Memory Lane

Memory Lane

So I decided to do something that I love to do; take a walk down memory lane. And this walk... really got me thinking. You see, everyone in my family knows that one of my favorite pastimes is to get out all of the old family photo albums; look at them, organize them, and force everyone in the room to reminisce with me! “Gather round family, let us ponder yesteryear”. I annoy them all so much it’s fabulous! And they are all in for a treat when I get out the old ViewCam… you know the Analog Video Camera which debuted on the market in1992; a big square with a screen in the back. We got ours in the late 90’s and it came everywhere with us; family vacations, school plays, little league games, pinewood derby races, you name it. Because technology has advanced so quickly it only takes a 10 minute set up with 10 different cords and adapters to connect late 90’s technology to the wizardry we have now… but it’s always worth it.  [I do know we can have them professionally converted… but where’s the fun in that?] But now because of technology, I can take those memories and create magic…. Video and photo reels that transition through memories synced to emotional music. Pure gold! It’s the iconic photomontages that replay in my head from every 90’s movie we watched on repeat. It is pretty much how I view life, one emotional photomontage at a time. Now thanks to Apple, Google and the Metaverse I can create these photomontages with a few taps of a screen and they look amazing and professional… and are always an instant tearjerker or at least something that makes you laugh until you cry.

After my dad passed away, I made it a reel and the song playing in the background fit perfectly. It was pictures and videos from the last 34 or so years. The lyrics that played in the background said… “the good times go by too fast”. And it got me thinking about the idea of good times and the fact that they do indeed go by too fast. All you are left with are the memories [and if you're lucky; also pictures and videos]. Memories of both the good times and the bad. This left me feeling sad, defeated and almost a little angry that times that are so good could be gone so quickly. 

But then I came to this realization that although those specific moments may be gone… but the impact will be in our lives forever. After I realized that… those sad, defeated, almost angry feelings dissipated and I was left with a full heart. Full of love, joy and thankfulness for all of the memories that make up the last 34 and half years of my life. 

That’s kind of like our relationship with God. God uses different experiences, events, challenges, and trials to mold us and shape us into who we are truly meant to be. It is so amazing to see what God will use and how he will use it. Sometimes it is so clear you know… iPhone 12 camera clear… Other times, it is like watching a converted Super 8mm video footage your eight year old brother took while laughing uncontrollably… [for those of you born in the 21st century… that footage is not always clear]. 

I think it is such a blessing when we can clearly see what God has led us through and how we are going to use it. I think about my time as a high school teacher… I truly believe it has prepared me to work with the youth and student groups in our church. There are so many people who shy away from working with teenagers… but me, it’s totally in my wheelhouse! 

Another… a somewhat painful experience that I always think back to- that I know that God led me through… was my first real highschool break up. When I was in middle school and high school, much to my parents disapproval I had a boyfriend for over three years. Then in 10th grade my family moved from New York to Florida. It was pretty hard to keep a long distance relationship alive before camera phones and social media… [although.. Thank the Lord I did not have those struggles as a teen…. Those were some rocky years without all of that]. I was a doe eyed 15 year old, who was smitten… completely and utterly “in love”... and over Christmas break… had her heart shattered… when I was “dumped” for another girl who lived in the same state. I remember spending the next few months in a depression, feeling so unworthy and unloved. I felt as if my heart was made of ceramic… and all of the pieces were broken into tiny shards that would never fit back together. I spent my days mourning the love I had lost and my nights crying hiding in the pantry eating all of the oreos I could find. I often think back and wonder… Did anyone notice all the missing oreos? That heartbreak led to a weight gain that did not do anything positive for my self esteem or sense of self worth… thanks Nabisco. Which later transitioned into poor decisions and bad relationships. All because I wanted to be loved. Although that childhood breakup definitely scarred me, my future relationships and confidence for years… It also gave me a true insight to “young love”. The amount of students and teenagers who I have had the opportunity to counsel over the past 20 years is astronomical. It took me years, but I finally realized, the love, self worth and affirmation I was missing would never be found in any boyfriend or relationship, but it was from our father God. In his Word he tells us that we are loved, cherished and honored. We are His handiwork. We are worthy, chosen, and we are his beloved sons and daughters. He has a plan and a purpose for each of our lives and sometimes it takes looking back down memory lane… to realize it.

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1 comment

Danielle, I’m so sorry that you felt that you couldn’t come to me. I guess it hard to compete with Oreo cookies. I love reading your blogs. You are a beautiful, brilliant woman. I love you very much! Mom


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