First love

It was bound to happen. I’d been hanging out there for a few months so I was sure to bump into him.

Or at least His memory.

It was Monday and I was running down a gravel country road about 1.5 miles away from home. Just like that – the song on my 80’s pop play list jumped ahead and I was back in the summer of 1986 and in the arms of the love of my 16 year old life. I’ve been stuck on this play list since I discovered the completion of my runs has everything to do with the music blasting in my ears. 1980’s music is the soundtrack of my teenage years and the upbeat rhythms of Michael Jackson, Bryan Adams and Rick Springfield fit the bill.

Raise your hand if you are old enough to remember cassette tapes you shared with your teenage love – the one that held all of your songs and especially “the song.” The names of you and your person were written on the label in black sharpie with hearts around them. The making of the tape took time, effort and money. They were gold.

Me – right here. Had one and had a Song.

The Glory of Love by Peter Cetera – former lead singer of the Classic Band Chicago. He left the band in 1986 and went on to record 8 solo albums. Thanks Wikipedia. It was his first hit single that I had not heard in years that sent me down a rabbit trail of memories that helped me push through at least a good 3/4 of a mile of my run.

This boy that filled my memories for a few minutes last Monday was my first love. We dated for four years and all our high school friends thought we were a forever couple. People were shocked when we went our separate ways after our sophomore year of college but we knew it was for the best. My daughter recently asked me if the break up was hard.

Did I cry?

Did I have regrets?

The first answer was yes. The second answer was no. And thats what I thought about when the tune started playing.

There is this beautiful gift in life that can sometimes only come with the passing of time. This means the longer one lives the more of this gift they should have. It gives one the ability to look at a circumstance from all sides to recognize the beauty in the middle of the pain. To see the joy in the midst of the sorrow.

Its called Perspective and I enjoyed a bunch of it as my feet pushed through my morning run.

As I reflected on that teenage romance that held so many firsts I found myself full of gratitude. I hold so many sweet memories from the years I dated this boy. From the awkward first date to praying his dad wouldn’t be the one to answer the phone when we would have our nightly phone calls to formal dances, football games and dreaming of the future. It was in that season that we both realized what was most important to us and it was that realization that lead us to the revelation that our time together would not be a forever but still a very important foundation for our futures.

My husband and I are getting close to celebrating 30 years of wedded bliss. It may seem strange that I allowed myself the brain space to reminisce about an old boyfriend – one that many thought would be my husband. I want to suggest that surrendering a bit of time to reflect on our pasts, whether they are filled with joy, sorrow or a healthy mix of both is never a waste of time.

What my glimpse into the past revealed…

  1. I’m glad I loved – I allowed myself the vulnerability to share my life with another person.
  2. I’m glad I lost it. I learned that despite deep sadness over broken relationships – life will go on.
  3. I’m glad I made mistakes – I needed this for my future as a parent. Holding tight to the reality that despite trying to do the best I could – my choices were not always wise.
  4. I’m glad I received grace. I see it in the ways God guided me through that season and brought me safely to the life I have today. He was so good to continue to show up ready to lead despite my attempts to go it on my own.

When the song started playing I almost skipped ahead. I didn’t need to be reminded of an old boyfriend. That’s silly. But I was about to receive the benefits of that gift, you know the one I mentioned that comes with the passing of time?

Yep – Perspective.

As I let the song play the focus on one young man in my past actually lead me to another – the one that was with me then and is still with me now. The one who yearned to be part of my teenage days and the one who strengthens me as I now parent teens. The one who lead me to the perfect husband and father. The one who shows me his Glory in the way he loved me when he died on the cross and the way he rose victoriously from the grave. How sweet to know my Lord was with me then and he is with me now and will be with me forever.

hmmm somebody should write a song about that……

” I am the man who will fight for your honor.

I’ll be the hero you’re dreaming of.

We’ll live forever

Knowing together

That we did it all for the glory of love.”

Peter Cetera – The Glory of Love

Let Jesus restore the soundtrack of your past as he prepares you for your glorious future and sustains your perfect presence. He is good and he will do it.

My forever love:)

One thought on “First love

  1. This was sweet Beth. I love your perspective on this! You have made me rethink how I deal with memories when they pop to mind. Perhaps, instead of feeling guilty, I should embrace them a little more & focus on gratitude. This was a good reminder to see how God has used those experiences to help shaped me into being the person I am today.


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