The Pictures

The Pictures.png

I don’t like moving. At all. Packing. Unpacking. Trying to figure out where to put stuff. It’s a mess! And, unfortunately, I’ve moved three times in the last three years. Six weeks ago, we moved into a much better, much bigger, much nicer, apartment. The day after I moved in, two of my boys were looking for an X-box remote. Picture two young men, taller than their mom, standing on chairs and leaning over boxes, looking for one item.


              “Um, mom. Why do you have a bag of dirt?”


              “It’s sand and shells from our trip to California.”


              “Why do you have all these rolls of undeveloped film?”


              “Because I’ll develop them one day.”


Needless to say, we were all laughing and having a great time. But, it made me consider all the stuff I carried with me from home to home. Memories packed away in newspapers and cardboard, waiting to be discovered again. In fact, I had hundreds of pictures, stuck away in a plastic container, under my bed. It stayed in that container, collecting dust. But, after that Sunday, I decided those pictures were going to come out from hiding. I bought photo boxes, and I’m moving them into the living room, where anyone can open a box and see the stories.


Two young people, who fell in love.


Three boys being born.


Trips being taken.


Family members that have closed their eyes forever on earth.


A family falling apart.


A family being reborn.


I think I kept those old pictures tucked away because I didn’t like the woman in those pictures. The one hiding behind the fake smiles. It’s probably the reason I haven’t developed a dozen disposable cameras. I was worried about what I would see.


But now, I’m seeing those pictures through new eyes, and I’m seeing the story unfold. A great and amazing story. Psalm 138:16 says, “You saw who you created me to be before I became me! Before I’d ever seen the light of day, the number of days you planned for me were already recorded in your book. (TPT).”

Father God already knew everything about me. And about you. He knew every battle we would face, and He knew we would be single moms someday. He knows your story. A story of hope. A story of His amazing love over you and your children.

Sometimes, we must put those old memories away for a while. We need to allow ourselves to heal. And as that healing happens, we can decide what to do with those tokens from another life. Some of us may throw things away. Some of us may hold onto them for our kids. Or for ourselves. But, never hide your story. At some point, someone will need to see the snapshots of your life. They’ll need to know that they can have victory, too. Embrace the story that belongs to you and God. Hold onto hope.

Gwendolyn Irene