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a love story with new memories

March 22, 2015

Last week when I heard the lyrics “Give me rules, I will break them…” on a Christian radio station here in Atlanta, I Shazam-ed and downloaded the song immediately. Then I got distracted (probably by pretending to be Dale Earnhardt on 285) and forgot the song was added to my iTunes. UNTIL THIS AFTERNOON.

Y’all.

Jason Gray, you wrote this song for me.

Find it on iTunes, Spotify, use this link (http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=WKKG77NX)… however you want to listen to the song. Do so while reading these lyrics….

Give me rules
I will break them
Show me lines
I will cross them

I need more than
A truth to believe
I need a truth that lives
Moves and breathes

To sweep me off my feet, it’s gotta be

More like falling in love….

This afternoon I was ROCKING out in my living room, listening over and over and over and over. I can’t pick a favorite line in the song because the whole thing gives me chills but one of my favorites of the favorites is…

Love, love, love
Deeper and deeper, it was
Love that made me a believer

In more than a name
A faith, a creed
Falling in love with Jesus brought
The change in me

I had a girlfriend walk through a dark weekend a few weeks back and I was able to share some of my story with her and she said “How did you do it? How are you different now?” Whatever I told her was not near as eloquent as Jason Gray so that’s what I’m just going to stick with…. falling in love with Jesus brought the change in me.

When I look back on the past 17 months (yep, it’s been that long since I got the break up email)…. falling in love with Jesus is EXACTLY what has happened. Sure there have been tears and Truth and quitting an unhealthy job and friend break ups and a new city and a new job and new friendships (AMAZING FRIENDSHIPS). Even as I read “17 months” that I just typed, I have to laugh because Jesus has been wooing me for much longer than 17 months. If I go ALL the way back we can really say the love story started when I was in 6th grade. But y’alls time is way too valuable for me to go THAT far back. And since my love story with Jesus would be a 6,000 page novel or a 3 day movie I just want to focus on one beautiful aspect.

Making new memories. 

Whenever a place reminded me of a yucky moment or time or person or argument or bad decision- I just never went back. “I don’t need to go back there… the wings weren’t THAT good.” But coming back from Italy, heart broken, life shattered, I was in the same city, the same place where I had MANY good/bad/yucky/UGH memories. As you guys know from previous blog posts– this time- I didn’t run. I sat. Which included sitting in old memories and old places in order for God to redeem and restore my heart with new memories.

Here’s an example- my apartment is one mile from my ex’s office building. Yep, the same place I would pick him up for lunch dates and weekend vacays. I signed a lease on the apartment before I realized the close proximity. I have no doubt God blinded me until the lease was signed, sealed, and committed because if I had realized where I was renting an apartment I would have picked somewhere MUCH farther away. For several weeks I cried every time I sat at the red light looking straight into the windows of where his desk sat. But that only happened for a few weeks. Now my memories of the Panera near his office don’t include him… they include my sweet friend Jackie and a 3 hour “catch-up on life” conversation. I LOVE that God moved me here to this exact location. I LOVE that He blinded my eyes until it was “too late”. If I had known ahead of time, I wouldn’t have signed the lease for fear of the pain. And there would still be parts of Atlanta that I avoid because of said aversion to pain. Because of where I live…immersed in a life that was once dominated by him… there isn’t a place in Atlanta that still causes pain.

Or so I thought.

Friday afternoon, my precious Lindsey was leaving for Ecuador to share Jesus and her nurse skills with the people there. Since my calendar was meeting-less (miracle.) I decided I needed to hug her! Leaving the office, I got a rush of pain (for the record this “pain” was 5% of what I used to feel, almost to the point that I don’t even feel right calling it “pain”)… the last time I was heading to the International terminal I had a plane ticket to Rome in hand.

The last time I drove under this sign it was in the passenger’s seat of a silver Toyota Tacoma.

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The last time I saw this security gate I was waving goodbye to the man who I assumed was going to be my husband.

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But this time, 20 months later, I found Lindsey in the bathroom (for some reason I have a lot of healing moments in bathrooms…?) and we gave huge hugs (she is my favorite hugger) and jumped around and around and then I looked at her and said, “the last time I was here was with him.”

And all she said was “NEW MEMORIES!!!!!!!” and we jumped around and hugged some more.

She knows my story, she has a leading role in my story. She knows me. And in that moment she knew how special it was. She knew I was facing pain, letting Jesus give me a new memory to add to our love story.

20 months is a long time. It’s “silly” to think that a cafe in an airport could bring back such a flood of emotions. But the emotions are beautiful and this new memory is BEAUTIFUL.

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I love my Grey’s Anatomy reference for what happens when Callie (the orthopedic surgeon) is presented with a patient who has a broken bone that never healed correctly. What’s the first thing she (or any orthopedic surgeon will do??) BREAK THE BONE.

“Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice.” Psalm 51:8 ESV

God has been like an orthopedic surgeon with my heart. He broke me in areas that had never healed correctly (and continues to do so). When I looked to Him 17 months ago and said HELP. I am done. Do what You want in me, make me feel as much pain as possible, because I want to heal RIGHT this time… we faced A LOT of painful scenarios. Going back to places that brought up sucky memories was like God re-breaking bones in me in order to heal them and redeem them with new memories.

I never went into those places or situations alone. It was always a WE. He was there, with every single TERRIFYING step, and He provided people (like Linds!) to be His hands and feet to give me huge, ridiculous, love dripping hugs. And the JOY on this side of things. Y’all I just have no words.

Cause all religion
Ever made of me
Was just a sinner
With a stone tied to my feet

It never set me free, it’s gotta be

More like falling in love…

I’m pretty fond of this love story that Jesus has been writing for us. I’m thankful beyond thankful beyond thankful that He has showered me with grace to be FINALLY aware of the story He has been writing for quite some time…

“Oh, give me back my joy again;
    you have broken me—
    now let me rejoice.” Psalm 51:8 NLT

xoxo, va

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