Reminiscing on the past year and letting treasured memories live again:
When I told people a few weeks ago that I was headed to a chalet in the mountains for some much needed time alone, I often had a common response: “Alone? Are you sure you want to go alone?” I think back to other times when I have taken days out to spend time, seemingly on my own, and how beneficial they have been in my life. For me being alone didn’t seem like a strange thing but something that I craved every so often. After so many people making comments this time I began to wonder about my own sanity in heading up the mountain to find measures of personal healing and renewal on my own. The reality is that I was never actually heading up on my own. At the very least, I was going with my memory tank full of moments reminding me that I am loved.
Memories of being loved by others – It would take far too many pages to write all of the small and big things that people have done or said throughout my life that have clearly communicated to me that I am loved to the core. Arriving at the airport in my second European home a couple weeks ago was enough to bring a flood of memories of friends who have loved me through the years regardless of my position in life, what I do, and how I am feeling. It only took a couple of minutes to be reminded that I was loved for me and not for what I could give or do for someone else. If I compiled every other moment of being loved by family and friends I would have drowned in the bliss of it.
Memories of being loved by God – These are a little more complicated to explain. God relates to every person in a very unique way. As our Creator he knows us and knows how to best love us. We receive and build memories of this love when we humbly, vulnerably, and honestly seek him as our God and Father. The poem, Footprints, has touched the hearts of millions of people because it speaks to personal memories of God walking out daily love. It’s not hypothetical and it’s not just theological. Memories of being loved by God are as real as those of being loved by people (I could go on and on and on about this but I won’t). The Psalmists wrote often about the power of the memories of God’s love. A long standing favourite of mine is in Psalm 13:
But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise,
for he has been good to me.
Tucked away in the chalet I read the following:
Bonded people are able to tolerate, and to use constructively, time alone. Being alone does not mean they are isolated … bonded people have the love inside them for whomever they are attached to. They have it stored up in their emotional tank, and it multiplies itself through a lifetime. Because they are not afraid of being alone, they can accomplish many things. (Found in Chapter 3 of Changes that Heal by Dr. Henry Cloud)
My heart cried out, “Yes! Finally someone gets it!” Time alone is never isolation when you have been loved and have accepted that love. The days that followed were filled with recalling loving memories and participating in making new ones.
First posted on my previous blog in August 2013.