I am rejoicing tonight. I have not been in a state of rejoicing all day, but tonight, I will go to bed with joy in my heart. I started the day in a bit of a funk. I stayed that way for a good part of the day. On at least three separate occasions today, I was prompted to take a look backwards in my memories. Backwards to a different season in life. One with a good deal of challenges. One that creates sadness in my heart. A season that I had no control over. (No comments from the peanut gallory about my ability to control anything at all!)
This pondering and my present day frustrations seemed to find an intersecting place in my heart today. I would not have seen the connection except for a hand full of godly peeps who God has placed in my life for this season. They did not know my thoughts or my ponderings of the day. They did not know their days thoughts and ponderings would intersect with mine in a way that would shed light on my heart.
One friend led me to consult the Holy Spirit on areas of bitterness and unforgiveness that I might be harboring in my heart. This seemed very random at the time since I had only expressed my frustrations with my ability to parent. The next friend that came along to bless me was a blogging peep of mine who was simply sharing a blog she had written. This one led me to the feet of Jesus. Finally, I was led to the word of God by another friend who knew nothing of my day. She was simply commenting on an unrelated FB post and shared this verse from Isaiah, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” – Isaiah 43:18-19
That reminded me of another verse I had read before about not looking back…
Philippians 3:12-14 12 Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on [a]so that I may lay hold of that [b]for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Then God blessed me with a glimpse into my daughters character. He allowed me to see something that I had hoped was there. Something that I pray for in her life. He allowed me to see that she was able to show this character in my absence without any prompting on my part. The very thing a mom hopes for her child.
So, tonight as I go to bed, I am thankful for the way God used His daughters to do kingdom work on my behalf today. I am thankful for the reminder to keep my eyes fixed on Him. I am thankful that looking back can lead to redemption when it is led by The Spirit. I am thankful that Christ has redeemed the past, present and future.
1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.