Turning points are a funny thing. We can pray and strive and cry out for change, but oftentimes when that shift comes, we struggle to move forward. Experience teaches us that history tends to repeat itself, and fear hovers, threatening to crush our hope with reminders of where we’ve been.
Nearly a full year ago, my marriage was on the precipice of collapse. I found myself simultaneously crushed under the weight of deep wounds, and strengthened, by a new-found appreciation for myself as a woman. Every day brought with it a new challenge, and often a new facet to my personality and character. My only source of navigation and identity was found in prayer. Daily.
This past weekend my husband surprised me with the most amazing Valentine’s Day gift I could ever imagine – a weekend in NYC with a visit to the Empire State Building to start it off right (“Sleepless in Seattle,” anyone??). Every detail had been thoughtfully worked out, every moment planned well in advance and crafted to make me feel special and loved. Words really can’t describe the way it felt to have a lifetime dream come to pass in such an intentional way. It was absolutely priceless.
True to human emotion, the crash came the day after we returned. Memories, waves of all-to-familiar anxiety and fear… It was as though we had suddenly turned back the clock. It was devastating and I wasn’t quite certain what to do with the feelings I was experiencing.
As a Christ-follower, I believe my God can do anything, but experience has taught me that free-will often trumps His perfect plan for my life. For my family. Having lost more than I have won, there is a part of my faith that is broken. It can take more than a tiny effort to elevate myself above my past failures and loss, to the place where miracles freely happen and hope reigns. And yet that is what I did – chose faith. Turned off that old record player and continued on with my day.
The truth is, no matter where you have been, it’s where you WERE. Even if the terrain looks the same, today you are older, wiser, different, even than yesterday. There is no gain in walking forward whilst glancing at the past. And God CAN do big things. He can move mountains. Change hearts. Heal brokenness. If life has taught me anything, it’s that history may very well come knocking again, but I don’t have to answer. Not ever again.