Why I Need to Live in the Past

Transparency moment: Last week was rough. And I did not handle it very well. Isn’t it crazy how the smallest annoyance can ruin your whole day if you let it? And heaven forbid if there are multiple annoyances in the day. I’ve found myself complaining. A lot. And most frequently, it seems, about things that don’t matter in the long run. I’m glad that the Lord’s mercies are new every morning. Because I know I’ve exhausted all the mercies in every day this past week.

I’m finding myself more stressed about finances, family, and any other number of things that just seemed to go wrong lately. My knee hurts and isn’t fully functional. My son has been a special handful. I question my usefulness these days.

‘The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.’ – Lamentations 3:22-23

God's faithfulnessSomething about all that I’ve been experiencing reminded me of a blog I had several years ago. I went through some trying times during the period that I wrote that blog. Over a span of about six months, I experienced cancer surgery for my grandmother, the breakup of a three-year relationship, a job loss, a cancer scare for my dad, the illness and death of my aunt, a broken hand. It was a lot. But somehow, I think I complained less then than I am now. Pretty sad, huh? I went back and read a blog post that I wrote shortly after I lost my job back then and it contained some very pertinent reminders. I want to share the text of it with you.

(The following was originally published at www.edierowland.blogspot.com on February 1, 2009)

What I’m Learning…

This past week has been one of the roughest I’ve had in a long time. I’ve been through some difficult things in my life, and you always think that you are strong enough to handle anything, but then life knocks you down a few notches and you realize that you’re not as independent and invincible as you sometimes think you are. I lost my job of 6 1/2 years due to the continued economic mess and further cutbacks. Even though in the back of my mind, I always knew that anything was possible and I tried to prepare myself for whatever might happen, I was still shocked and saddened by it. I still haven’t completely gotten over the event itself and having something that was such a big part of my life for so long be suddenly ripped away in a matter of moments. I woke up Friday morning at my usual time without an alarm clock and didn’t quite know what to do. It’s not that my identity was ever wrapped up in my job, but I think that little TV station became as much a part of me as I was of it, and it’s as if there’s a big hole in my life now.

In the last few days since all of this happened, I’ve been learning some things that I want to share with all of you.

I’m learning that when all you have is Jesus, Jesus is all you need. I’ve sung a song with those words, but it’s a lot different when you live it. Although, having the support of people that He sends your way doesn’t hurt the cause any. Which brings me to…

I’m learning that you find out how many friends you have at the lowest points of your life. There are people in this world who you may not even know care about you, but they do. And they’ll show you when you need it most. From the many, many messages from people who tell you they are praying for you, they will help any way they can, they know you can do it. The people who have offered job references, from here to Virginia to Indiana and beyond. The people who share Bible verses, articles, and inspirational writings just when you need it most, even in the middle of the night. The people you leave behind who make you feel missed and valued at a time when you’re feeling so dispensable. The hugs from people who have never hugged you before. And those friends who just say, “Come hang out with me for a while,” because they know you just don’t need to be alone right now.

I’m learning that sometimes you can’t hear God’s voice until you are at a point where you have to listen. And that if you don’t have the time to spend with Him that you should, hold on and there’s a chance He’ll provide you all the time you need. And you’ll find out that on your knees and in His Word is where you should have been all along.

I’m learning that some of life’s greatest adventures come in the situations that seem like they should be the most devastating. That when we get into our comfort zones in the safety and security of the norm sometimes it causes us not to dare to dream or seek greater opportunities. But when that safety and security are gone and you’re hanging by end of that rope, guess what? You’re gonna swing. And it can be the most thrilling ride of your life. You can envision possibilities that you would never have before. It’s scary and exciting all at the same time, but regardless of what happens, you know your life won’t be the same.

I’m learning that there are few things you can count on in this world. And you know what? Your job isn’t one of them. Your bank account isn’t one of them. The government certainly isn’t one of them. Faith…family…friends. Those are the three things you can rely on even in the most uncertain times. We have to work to provide for ourselves and, in some cases, our families. And it’s great to enjoy what we do for a living. But don’t wrap yourself up in your work so much that you miss out on what’s really important. Your company can remove and/or replace you in a matter of moments. No one can ever take your place among those who care about you. So wrap yourself up in your relationship with God, with your family, with your friends. Because if everything else goes away tomorrow, that’s what will remain.

I know they say you shouldn’t live in the past. But I have to say, I’m reading this old blog and wishing I had the same attitude on those not-so-good days in the present. Sometimes it’s okay to remember. We don’t want to wallow in past mistakes or former misery, but we do need to remember the faithfulness of our God in times of difficulty, uncertainty, and heartache.

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” – Psalm 103:2

Do you remember a time when the Lord answered your prayer? Provided for your family? Healed a sick loved one? Brought you through a terrible time of crisis? Remember those times. When the enemy tries to tell you that God doesn’t care about you and that you will never make it through, recall what you know about the faithfulness of our God. Not a person you’ve read about in a story or what happened to someone you know. Remember what God has done for YOU. And trust that He will do it again and again.

He loves you. And He cares for those He loves.

Love in Christ,

she who has believed

 

 

 

All Scripture references are from the ESV.

Please visit the comments below and tell me about how God was faithful in your season of waiting!

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4 Replies to “Why I Need to Live in the Past”

  1. I have reflected back to old prayer journals and it has helped me a lot. It reminds me of my relationship with Him, how He has been faithful, how much I have matured (you would be surprised haha). Living and staying the past is not good, but learning and seeing God’s faithfulness from it is soooo good. Reminds me of when God told the Israelites to build stones of remembrance. 🙂

    1. Absolutely! That’s why I loved reading this old blog post and remembering what He had done back then. I survived then and I’ll survive now because He never changes. Thank you for reading and responding!

  2. I was just thinking of this today. Over the past few days, God has asked me to look back over some of the blogs I wrote a last year and the year before. There are lessons there, power in your last. It reminds us of how far we have come and what God has already done.

    1. Yes! God has been so faithful. I fail to realize it sometimes but seeing it in plain words in front of us is a powerful reminder. Thank you!

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