Looking Back and Seeing More

It smells like fresh ground coffee, the lighting is not too bright to make the environment feel stark but not too dim to encourage me to curl up with a blanket and watch a movie. Where am I? At a coffee shop in SLO, sitting in a well used mid century brown leather chair with polished wooden arms. It is a visually pleasing environment, and busy, kind of like a Where’s Waldo puzzle. Every time you look at it you see something new, because there is so much going on. “Was that there before?” Or “Did someone change that?”

Kind of like music, when you listen to it over and over again.

Kind of like us, when we reflect on our story and think about the events of our life that have led us to the point we are at now.

After the death of my mom in March 2009, I’ve told the events of my life many times. I’ve told it personally and inwardly to myself while reflecting, or because it’s etched into my memory. I’ve told it through writing a book: Healing, Hope & Wholeness. Lastly I’ve told it verbally to others from a scale from one on one, to groups the size of a few hundred.

Every time it takes:

Energy – It can be physically draining.

Emotion – I have to allow myself to tell it with feeling. I never want to tell it with a sense of being so unattached as if I have grown numb.

Every time it gives:

Energy – Spiritually I feel fulfilled because it’s a reminder of God’s healing, hope and wholeness in me.

Emotion – It gives me motivation to help others in their grief.

BUT every time I learn something new about myself, the situation, or God.

Sometimes it is subtle things that turn into opportunities for more healing, hope and wholeness in my story. They are realizations that cause movement for growth and maturity. “Was that there before?” Or “Did someone change that?”……

I wonder what it was like for my mom’’s longest friend to loose her best friend?

I understand why my mom said certain things to me during her last week of life. Wow. I wish I could tell her ____.

Her trust in the Lord was a huge example. It was so natural on her but it influenced the rest of my life without her, to keep going.

While it takes energy and emotion to reflect or share the events of your life, I promise you that it is worth it. It is worth it for you now, for your future, and for others that it could help.

We are never too old or too good for this intentionality.

Maybe there are more things that God wants to show you about your story.  Are you open?

Take your time.

Grab a journal.

Bring a trustworthy friend into this journey.

Keep thinking and keep talking.

When you doubt that it is making a difference keep going.

When you think you’ve learned all you could, keep going.

We are never a finished story, we are never finished being students of learning.


Photo credit: Jordan Young

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