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The Greatest Love Story of my Life

Updated: Mar 16, 2021

God so often uses song lyrics to speak to my spirit. Today is no exception. And the song He caused to float to the surface of my mind today is 'Do You Know Where You're Going To' by the great Diana Ross. In case the lyrics don't jump right to your mind (I know, right?!) the song goes a little like this...

Do you know where you're goin' to?

Do you like the things that life is showin' you, where are you goin' to? Do you know?

Do you get what you're hopin' for, when you look behind you, there's no open doors

What are you hoping' for? Do you know?

Once we were standin' still in time, chasing the fantasies that filled our minds.

You know how I loved you but my spirit was free, laughin' at the questions that we once asked of me.

Do you know where you're goin' to? Do you like the things that life is showin' you, where are you goin' to? Do you know?

Now looking back at all we've planned, we let so many dreams just slip through our hands.

Why must we wait so long before we see, how sad the answers to those questions can be.

Do you know where you're goin' to? Do you like the things that life is showin' you, where are you goin' to? Do you know?

Do you get what you're hopin' for, when you look behind you, there's no open doors

What are you hopin' for? Do you know? (credit

These song lyrics might bubble up memories of past romantic encounters filling space in your mind... or you might reminisce on what the meaning this song spoke to your heart so many years ago... you might reflect on the painful memory of a love lost that was never resurrected... or you might ruminate on the dreams you held that you felt, with every fiber of your being, got squashed before they even had a chance to breathe life. I am the first in line to acknowledge that song lyrics can have over a million different interpretations dependent on the memory bank that it filters through. For me, today, as God brings this song to the surface of my mind, it filters through my memory bank of the greatest love story of my life. The relationship that I've had with myself. This love story spans my entire life thus far, from my very first breath to this very moment in time. Time and again, no matter peaceful, serene moments in time... or desolate, dark moments in time... God has asked me this question (ever so gently): 'Do you know where you're goin' to? Do you like the things that life is showin' you, where are you goin' to? Do you know?'

This song conjures up memory clips spanning my lifetime. One memory clip is of me riding my pink Huffy bike along Highway 99, our bikes riding single file along the thin edge of the highway with cars and big semis whooshing past us, as my siblings and I journeyed to Greenberry Market miles away from our home. A memory clip of me walking side by side with my older brother in Scio, popping hot tar bubbles under our bare feet as the sun warmed our faces and our shared hurts spilled out of our hearts. Another memory clip is of me, walking alone in the rain, my jean jacket and purple hightop Converse sneakers so soaked through that I made sloshing sounds as I took each step forward- without direction, so lost in life but so in love with the rain of the Willamette Valley. A memory clip of me reclining on the hood of my best friends car as we took a break from cruising the gut in Albany, purposefully stopping time to gaze up at the night sky and to make wishes on the stars floating above us of our most secret dreams of what we wanted life to be like (and to feel like)- even though neither of our lives looked (or felt) anything close. A memory clip of a cold hospital room, hot tears falling from my eyes, as I parted lives with my baby... the baby I didn't know was growing inside of me while I numbed myself repeatedly with alcohol, LSD, white lines, and pills. A memory clip of my baby boy being shown to me for the very first time, feeling a hot tear slide down my face, a tear that I couldn't even lift my arm to wipe away, as I felt a both a deep aching sadness for a baby lost and a love so infinite and enrapturing for this sweet, completely perfect little human that had just been removed from my body. A memory clip of playing by the John Day River with my little boy, feeling myself take a deep cleansing breath as I listened to his sweet giggle, becoming aware for the first time that I felt like I could actually breathe without feeling pain in my heart. A memory clip of gazing at my reflection in the mirror, unable to meet my own eyes, as I felt overwhelmed as if I was drowning in my own disgust, hatred, and self-loathing mixed with heavy, hard to swallow dose of regret. A memory clip of hearing the on-call delivering doctor say, 'I can see her head crowning' and I hadn't even known that all those months inside my growing belly had been my daughter, a sweet, perfect, innocent little human that I felt I truly didn't deserve. A memory clip of each devastating miscarriage spanning eleven years... losing baby, after baby, after baby, after baby, after baby- feeling so shattered inside with no one to answer my desperate question, 'Did my body reject this perfect, tiny human? Or did this perfect, tiny human reject my body... and me with it?'. A memory clip of feeling this slicing pain rip through my body where my uterus used to be, seeing and hearing my doctor and the attending nurse speak about me as if I weren't there or aware of this life-altering surgery that could now not be undone. A memory clip of a dream, so vivid and clear, of feeling my baby turn over in my belly with that butterfly tickle that only a pregnant mommy knows, and then waking up to the painful (so very painful) reality that it had only happened in a dream- and that it would possibly be the very last time I would ever (ever) experience that butterfly tickle in my belly. A memory clip of me sitting on the cold floor of our kitchen with our Augie dog, her sweet head laying so heavy in my lap as I petted her soft fur, tears rolling down my face when I felt her body gently pull away from mine to let my heart know that her life was coming to an end, and that even though she had been my faithful companion, my secret keeper, our protector, and my closest friend- she was tired and ready to start her new life apart from me (and us) in doggy heaven. A memory clip of seeing my kids graduate high school, feeling so very proud inside that I thought I just might burst, hot tears running down my face watching them proudly take hold of their diploma, accomplishing something I myself was never able to do. A memory clip of being in my car, windows down and stereo up, seeing a stretch Hummer limousine lit up in blue against the night sky, traveling down the Southern California freeway opposite my lane... and smiling a smile I didn't even know as I felt my spirit come alive in a new way inside of me. A memory clip of pain, and healing, and heartbreak, and new life, and grand babies, and 12 steps, and no steps, and sunrises, and snow storms, and rain... beautiful, beautiful rain.

God: Do you know where you're goin' to?

Me: (big sigh) No, I only know where I've been.

God: Do you like the things that life is showin' you?

Me: (big sigh followed by a smile) I am in love with this greatest love story of my life.

God: Where are you goin' to? Do you know?

Me: (big sigh followed by a smile followed by a heart wide open) Wherever you are taking me!

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