I tend to not think a lot about the past. Some of it has caused me heartbreak and stress and it’s best left in the past. But the last few weeks, I’ve reminisced a bit about a few things and I realized that not everything in the past hurts. In fact, I know that I’ve often learned a lot from my previous mistakes – that’s something I definitely try to hold on to so I can grow as an individual.
For instance, I was looking through my wedding photos the other day. That’s obviously a happy day in my past, but I noticed something even more special within the photographed images: loved ones who are now gone. I have a great picture of me and my mom’s cousin. He passed just last year after dwindling down in size and personality, but this photo shows him to be still vibrant and full of life – how I’d like to remember him.
In addition, John’s grandfather is in our photos. He died in 2011 – two years into our marriage. I remember on that day he kept telling everyone, “Have you met my new granddaughter?” – meaning me. Thinking about this makes me both smile and cry. He truly embraced me into the family – it’s something I’ll never forget.
And, of course, there are photos like this one. Priceless. She is eight now and looks nothing like this. She wouldn’t even remember this photo, but I have it (and others) to remind her. And taunt her later, at her wedding, with it.
Then, last week, John and I were discussing the places we’ve lived. I described to him the ginormous apartment I lived in with my ex. The place was HUGE. In fact, I realized, the entire apartment had been larger than the first floor of our home now (but not nearly as nice). I recalled how the bathroom had been split: a toilet and sink in one room, the shower in another. And how the kitchen was a dream, filled with lots of windows, light and space. It wasn’t as wonderful as my current home, but it did help me know what I wanted in a home. AND the sheer size of it kept me from deciding on a home with my ex (which all seemed too small in comparison) – a small blessing. Oh, how much more difficult our breakup would have been if we’d co-owned a home! Thank you, Jesus!
Often, I don’t look behind me because I like to move forward in my life. The windshield is bigger than the rear-view in a car for many reasons. But it’s important to look back sometimes to see what you learned, who shaped you as a person, or for the small blessings that God has provided to get you where you are today.
Before diving into your weekend plans tonight, take a moment to consider all the things that have propelled you to where you are today. What events – good or bad – do you think shaped you or prepared you for your future self?
Happy Friday, all!