Sometimes, Looking Back Can Help You Gain Perspective on All You Have To Be Thankful For in The Present
Originally Posted March 22, 2012
There are many different sayings that speak to the importance of either leaving the past in the past or the importance of remembering the past for the sake of ones future. There are some things in my past, which I have buried. They are dead and gone, and for me, there is no reason to dig them up, because in those particular instances, I am "forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead." But today I felt the need to revisit some of my, not too distant, past. Not for the sake of brooding over mistakes or wishing I would've done this, that or the third differently, but as a way to gain perspective on my current situation.
I turned to a journal I filled between August 3, 2010 and December 1, 2010. What lead me to take this trip down memory lane? I have felt very strongly these past few days that I was being too hard on myself. I kept feeling like I was striving too hard for perfection. I felt slightly stressed because it seemed like, that perfected version of Sunshine, was so far away. I was upset that I wasn't farther along in my journey. Farther along in my business endeavors. Farther along in my growth as a mother, as a wife, as a servant of my creator. And something inside me said...
"Stop comparing yourself to where you're going, for just a moment, and look at where you've come from. Maybe that will put you at ease."
Today I got out that journal and was immediately consoled. Looking back on where I've come from, sure makes me appreciate the progress that has already been made. Sure, I'm not exactly where I want to be, but praise God and I'm not where I started from either. This is just one excerpt that inspired me to cut myself some slack.
October 12, 2010
As far as being a wife, I need help. Father please humble my spirit. Father I am hurt and angry with my husband. I get mad because I want more from him and feel like I deserve more. Father please show me how to give and show the grace you have shown me. I know I am not in a position to point out his flaws or judge him for his shortcomings. My flesh wants to. Sometimes I want to yell and scream and say mean hurtful things to him. Basically I want to act like a child and throw a tantrum because I can't get my way. Father please help me. How can I give my husband the love you have called me to give, even when I am hurt and angry? Father can you please intervene? We need what only you can provide. Please help!
As I read those words, I was taken back in time. I remember what was going on in my life at that time. I remember the despair I felt and the hopelessness I felt in my marriage. And as I allowed myself to remember the details of our life back then, I saw that we have come SUCH A LONG WAY! Those two people I was referring to in that journal entry are no longer here. The pain and emptiness that filled those two people is gone.
The bolded words stood out the most to me. Why? Because even though I still struggle with my role as wife and I still struggle with my anger, I cannot remember the last time I have wanted to scream and yell and throw things. There was a time in my marriage where I was not above throwing things at my husband. Or screaming at the top of my lungs! I would hurl the most vicious insults I knew, at him. I can't remember the last time I wanted to curse my husband. THAT is progress! It's like that part of me, that hurt and anger and pain which caused me to want to lash out in that way, has been healed. SO much has changed from then.
Just yesterday my husband and I had a talk. It was subject matter that in the past would have me still angry right now. I would have been hot on the inside. Not willing to listen. Not willing to compromise. Prepared to do battle with my husband like he was any old person off the street. But yesterday I listened. I didn't try to be right, but I sought the "best" for both of us. I didn't raise my voice. I prayed before each time I opened my mouth and asked that my heavenly father would give me His words to say. WHAT A DIFFERENCE!
I am saying this to say. Just last night I was kinda down on myself. Wondering when I was going to grow and make it through the current flaws in my character. I felt like I was not moving forward and that in some way I was just stagnant. I couldn't reach the finish line fast enough. And in the same breath I felt tired. I felt like "When can I just rest?"
I got the answer... I don't remember each and every step it took to get me from the person I was when I wrote that old journal entry to the person I am today. All I know is, I acknowledged my faults and I asked God to fix me. To intervene. I realized I could not be my own savior. And here we are today,I am free from so much of the torment from those days. I didn't change myself, it was my faith and my trust in my creator. He did the work... So when can I rest? I can rest now! I can rest today. Because He is in control. As long as I continue to trust and acknowledge him he will continue to perfect that which concerns me.
"So he will do to me whatever he has planned. He controls my destiny."
Ladies can I tell you how blown away I am by my own testimony?!
If I can leave you with anything it would be this.
1. Keep a journal. Especially of the things that concern you and the things you are waiting to see results in.
2. Place your trust in the One who can save you and change your situation. No matter how strong, great or awesome you think you are, you need a savior.
3. Keep the past in its place. Some of it needs to be left nailed to the cross, while some of it can be helpful to keep things in perspective. Sometimes, we want change so badly we overlook the tiny milestones of accomplishment. Celebrate each, little, victory along the way because each little victory is adding up to your complete deliverance.
Any thoughts? Please share!
And as always thank you for reading and commenting and allowing me to share with you.