I saw a very cool quote (author unknown) this morning and it really made me think.
The past is a place of reference, not a place of residence!
At first glance, I thought “Oh, that’s nice – cute saying” and then I really thought about it. So many times, we are trapped by events from our past. They keep us from moving on, and thus experiencing the best God has for us. The events of the past are just that, the past. What we have to remember is that our past does not define us. It is part of a much greater, still developing story. Your entire story matters, and is important. The events of your past can actually be leaned on for strength – to bring compassion, hope and encouragement to others who may not see the light at the end of the same tunnel you might have walked through. Sometimes it is simply knowing that a person is not alone in their struggles – that someone understands or at least cares – that makes all the difference in the world.
Yes, your past is there. You can’t go back and erase it. With that in mind, it’s extremely helpful that you not reside in your past either. Do not live today based on what was going on yesterday. Make today count. Make a difference with what you have right now. Look to the future with expectation of great things. Let your story be a source of peace and strength – a testament of God’s never-ending, crazy and passionate love — both for yourself, and for others as they walk through life with you.
All in all – yes, we have a past…some “better” circumstantially than others. However, never forget that you are not defined by your past. You are loved for YOU. Be encouraged, and look in the mirror and see the beauty of God’s creation. Let’s try and learn to refer to the past, but to let it remain the past.