Looking back was always difficult for me; so difficult that I rarely did it. It seemed I would either gaze into the bleak past of my family of origin, or I would review the regrets I had in raising my children and in how I had related to my husband throughout the years. I ran from my memories, anticipated with dread the unknown future and lived in turmoil in the present.
Last week, after a few consecutive nights of waking with daytime concerns on my mind, an unbidden reflection rose to my consciousness, and contrary to much of my experience when contemplating the years gone by, this thought brought hope. I was pleased to note that even though my sleep was disturbed by unresolved issues, after turning them over in my mind and lifting them to my Lord in prayer, I had drifted back into the blessing of sleep. Even more significant, fear was not triggered when I was aroused from slumber, and thus panic was not bred there as I lay on my pillow and did not cause racing thoughts to spiral out of control. How different this was from the beginning of my healing journey when nights were feared and waking in the dark caused terror to run rampant! I could see that God was indeed changing me from the inside out and bringing healing where there once were festering wounds. Considering the past and comparing it to the present has reinforced the trust I have in my Maker; a trust which has been wrought in me through the furnace of life. It has undergirded the knowledge I have of my heavenly Father as my Redeemer and the Lover of my Soul; though small in comparison to His incomprehensible infinity, this knowledge is a gift, growing in me as my Savior dissipates the darkness of my understanding with His marvelous light.
Therefore, memories have brought me hope…who would have thought that possible? Deep expressions of praise well up from my soul as I ponder the wonder of His work and the changes that have been forged within me. And, even though the unknown future can be frightening, the unresolved present unsettling and the past filled with dark shadows, I can still lean on, trust in and rely on the God of the past, present and future, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, for He has redeemed the past, is at work in the present and has already won the victory in the future.