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I Wanna Go Back

I’ve been walking around singing the chorus to an Eddie Money Song, “I Wanna Go Back.

You know the song right?

I wanna go back
And do it all over again
But I can’t go back I know
I wanna go back
Cause I’m feeling so much older
But I can’t go back I know

How many times in life do we wax poetic about the past?  How often to we think that a previous season was just so much better than the one we are in?  Especially when we’re in a stretching time, waiting on the Lord, or being required to step out in faith.

That’s when we begin to practice the art of selective memory.  “Welllll…I may not have been appreciated at my old job, and I had to work unpaid overtime, but at least it paid well.”  “I know my dream is to live in the BIG CITY but I’ve lived here my whole life.  I am comfortable here.”  “I know God is calling me to step out and do __(fill in dream here)___ but I just __(fill in excuse here)__.”

It’s so easy to just remember the good and filter out all the rough stuff.  Or vice versa to remember only the bad and filter out the good.

The truth is usually somewhere in between.

Every season has positives and benefits and also opportunities to learn patience and grow.

My current season is all about letting go of the past and completely embracing all the new things.  I’ve given away, sold, and donated most of what I owed.  Couch. Bed.  TV and DVD Player.  All gone.  I reduced my library to the bare minimum.  I pared down my DVDs to the essential favorites.  I’ve pretty much got a car, clothes, shoes, an inherited storage bench, jewelry, and a whole lot of artwork.  And it’s all chilling in an 8 X 10 area of my Mama’s basement.

I’ve been working out of state on a work engagement.  And I felt like the last time I went home, that I had to let go of home.  I know that I need to be open to what is coming next.  So I moved out of my comfortable home that I shared with my roommates with the affordable rent.  And got rid of the above mentioned stuff and moved the remaining into la basement a la mama. (Thanks Mom!  You’re the best!!)

Where am I going to live after my work engagement is over?

I literally have no idea.  But God does.  And I need to just trust that He wouldn’t tell me to let go of something, if He didn’t have something better for me.

Is that scary?

Yes.  Yes it is!

Is this easy?

No.  No it is not!

And I’m singing…I wanna go back go back and do it all over but I can’t go back I know. 

But I really don’t want to go back.  I want to move forward.

I know in my gut that God’s doing something amazing.  And I have peace that I am right where He wants me to be.

I’ll be honest though…there’s a part of me seeking to hold onto the comfy security of the season I was just in.  It was a relatively calm, peaceful season after the 2 tumultuous years of suck I lived through.  I could wax poetic about how good that season was.  And it did have some really great benefits!  But I’d be lying if I said it was an easy season.  Because it wasn’t.  It was a season of the greatest losses I’ve ever experienced in my life.  In 5 months lost my Papa, my Nana, and my Dad.

Like I said…every season has its perks and its drawbacks.  Perk-great roommates and cheap rent.  Drawback-loss of my people.

A part of me would even love to go back to the two years of suck…because I had my people.  I spent so much time with my grandparents during that time.  They needed help, and because of continual unemployment I was available to help them and just be there.  But I can’t go back.  I can’t go play scrabble or dance with Nana on her deck.  I can’t go watch tv with Papa or take him out to a movie or a museum.  I can’t call my Dad, and tell him about the stupid thing I did that day, so we could laugh together about it.

I’m really learning to appreciate that each season is a mixed bag.  Some wonderful moments.  Some challenging events.  Always an opportunity to grow and change.  And reasons to be grateful abound.

So even though we cannot go back and do it all over again, we can take the lessons and the memories with us as we go forward as a reminder to enjoy the current season.

Point to ponder while you wander…

The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, ‘If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!’” Numbers 11:4-6 NIV

This is the epitome of selective memory.  The Israelites were poorly treated slaves, that their male babies were slaughtered by the Egyptians.  They were on their way to the Promised Land, and yet they wanted to go back to being slaves again so that they can eat some cukes and garlic.  Really?

Don’t despise the journey.  Learn from it.  Grow from it.  And trust God.

Here’s what I’ve learned through it all:  Don’t give up; don’t be impatient; be entwined as one with the Lord.  Be brave, courageous, and never lose hope.  Yes, keep on waiting- for He will never disappoint you!”  Psalm 27:14 TPT

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Musical Monday: I’m Moving On

This is a beautiful song sung by Rascal Flatts, called “I’m Moving On”

This song just hits home in so many ways.  It’s about accepting that the past happened, dealing with it and moving forward.  So many, too many, people get stuck and get paralyzed it seems.

The line that really got me was, “They mean me no harm but it’s time that I face it, they’ll never allow me to change.”  There were people in my life I had to distance myself from and some I even had to say goodbye to because they just kept trying to pull me back to where I didn’t want to be anymore.  They weren’t necessarily bad people, but I found myself struggling to hang on to the positive changes I’d made.  So I had to let them go.

