Taking Memories

About Memories #4

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I thought I was finished with the topic of memories, but today they are barraging me. I’m writing this on my daughter’s birthday (January 22). Stacey would be 44 today, but she died 14 years ago and all we have are memories. So, yes, I’ll take the memories. There are no upcoming dates on the calendar, no random phone calls (for which she was famous), no plans for a party (another thing she was famous for)—just memories that swirl with bittersweet remembrances. Sweet for the joy her life created, bitter for the helpless sorrow of missing her.

The day poses a dilemma—try to remember or try to forget? I’m guessing you also have a significant date or two.

I’m all for remembering. Tears will come and that’s okay, they’ll pass. But the sweetness will remain—the lingering fragrance of a life loved, the echoes of laughter, the pleasure of having shared life. And it’s not over. God just hit the pause button—we will again walk, talk and laugh together, for all eternity.

So, if you’ve lost someone special, I suggest you take hold of your memories. Savor the sweetness and release the bitter. Recognize that the person you loved and lost enriched your life and made you who you are today.

This short visit was not an incident: it was a benediction… The remembrances, the influence, the associations remain… And if God recalls the child He lent, then let us thank Him for the loan, and consider that what made that child the messenger of God—its purity, modesty, trustfulness, gladness—has passed into our soul. The Potter’s Wheel (1904), Ian Maclaren

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18

A Woman’s Self-Portrait, part 1


She apologized… a lot. Myra was educated, professional, determined, and a woman of faith. Why did my friend apologize for everything from the weather to my personal problems? During the maturing of our friendship I learned the answer. As a child, her stepfather flew into rages over insignificant issues, like finding a bee in the house. He would beat his wife, yelling at Myra, “This is your fault! If you weren’t such a bad girl, I wouldn’t have to hit your mother.”

Myra’s many apologies make sense when we understand that we act in harmony with our mental self-portrait. Myra saw herself as an offender and took the blame for negative consequences. She needed an adjustment to her self-portrait.  This came when she believed the truth of God’s words rather than the lies of man’s words.

It is critically important to remember that long before our lives were marred by bad experiences and hurtful people, God saw us in our mothers’ wombs (Psalm 139:16). He wrote every day of our lives in His book and His plans for us didn’t change when abuse or loss came our way. Rather than having our image reflect pain and problems, we can repaint our self-portrait to reflect redemption and healing. We can be free to serve God and others with joy and confidence.

What brushstrokes created your self-portrait? Are the colors flattering or harsh? Are you ready to paint over your portrait and change the picture you look at day after day from flawed to redeemed?

Come together with other women on October 11, 7:15 pm, at Cornerstone Christian Church in Wyckoff. Discover the beauty of God’s purposes for your life.

For more information, directions, or to register for an optional meal (served at 6:30), visit http://www.cornerstonenj.org/women and go to events.