Our lives are filled with many emotions, but the main three are tears, smiles and memories. We cry and the tears ultimately dry. We laugh and the smiles eventually fade from view. The memories we create along the way will go on throughout our lives.
Some of the memories are painful. Some bring a smile to your face. Others can leave you feeling lonely and lost. You fall into the waiting arms of nostalgia and want to stay there forever. We can’t relive our fondest memories, but recalling them helps us to continue to live today and tomorrow.
I have a selective memory. It’s a good defense mechanism for me to forget about some of the not-so-good times. The problem with that is when we try to erase the ugliness, we eliminate some of the beauty in the process. Usually with the bad things, there is a tiny or huge lesson which will serve you well to learn for the future.
In my choosing to forget the difficult times, I know that I have also cleansed some of the greatest lessons. As we struggled in our early years of marriage – mostly due to financial issues – times were dark. Often we felt hopeless, especially when the mortgage payment came due. We managed to survive, but money always seemed to get in the way of our relationship and the bond we were trying to create for our family. Even now in our golden years, we struggle to make ends meet, but we carry on because we know what lies ahead is going to be so much better.
I think that every marriage has its struggles. It can have to do with a number of things – the death or illness of a child, financial issues, sexual issues, unfaithfulness, depression, drugs or alcohol, secrets and lies and on and on. Yet if the marriage is going to be solid and stand the test of time, the couple needs to work at it. It, like anything else worthwhile, must be nourished, counseled, directed and bound by God. Those things are not going to guarantee a great marriage, but they certainly will make it easier.
As we press on, the challenges will change. The problems may become lessened. The conflicts aren’t as intense as you grow older. You simply don’t have the energy to partake in them. God is working on us until we draw our last breath. He’s preparing us, for the glory of paradise. He is directing, counseling, nourishing and holding us tightly today so that we can be with Him forever in eternity.
We can try to hide from our past; we can cover our hurt by not talking about it or simply forgetting it; we might ease the pain temporarily by doing so – but everything that happens in this life has a purpose – even our memories, our tears and our laughter.