Saturday, January 12, 2013

Making new memories

Last night began a 24 hour birthday celebration for my husband, Kris.  A few days ago, I told him that I couldn't even remember what we did last year for his birthday.  He responded, with a sad look in his eyes, "I do."  It was then that I remembered we had spent the evening with friends that he would rather forget.  It brought to the forefront of my mind all of my sin and shame, as I remember WHO it was that had shared his birthday with us.  So ever since then, this thought of making new memories has been on my mind.

The truth is, Kris and I have been making new memories for almost a year.  Our birthdays, which occur within 3 weeks of each other, are just two more days that we can use to make new memories.  My birthday was also spent with that same person.  You know the one I'm speaking of.  The one I should not have been with.  So, as Kris' birthday approached, and mine is nearing, it is extremely important to me that Kris and I make new memories, and that they are filled with each other.  That they are filled with reminders that we are committed to each other, and to our marriage.

I've been listening to music, almost nonstop for a week.  It has been intentional.  I know, I know.  You're thinking, "When does Jamie NOT listen to music?" church has been participating in a church-wide Daniel Fast since Sunday.  One of the things that I decided to give up was audio books.  I listen to books when I drive to and from work sometimes, but mostly, during the day while I am working.  I chose to give those up, in place of only listening to the local Christian radio station, Pandora, or the Christian music that is on my phone/Google music.  It is a way for me to really be constantly thinking about Jesus, his love and grace, and forgiveness.  It has been an amazing experience!

Through it, I heard a song (shocking, I know!) that just stopped me in my tracks.  I'm surprised I didn't burst into tears right there at my desk at work.  Because every time I have heard it since then, I just cry.  And one of the things that I love about music is that, like poetry or movies, it can be open to interpretation.  And so instead of taking this song as it was, I am going to share it with you in a new way.  Instead of in order, I'm taking the phrases or words that really hit home with me, and I'm constructing them into my own love letter to my husband for his birthday.  I already played the song for him last night, because I'm impatient and can't wait...but this is what I really want to say about the song, that I couldn't tell him sitting in the van together last night.

It's called "Love Remains the Same" by Gavin Rossdale, and this is my love letter to my husband, who is 34 today.  Happy birthday, Lover!

My amazing husband and best friend,

A thousand times I've seen you standing
Gravity like lunar landing
You make me want to run til I find you
I shut the world away from here
I drift to you, you're all I hear
As everything we know fades to black"

I listen to these words, and I think about the emails you sent to me after I left home last February.  I think about your loving words, your compliments and the way that I could hear through your words that you were a changed man.  I wanted to run to you.  I wanted to find you.  Though I had seen you standing a thousand times before, I wanted to see this new man standing before me, and I would run as far as I had to, just to get to you.

Instead of spending one last day with another man, I wanted to shut the world away and drift back to you.  Your words were all I heard.  And really, everything we knew did fade to black.  THAT is why I came home to you a day earlier than I told you I would.  These words encompass the reason I gave up extra time I could have spent saying goodbye, and came home to you instead.  You were all I could see.  Your words were all I could hear.  And when I came home, everything we knew faded to black, didn't it?

While I was staying at Jennifer's, trying to decide what path I would take, this is exactly how I felt:

Half the time the world is ending
Truth is I am done pretending
I never thought that I
Had anymore to give
You're pushing me so far
Here I am without you

I knew, deep down, that I was done pretending that living two lives was something I could keep doing.  I was done fighting against myself, and ready to start fighting for my marriage.  But the problem was that I really didn't think I had anything left to give. I was so broken, and so hurt.  I was alone and devastated over everything I had done, and I wasn't sure what I could even offer to you when I came home.  You were pushing me, loving me when I was unlovable.  Forgiving what was unforgivable. You pushed me so far, but as it turns out, as I sat there without you, that pushing is what I needed to choose YOU.

While I don't believe that the writer of this particular song meant the following lyrics the way I heard them, I don't really care.  They fit with our story.  They fit with where we were in those early days, and the life we have been sharing together.

Drink to all that we have lost
Mistakes we have made
Everything will change
But love remains the same

Everything was about to change.  I was terrified of you, and of love itself.  I knew that your love had remained the same.  But I would learn that we would drink to what we had lost.  We would use the mistakes we made to teach us what love really meant.  We would learn, from doing it all wrong, how to do it right.

So much more to say
So much to be done
Don't you trick me out
We shall overcome

There was so much more to say when I came home.  A lot of work to be done.  There were many things we both had to change.  Lessons we needed to learn and things that God wanted to teach us.

I love this line, "We shall overcome."  1 John 1:3-5 says, "In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands.  And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world.  This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.  Who is it that overcomes the world?  Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God."  We SHALL overcome!

We should've had the sun
Could have been inside
Instead we're over here
Half the time the world is ending
Truth is I am done pretending
Too much time, too much defending
You and I are done pretending

You know, we spent so long inside ourselves, inside our minds.  In darkness.  We could have had the sun.  We SHOULD have had the sun.  But we allowed sin to cloud our vision, and we lived too many years in darkness.  We spent too much time defending what we thought brought us happiness.  But what I love the most is how you and I both know that WE ARE DONE PRETENDING.  We know what God has done for us and for our marriage.  We know the difference between truth and lies, and we're living in the light of the Son now!

And I couldn't be happier.  Through it all, through all of the hurt and all of the pain, love remained the same.  I am so grateful that we can see it now.  I'm thankful that we are living in truth and experiencing more blessings than we deserve or could have ever imagined.  God has been so good to us, and I can't think about what God has done in our marriage without being brought to tears.  I still get choked up thinking about how much I love you and how thankful I am for you, and for what God is doing in my heart.

So this year, on your birthday, know that I love you and I think you are the best man I have ever met.  We will make new memories.  Ones that are better than any we've ever had.  I cannot wait to celebrate many more birthdays and "firsts" with you as we travel on this journey together.  I know that the blessings will continue to overwhelm us with God's love and grace, and I am just so amazed at this second chance we have been given.  Happy birthday to my best friend and lover!  Let's drink to all that we have lost, mistakes we have made, and let LOVE remain the same!!!

For a thousand years,



  1. Thank you babe. God has been so good to us, and you are such a blessing to me. I look forward to each day of this journey we are on together. And all the years we lost and the mistakes that we made led to the place where we are at now, standing hand in hand and marveling at what God has done in us, through us, and for us.

  2. I love this LOVE story that the Lord is still writing. Keep at it, Kris and Jamie. Our God truly IS the God of second chances.

    May your new memories SO OUTSHINE the old memories as to make them disappear into utter blackness.


    1. Thanks Jason! I especially like your last statement and I echo that!!! I would love for nothing more than the old memories to be swept away and drown out by new ones!

  3. I know exactly where you are right now. I have a similar story. The truth is, that as we make new memories, the old ones do fade. There are some days (12 years later) that I cannot remember the other man's name. That is God's grace.

    I once read in Mike Glenn's book "The Gospel of Yes" that the thing that should be the most shameful, when redeemed by God, becomes our personal story of God's grace and love in action in our lives and that testimony can change the world, one person at a time.

    I know that this is true for my husband and I, and it can be for you and your husband as you move forward. Thank you for sharing and thank Heidi Kreider for showing me this blog.

    Be blessed!