Sunday, October 7, 2012

Memories, sweet memories...


Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind
Memories, sweetened thru the ages just like wine

Quiet thought come floating down
And settle softly to the ground
Like golden autumn leaves around my feet
I touched them and they burst apart with sweet memories,
Sweet memories

Of holding hands and red bouquets
And twilight trimmed in purple haze
And laughing eyes and simple ways
And quiet nights and gentle days with you

Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind
Memories, sweetened thru the ages just like wine,
Memories, memories, sweet memories

When Elvis sang about these sweet memories, I doubt that he was feeling as anxious as I do right now writing about memories.  Because I have a problem.

I have memories.

And many of them are sweet.

And there is, at times, a part of me that wants to dwell on them.

Sometimes, these memories sneak up on me.

And I find myself reminiscing, before I realize what is happening.

Twice this happened, and twice I confessed them to my husband, at the risk of hurting him.

For the sake of our marriage, and the alliance we share, I told him that I caught myself thinking about the other man.  About something that happened in the past.  Sometimes it is just a thought...his name.  Other times, it is specific.  I HATE having these memories.

Because I don't want to remember something that caused so many people so much pain and anguish.

And because I know that if I indulge in the memories, it becomes sin.

The memories themselves are not a sin.

But I fear them.

I drive down a certain road near my house and memories swallow me.  My solution is to stop driving that route.  Or, I avoid specific stores, for fear I might see this man or the woman that I stole seven and a half years from.

Fear and memories.

Those are the strongholds that Satan has in my life right now.  At least, they are the two that we have now identified.  The fear issue was identified quite a while ago, and we have yet to really tackle that issue.  Fear is a big part of my life.  It affects how I live my life, it affects how I interact with people.  There is a lot of paranoia that stems from this fear that has a hold in my life.  I'm not avoiding tackling the issue.  But the last few counseling sessions have taken their own turns and they have been what we needed at the time.  But I will admit that I am terrified to deal with my fear.  I'm afraid of fear.

Beyond that, at this past counseling session, Tony identified that I have put a wall up between myself and my memories surrounding the affair and this other man.  When a memory comes--and believe me, they do--I quickly dismiss it and pray that God will take it away.  I text/chat/call/email Kris and tell him about it, because I don't want Satan to have anything to lure me away, and because this is how our alliance works.  Something happens, we're tempted or struggling with thoughts, and we tell each other.  THIS IS ESSENTIAL!

In theory, forcing the memories aside seems like a good course of action.  When I explained it to Tony this week, however, he pointed out that in NOT dealing with the memories, I am essentially letting them have power over me.  So even though I am bringing them into the light, Satan can still use them.  Because I don't allow myself to experience the memory.

So what is the solution?

Tony's answer was short and to the point.  Just like it was on Good Friday.

Jamie, let yourself have the memories.

You see, he explained that the memories are a part of my past.  Which is part of my story.  I can't change them.  I can't take them away or make them un-happen.  They just ARE.  They are there and I have to figure out what to do with them when they come.

And the first thing to do is to let them come.

Not surpress them.

As soon as Tony suggested that I should let myself experience the memories (and not in an indulgent way), it made sense.  I DID have a wall up.  Similar to the wall I had put up between myself and God, I was putting a wall up between myself and my memories.  I didn't want to remember...because I knew that that part of my life was behind me.  It was in the past. It was forgiven.

But there is still collateral damage.  And I believe that these memories are collateral damage.  Just like the broken friendships that have resulted from the affair.

So what do I do with them?

I have to let myself have them.  I can't keep stopping them and pushing them down.  If you do that for too long, you will at some point explode.  Your mind can only handle so much.  Suppressing things is NEVER good for anyone.  I don't care what you tell yourself.  It might be OK in the moment, but in the long run, it can do lasting damage.

So now that I know this is an issue in my life, I have to learn to navigate through the memories.  I have to let myself have the memories when they come.  And as Tony suggested, I need to look at it as an opportunity to be broken once again, before the feet of Jesus.  To be humble and acknowledge my sin.  To acknowledge those I hurt.  Instead of indulging in the memories, I can surrender them to Jesus and let him take them, just like he did my punishment.  How comforting and encouraging to know that I can do this!

When the memories assault me, I can surrender them and remind myself that I am forgiven.  That I am not that person.  Those memories and that sin does not define me!  God makes Beautiful Things.  Thank you for teaching me that, Gungor (and God!).

I no longer have to fear these memories.

I don't have to suppress them.

I have to let them come, and rather than indulge in them, I have to lay them at the foot of the Cross.  I have to acknowledge that I am a sinner and that what I did was wrong.  And I have to remember that I AM REDEEMED!


  1. You are forgiven and redeemed Jamie. I fully understand the memories issue. Before I married my Beloved, I lived in habitual sexual sin, not that much different than Rahab; just minus the pocketbook! It was hard to overcome all those memories and bad choices but with God, it became possible. I haven't written about this on my blog yet, but I will someday.
    The verse that I clung to that helped me through my past is this one. I love the verb tense for the word, "forgetting" because it's an on-going thing that Paul, the chief sinner, had to do.
    Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead. Phil. 3:13

    1. You're exactly right. And it further cements this idea that I need to let the memories come and then keep up with the process of forgetting. Thanks for the verse!

  2. So wonderful that your husband extends grace to you just as The Lord does. The more you think of those memories and release them to Jesus, you'll feel freer and the enemy will know that he does not have a stronghold in your life from the past sin of which you have been forgiven.

    1. Absolutely! My husband is a really good man. I am truly blessed.

  3. Isn't it a blessing to be redeemed? Don't forget God's sweet forgiveness, dear Jamie!

    1. It really is! I am reminded often and grateful for each time God opens my eyes wider to his beauty and grace and mercy.