The other night after working through some places of brokenness in our lives and marriage, Bridgette and I were sitting on the couch remembering our story together. Now … I KNOW we’re not alone out there in focusing on present situations while forgetting the narrative of our entire story together.
How easy it is during times of trial, heartbreak and longing to forget the origin and scope of our story. For instance, Bridgette and I were remembering the other night one of our first dates. It was the first date that Bridgette planned and she wanted it to be a big hit with me! She made me a fire in the back lot of her apartment complex and had the whole campfire date experience prepared: blankets, hotdogs, ketchup, marshmallows, music and smittens (these oversized gloves for two that I bought her that are for couples to hold hands in). Bridgette even let me start-up the fire and keep it going! To top the night off Bridgette wanted to show how ‘cool’ she was and wanted to light her toilet on fire with hairspray… it was major failure… no flames in the toilet and a lot of hairspray flushed down the toilet! It was a hilarious, romantic, and a heart-syncing experience that was deeply buried behind two years of engagement, marriage, traveling, pregnancy, and parenting.
We found telling that simple story brought forth the memory of the events. The simplicity, grace, and freedom to be goofy and fun together! When I asked Bridgette how that story made her feel this morning she said, “Younger, lighter, more free, sillier an innocence in relating. It reminded me that despite the responsibility of being a parent and wife, sometimes we need to just have some silly fun!” Memory is a powerful thing. It isn’t just some cognitive process of an event long in the past, but an alarm that awakens you to parts of your lives that have been dormant. Remembering your story reminds us that:
- For better or worse, times were not always like they are in the present. Memory of getting through rough times or enjoying the good times add perspective to the latest plot developments.
- We have a history together. This relationship is longer and deeper than the present feeling.
- The simplicity of being. In Seminary we find that theological simplicity comes at the far side of complexity. Remembering your entire stories in a relationship anchors you during times of complexity to the simple truth that you began with (and hope to return to): that you choose to love each other deeply, passionately, sacrificially.
* For more about what Love-Helps are all about, check out the introduction post.