Milestones and Memories

We remember. As humans, we can’t help it. Some of us have better memories than others. But the simple fact of human existence is that we remember. Our brains are designed to evaluate and catalog information and events. Without this ability we would be like the Dori, lovable, memory-impaired companion of the father clown-fish in Finding Nemo. Extensive study has been done on what makes us remember, how to cultivate a better memory, how to forget or at least let go of the affects of painful memories, and how memories change us as individuals.

When God was separating the nation of Israel as his own special people, he gave them specific days and practices that they were to repeat as a way of remembering. These holidays and rituals were to remind future generations of the goodness and faithfulness of God. They were also to warn of the dangers of sin and rebellion. God knows we will remember. He wanted to direct the Israelites in ways to remember the important things. Looking back at events of the past and honoring God for His faithfulness in even the broken and painful times, is a way of allowing our memories to build in us a deeper trust in God.


This month is a time remembering for me for two reasons: Marshall turned 18! Yes I’m the mother of a young adult! What fun, and yet how nostalgic to look back at his baby pictures. How sweet to reminisce together over childhood birthday celebrations in Venezuela, Florida and finally here in Wisconsin. As we were looking through pictures, I saw one of our family taken just before the investigation into Joel’s criminal life began. I blurted out, “That was the last family picture we had in our normal life.” Marshall laughed. It’s an odd way to say it, but we all know that this life isn’t what would be measured as “normal.”

On Sunday we will celebrate 4 years since Joel’s release from prison. He has been home, longer than he was gone. We remember. We consider the journey and how far we have come together as a family in those four years. And we thank God.  Because even the painful memories, by his grace are being redeemed, are being used to hone us into his likeness, and drive us into his arms, reminding us of his continuing faithfulness!

What about you? What memories do you have that drive you into his arms?

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