I took it from the rag pile. A small butter yellow bath hand towel. Faded from years of use and occasional bleaching. The edges were tattered. It would be perfect to wipe down the newly cleaned bathroom fixtures.
I walked into the bathroom and laid the yellow towel on the counter. Suddenly the memories came flooding back. A strong wave of emotion came over me. It was 1997 and I was in my house on Butterscotch Lane.
As clear as day, I remembered all of the towels we received as wedding gifts. Our towel colors were dark blue, butter yellow, and white. The yellow were my favorites. I kept those out for my bathroom.
By this point I’m a puddle and can’t even think about cleaning. I’m transported back in time. I am newly married and setting up house. Everything was new. I am beginning my forever life with the man I married. The man with whom I’d grow old.
It seems like just yesterday that I was a blushing bride walking down the path to say my vows at the beautiful Apple Farm. At that moment in time, everything seemed perfect. August 2, 1997.
I’m standing in the bathroom with this damn yellow towel and felt the urge to do the math. I was married for the first time 16+ years ago. Sixteen years????? Where has time gone? It was just yesterday. I was 34 and had the rest of my life ahead of me.
Another story for another day, but by 2006 I was packing up those yellow towels and moving back home… without my husband. He decided he’d rather do life alone. So, off I go to begin again and start over. In tow were a few things from that eight year journey.
Today I’m happily married to a man I fell in love with many, many years ago. It’s been nine years since my divorce. Plenty of time to get over it and leave it behind. Slowly, the things that came north with me have gotten broken or given away. The latest was the last of my crystal ice tea glasses. While it was only a glass, there were memories behind it. Needless to say, I had a small moment of emotion over that one.
So why the yellow towel? What did it trigger that brought emotions up so fresh and raw? How can a simple towel take me back in time? Then the questions start… Why? What if? Do I have regrets? Will I ever truly be over him? If a stupid towel takes me down, imagine if I were to see him in person? Would I be strong enough?
Emotions are crazy. Memories are powerful. Feelings are deep. Those three together can really reek some havoc. I guess today I needed to stop and process a bit more of something from my past. While I don’t live in the past, it still creeps up. So my little yellow towel, not only will wipe clean the bathroom, but will help me wipe clean a trail of emotions and memories that need to be sorted through, weeded out, and left behind… one more time.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and now to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
God’s got my heart right where He wants it. Currently, it’s nestled in the middle of an old yellow hand towel. I have to be willing and open to let Him use simple things like a tattered old towel to grow and change and heal me. No one ever said it would be easy.