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.”
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.