Plaza de España, taking in all the grandeur of the architecture and I was so beautifully reminded that there are things taking up valuable space in my soul’s memory that detract from the beauty God has surrounded me by. Just like I needed to free up space in my phone, I realized it was time to optimize the memory of my soul, again.
Right after the new year began, I received a text message from someone in my husband’s life. This text message stated they had “forgiven me.” They listed all the things they had forgiven me of. They had forgiven me for manipulative behavior, sowing seeds of discord, being selfish and the list goes on. As much as I want to say I was honored by this message, I would be blatantly lying. I was immensely offended and my initial thought was more along the lines of, “how dare they…? How can you construct lies in your head and then offer forgiveness to me for a perception you manufactured?” I instantly became flush with anger, offense and grief. I reached out to my parents and my second mom for their guidance. I knew my words, in that moment, wouldn’t exemplify the love and humility that lives within or be indicative of the growth and revolution that has taken place in my heart. The common denominator between both conversations was understanding of my feelings in the matter, but an appeal and challenge to forgive quickly and not allow the image of that message become a part of my mind’s photo gallery. In other words, delete the photo and take a snapshot of the truth that God speaks of me in its place.
In each of our daily lives, there are images that pollute our internal photo gallery. It can be filled with hurtful words spoken about you by others, lies you believe about yourself or failures and missteps along the journey. It is an unavoidable part of our lives. However, in each moment, we have a responsibility to take proactive inventory of the images, words, truths, conversations, feelings, relationships and overall subscriptions we have filled our hearts with. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself, like me, standing in front of the most awe-inspiring places, seasons and monuments unable to enjoy the fullness of their beauty because you have to clear out negative or unproductive space first.
I admittedly struggle with forgiveness and releasing offenses into the hands of the Lord. I have struggled with feeling that my heart and body were constantly being abused, misused and trampled upon without consequence. I took those offenses into my own hands and arrogantly believed that if I continued being angry and holding anger against those who I felt perpetrated offenses against me, I would somehow be vindicated. Wrong! I have invested many years of my life in active unforgiveness. Just filling my gallery up with remembrance of pain and becoming captive to it. Spoiler alert: a lifetime wasted in that manner does not impact those who you’ve perceived to offend you anywhere near as much as it impacts, poisons and imprisons you.
Each time I share a piece of my story with you all, I remind you (and myself) to pursue beauty from the inside out. A heart and life that reflect beauty has to regularly forgive and press the delete button. Matthew 11:6 says, “Blessed is the one who is not offended by me.” Being a person who chooses to be unoffendable doesn’t mean that nothing will ever hurt you. It means that your response to those moments in life, those text messages, relationships and general failures is to give it to God and make the conscious choice not to allow them to take up precious memory. It means that you seek forgiveness for those you’ve offended and offer that same forgiveness to others who have offended you. When you let those offenses go, I believe they’ll float into the clouds and God knows exactly how to handle them.
My prayer for each of you this week is that you have the free space in your soul’s memory to fully absorb the beauty, joy, adventure, celebration and peace God has in store for you.