A few of those people eventually came back into my life, but most didn’t.  I call those “friend shifts.”  When either you or they change and you just don’t have anything in common anymore.  It’s okay to let people go.  It’s okay to move on.  It’s a part of the growth process.

Happy Monday.

Letting Go

“Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19

I had a plan to write about God’s kindness today, but I can’t seem to focus on it.  I can’t really seem to focus on much this whole week actually.  I’m over emotional and exhausted and frustrated.  I keep finding myself on the verge of explosion.  It’s not my favorite.

Everything in my world seems to be changing and I’m having a hard time managing all the moving parts.  I haven’t been able to put my finger on what’s actually bothering me.  I am aware that all these changes are for the better.  It’s good change.  But my heart is hurting about what I’m leaving behind.  It’s still a loss.

Then I realized.  I’m grieving.

You don’t just grieve when someone dies.  You can grieve and mourn the loss of many things.  You grieve when relationships end or change and when you enter a new phase of life.    I’ve grieved relationships. I’ve grieved jobs. I’ve grieved the loss of friends who moved away. I’ve grieved friendships that changed because of life changes. I grieved the loss of my little yellow Chevy Aveo, Daisy Sunshine. I loved that car. I miss that car. *sigh*

I’ve learned that when things change (or we lose people or jobs or move to a new place) we need to grieve the things that we’re leaving behind. Grieving is the process where we let go of what we had so we can open up to receiving the new things that are coming.  I’m grieving right now.  I’m grieving that I don’t get to hang out with, high five and hug my youth kids every Wednesday anymore.  It’s only been a week, and I miss them.  But I know that it’s time to move on to other things.  God spoke and confirmed that to me.  I know that I know that I know it’s time.  But I’m still grieving the loss.

My understanding of grieving came over time.  It started when a crap ton of my close friends got married over a couple year span.  I was happy for them genuinely.  But I really struggled with the new status quo.  My girls were gone and they were replaced with couples who had different priorities.  Some moved out of town and one even left the state.  I was so depressed.  At first I thought it was jealousy, but that wasn’t it.  I had no interest in being married.  Then I thought I was just selfish, but that wasn’t it.  I really wanted them to thrive in their marriages.  I didn’t understand that what was actually going on was that I was grieving the loss of the way things were.  I didn’t want things to change.  I wanted my girls to always be my girls.  It took a long time to get over, because I never acknowledged and mourned the loss of the closeness I had with those amazing friends of mine.

Then there was the man I had loved for a very long time.  I always thought we’d work it out and get back together eventually.  So did he.  But it never happened.  I asked God in the middle of a hysterical fit, “Why can’t you just let this happen?”  He answered me very matter of factly, “If you want him, you can have him.  But you will miss everything I have for you.”  That stopped me dead in my tracks.  I was like what?  I can choose to go outside of God’s will.  I didn’t want that!  I prayed that His will would be done.  And I meant it!

God was true to His word.  He let the door open and I stood face to face with the man I’d loved for most of my life.  We could have gotten back together right then and there.  We were both available for the first time at the same time.  We both wanted it.  We both still loved each other so much.  But deep down I knew it would hurt us both in the long run.   I fully understood for the first time that I was wrong for him and he was wrong for me.  I saw so clearly that we would both be settling for less.  Not that either of us are bad people, we just aren’t the right people.  In my car on the way home, I sobbed.  I truly grieved the loss of our relationship and I let him go.  I still love him to this day, but the ache is gone.  It doesn’t hurt anymore.  Grieving him set me free.  I was, for the first time, truly ready for the man God had for me.  (Ahem…I’m still waiting, God… FYI)

The first time I actually recognized that you can grieve things other than people was when God showed me that the plan I had come up with was simply not going to happen.  I was devastated.  I went home and literally collapsed on my kitchen floor and wailed.  I had one of the ugliest cries I’ve ever had.  I mourned the loss of my plan.  I sobbed and sobbed.  “Why God?  Why can’t You just use my plan?  It’s what I really want!”  I was absolutely acting like a 2 year old, complete with stomping and whining.  Then after about an hour of kicking it toddler style…I heard very clearly…”Going there is not safe for you.  You will backslide.  You’ve prayed for My perfect will for you, and I’m preparing you to receive that.  You need to let go of your plan.  You need to trust Me.”  I stopped crying and I stood up.  I repented and I let go of my plan.

When I let go, I felt lighter.  I felt free.  That’s when God began to prepare me and speak to me about my future.  About His plan for me.  About the purpose and calling He has for me.  I had been holding on to what I wanted so tightly that I couldn’t receive anything because my hands were already full!

What are you holding on to?  God cannot give you anything new until you truly let go of the old.  Ecclesiastes 3:4 says there’s a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance. It’s so true! There will be a time to grieve and cry, but then we need to let go. We need to laugh and dance and move forward.  So for your own good, acknowledge what you need to mourn, grieve it and let it go!  You won’t regret it!