A friend of mine recently shared with me how the Lord is prompting her to remember the joyful, fun times she had with her husband. As I pondered on this while I watched a light snow coming down this morning, I realized that remembering the times Dave and I laughed together is an exceedingly important part of healing my heart.

Memories are funny things! We can remember events in our lives with joy or sadness, laughter or tears. Sometimes the same event evokes all the above, depending on where we are emotionally when the “remembering” occurs. Sometimes we can laugh about a memory until the laughter turns to tears!

Why is it hard to embrace the memories of our loved ones and be at peace with them? I wonder if it’s because memories trigger our sense of loss. Amid laughing at a funny incident, or something that was a little quirky about our spouse, we suddenly remember that they are no longer with us. We remember that we’re alone, and perhaps are even beginning to have difficulty remembering their voice, or their laugh, or their touch. As is common to humans, we prefer to avoid the emotional pain those memories bring with them.

But perhaps it would help if we looked at “Memory” as a very unique and special gift from God. Because of the ability to remember and hold things in my mind, I can recall the wonderful times, the special times we had together, the 50 years of history that we created together. I can remember the teachings about heaven, and I realize that’s where Dave is now living. He no longer deals with cancer or suffering, and yes, I believe he remembers our life together, too. Being able to remember his smile, his heavy walk, the many wilderness camping trips we did, how much he loved his dogs, and how he sounded when he was preaching is a gift to me. I was reminded today that there were many things that Jesus’ mother pondered in her heart. I, too, can hold many things in my heart because of the wonderful gift of memory. My memories will always be with me, close to my heart, making me smile, and sometimes making me cry.

This morning I recalled how much Dave loved to get a good photo! There’s one picture of a much younger me sitting out on a rock on the edge of a very high bluff. Only Dave could have talked me into climbing out there to pose for him! But the view from that high point, perched over a river was worth being terrified, because he got his photo! Our daughter laughs with me about her Dad running across the inside field of her track to get photos of both the start and finish of her race! She also remembers his running from the start of a Marathon to the other side of a park to catch her coming around a curve! We laughed together as we remembered people saying, “Amy! There goes your Dad!”

If you’re struggling today, I challenge you to seek out the joyful memories. Someone once said, “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” God has given a beautiful gift that allows us to treasure those moments that have now become memories.

Philippians 4:8 – “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

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