I’ve always loved looking back. Remembering is a huge part of what gives me faith. But I’ve realized there is a right and wrong way to look back. We can look back and have memories propel us into the now with hope for the future. Or, when we look back, we can long for the good old days.
I’ll be real. I loved high school, every single moment of it. They were some of my best years. But at the same time, my college years have been my best years too, in a different way.
Shouldn’t that always be the case? Shouldn’t our best years always be the ones we are in right now?
Here’s what I’m learning. If we are holding tight to old memories it may be because we don’t think we can have success where we are right now.
When memories take their proper place, they can remind us that now can be just as good as before, even better. The bad is covered by blood, and the good is made by it. Does looking back make you want to go back to that time and relive it? Good news, Jesus has even better in store. Does it make you want to go back and rewrite your mistakes? Good news, he’s redeemed it already.
We get to look back with a forward hope.
If we hold on to old memories, people, or places so tightly we can miss out. Sometimes we might keep people in those old memories and old places. We can limit people to what they were, not who are they are right now. We can miss out on glory to glory when we only delight in the past testimonies. Sometimes we can put the future in a box because we hold so tightly to the past. But God often wants to do more than what we’ve experienced thus far. He often wants us to realize that each day is new, and he means that in the fullest sense.
There is so much that we won’t realize if we don’t look back. But there is just as much that we won’t discover if we don’t move forward.
I love laughing at old pictures and enjoying old memories, but I know that my next few years are going to be something beyond what I could imagine. And I love that. I love that it’s uncertain. I love that we can’t imagine. I love that it requires trust. I wouldn’t want my life any other way.
Here’s what I’ve learned. Look back, but don’t hold onto it so tightly that you can’t get excited for today, tomorrow, and everything in between. It's only going to get better.
"Remember the former things of old; for I am God and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. "-Isaiah 46:9