Use special memories to shape your life
"But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
-- Luke 2:19 (NIV)
I recently celebrated my 65th birthday. What a memorable moment. Oh, it's not that I had a big celebration. Due to social distancing, this year's family party of three was among the smallest birthday parties I've ever had. Yet, it was as memorable and pleasant as many others.
I can recall another birthday party I had as a young girl. My mother threw a party with 27 kids from my class attending. It's a good thing it was a sunny day and we could have it outside. I remember the candles on my cake were small wax figurines of circus animals, such as elephants, lions and tigers. Another pleasant memory that stuck with me.
Like you, there are so many memorable moments from life that come to mind. I love to cherish and hold on to the heartwarming ones. They are our life story and become like a personal diary we carry with us.
Right now, because of my special day, birthday parties are at the forefront of my mind. Over the years, there were extraordinary celebrations; others were low-key and basically uneventful.
Besides birthdays, there are other milestones that come to mind. Graduations, holidays, weddings, and birthing my children are among the ones I like to ponder.
Others are of special co-workers and work experiences that shaped my life.
During this pandemic, my memory was jarred to reflect on a time when I was employed as an essential worker. Like many during the pandemic, I was a young nurse working in the pediatric unit of a hospital, caring for an infant with a highly contagious and sometimes fatal disease known as whooping cough. Dressed in my PPE's (an isolation gown, mask and gloves), I medicated the baby with infection-fighting medicines. I fed it nourishing meals and consoled the crying infant whenever I had a moment to spare. I wonder why out of all the patients I've cared for, this one is carved into my memory bank.
Only God knows why we recall the ones we do. I think it's because they marked us in some way. Some made us feel special. Others were traumatic and showed us how resilient we became. God uses the good ones and the bad ones to mold us into who we are.
I didn't start out being who I am today -- I am a total of my memorable times. And tomorrow, I will be different for the things I experience today, and the memories God will use from them.
This birthday, I'm taking the perspective of not only looking back on the good and bad of my life, but also, the amazing present in which I reside. Celebrating during a pandemic while social distancing and wearing a mask -- surely this will be one to remember.
Of my 65 years of memorable moments, the greatest one I recall is when I became aware of God's loving existence and the saving grace of his son. Living life connected to Him is something you can't forget. Remembering His goodness and faithfulness with each passing event, helps us to trust Him more. Even Mary, the mother of Jesus, pondered her life events with Him. I know many of you share the same precious experience.
God created us with the ability to remember. So let's use our remaining time to make some special memories. Although, we don't have perfect recall, I believe the occasions we do remember can be used to fuel us with faith and hope as we go forward into our future.
• Annettee Budzban is a Christian author, speaker, life coach and nurse. Contact her by emailing Annetfirstname.lastname@example.org or call (847) 543-8413. She is available to be your personal coach.