I didn’t expect to take a stroll down memory lane this week.
My intention was to tear into my office. And, I certainly did so.
I cleaned. I sorted. I filed. I emptied. I discarded. I removed everything from my walls, from the floors, from my desk top. I started over as if it was a brand-new office.
As I inspected and sifted through every file, box, and cabinet, I was surprised to find many treasures of my past.
Some were tremendous treasures. Pictures that my now grown children once made for me, cheering me on in my former goals. High school and 80’s memorabilia. Photographs of simpler times. Personal recognition and achievement certificates. I even found brochures of places our family vacationed when I was a child. Fond memories followed each one.
Some of these treasures showed progress, and personal and spiritual growth. Journals detailing what was once important to me. Documentation of God working in my life. Photos of moments where God saved me, rescued me, changed me. These were to me like the altars some built in Old Testament times to remind them what God had done in their lives.
Yet, some of these brought me completely to tears. Moments depicting the reality of how fast time has gone before me. Evidence staring me straight in the face of how much I used to live for myself, my goals, and my dreams. Photos of my now deceased parents. Missing them doesn’t begin to describe the hollowness that lingers inside me… their presence, their love, their influence, their comfort is direly longed for most days. Especially this week.
One such photo shot daggers to my heart. It was of my brother and my mom, taken during the months she was recovering from a cardiac arrest in a local senior care facility. The look on her face is what got to me. It wasn’t her normal, happy countenance, but a incredibly sorrowful, and somber expression. It nearly broke my heart.
And the enemy of my soul began his bantering:
“You weren’t there for her.”
“You didn’t do enough for her.”
“It’s your fault she was unhappy.”
You can imagine the tears that followed. I loved my mom so very much. As I shared all of this with my husband last evening, he reminded me of truth:
“You were there with her every single day.”
“You were the one to give her hope and encouragement.”
“You did all you could do for her… and more.”
“You two had a very special relationship. Not many people have ever experienced something like what you two had.”
And what impacted me even greater were his words,
“God has used your past to form you into who you are today. Don’t spend time second-guessing it or yourself. Instead, live in the moment He’s giving you now.”
Friend, this goes for you, too.
The enemy will always do his best to stir up the past and cause us to feel guilty, remorseful, discouraged, worthless. He reminds us of our past failures and falls. He knows there’s nothing we can do about the past. It’s over. But he’ll do all he can to torment us with it today.
He’s good at blinding us of our past successes and monumental moments to the point all we can see is the negative and unfavorable. He’ll even plant thoughts of untruths in our minds, hoping that in moments of weakness, we’ll believe them.
And often we do.
But not today. Today let’s peer into our past with different eyes. Eyes to see how God has used our pasts to grow us, shape us, form us into who we are today. Eyes to see truth, and not ones that are blinded by our enemy’s lies. Eyes to embrace the healing that comes with repentance. Eyes of thankfulness and praise for being able to live in the moment God is giving us right now.
We weren’t meant to stay in the past, friend. We are meant to live in the moment.
Let’s keep walking this road together.
Linking with Suzie Eller, Jennifer Dukes Lee, and Holley Gerth. Stop by these incredible spaces to find more encouragement!
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Yes, those beautiful memories can, indeed, turn into a dreaded moment, a tearful thought, a guilt trip, and so much more. Yes, right now is where God wants us and there is no better place nor time. I spend too much time in tomorrow too. Thanks for such a healthy reminder! So thankful you are my neighbor at Suzanne’s today.
Caring through Christ, ~ linda
ps…your brochures brought up some family vacations when I was a kid. Mostly good memories arose!
Hi Linda! Thank you for stopping over. I’m thankful God gives us what we need, right when we need it. This reminder is timely, and I’m thankful God used my husband to speak it to me. Have a blessed day, friend!
Oh how the Enemy loves to steal our joy in the present, doesn’t he? It’s so easy to allow ourselves to slip into the guilt and the lies that distract us from living full today.
“We weren’t meant to stay in the past, friend. We are meant to live in the moment.” YES, YES, YES!
Thank you for this today! #livefreeThursday #liveinthenow
Hi Crystal! Yes, the enemy loves to steal our joy. Praying you’re living in the moment today! Blessings to you!
Love this! Wonderful post! It spoke to my heart, thanks!
Thanks, Mikki Jo. I appreciate you stopping by. Glad this spoke to your heart. Blessings!
I can sure relate as I had to clean out my classroom of 32 years of memories. The journey I took went up, down, all around. Tears, laughter, successes, and failures came flooding back and back is where I tend to visit too often. Thank you for your wise words reminding me to live in the moment!
Wow, Cindy, I can only imagine what you experienced cleaning out your classroom. Bless your heart. Thanks for sharing some of your story here. I’m honored. Thank you also for stopping over! Hugs to you!
Julie, I think we all could use this reminder now and again! We need to remember to live in the moment and not in the past. And the Rocky Mountains are one of my all-time favorite places in the world! I attend a continuing education event every June in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. It is there I truly experience Sabbath and rest. Love you friend!
Yes, living in the moment is what I needed to be reminded of, for sure! Thank you for sharing some of your story here, friend. God bless you!
Oh Julie, those memories are such a powerful reminder of how quickly time flies by.
They sure are, Suzie! Thank you for stopping by and for hosting #livefreeThursday!
So good. Thank you for sharing your story and the lesson that came from it. #livefreeThursday
Thanks, Michelle for stopping over. Bless you!
This reminder to focus on the good of who we are, not those negative voices that steal away the fruits of the spirt we–as children of God– must claim as ours! How I know the bad feelings (I had some this morning) of things I didn’t do well..what a beautiful reminder your husband helped you remember..of just how you were there for your mom, and the deep love you had for her and shared. Memory lane is a tricky lane to travel, we must hold Jesus’ hand along the way. I’ll remember this post for my life ahead..I know I’ll pull memorabilia out of my dusty closet someday! Visiting from #Coffeefortheheart today! Wanted to say hi, too!
Hi Kathy! Yes, memory lane is a trick road to travel. I’m thankful I don’t have to travel it alone. God bless you, friend. It’s always a joy to read your words!