Does this happen to you? You’re cruising through your day, or your desk, or your drawers and you tumble back in time? You hear a song, catch the scent of an old flame, or find a photo from the good old days and your past comes roaring into your present. You can let the past haunt your future or you can reframe the memory to rewrite the story.
While purging items in my closet that didn’t fit my style anymore, (or to be perfectly honest, didn’t fit my mature, more generously padded frame) I stumbled across two of my dead husband’s favorite shirts.
It stopped me in my tracks.
For decades those shirts lay folded and waiting to be put in rotation again. Even more than a photograph or nostalgic song on the radio, the sight and feel of them took me right back to a time when we were young and bulletproof and all was well with us.
I kept them because they reminded me of my Hot & Hunky Hubz who died in his sleep of a heart attack at the age of 39. I kept them because I thought one of my boys, who were 7 and 4 at the time of his passing, might grow into them and I would see them repurposed, resurrected. I kept them because I thought I would see a version of Hot & Hunky again.
I held onto them because a part of me couldn’t let go of that time when all was well.
For me (this time) it was a great memory. But other times, I’ve stumbled into my dark past.
A letter from an old lover.
A long forgotten item of drug paraphernalia.
A journal entry scribbled in hate.
A souvenir from a clandestine meeting.
A photo of the recklessly irresponsible girl I used to be.
And I thank God.
I thank God these things from my ugly past no longer represent who I am.
I thank God for Jesus, who granted my eternal life with him from the moment I said yes to him.
I thank God for how kind and patient and merciful God was and continues to be.
I thank God for every minute I had with Hot & Hunky.
I thank God for my boys who grew into men their father would be proud of.
I thank God for how he has redeemed my life time and time again.
How about you? Do you remember the past with a smile or a grimace?
When your past tries to swallow you up, stealing your joy for today and telling you the future is forfeit, reframe the memory to rewrite the story with the truth that God can resurrect, redeem and restore you. Your past does not define you and your future is waiting.
Leave me a comment to tell me how you face your future with God’s truth.
Scripture: Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. (1 Timothy 1:15-17 NIV)
Prayer: God, I thank you for your patience with me. Thank you for saving me now and forevermore. Continue to guide and lead me into the life you offer. A life that sustains me and inspires others. Amen.
Eli and Jay (Hot & Hunky) fixing the kitchen faucet.
Eli all grown up and wearing his dad’s shirt.