As I sit reflecting on the past, it’s pretty easy to remember the good times. But the more I reminisce, I come across those times that weren’t so good. Times where things could have been different if I had someone I trusted enough to confide in. Times that caused deep pain and damage that now require healing in my adult years. Some reflecting on the past might require a professional to help me wade through, and that is okay too.
But all this reminiscing and researching for the novel I’m working on is reigniting my passion for God’s call on my life. Not necessary as a writer, but His call for His children to share, encourage, and love others through transparency. I have so much more wisdom to share since I experienced hardship in my life. God is now using my negative past to fulfill His call to share, encourage, and love others.
Unfortunately, we experience some bad experiences that we don’t choose. Those are the experiences I find hard to get through and process. Yes, I’ve experienced many of those too. But Imagine being able to comfort another human being by saying “Yes, I’ve been where you are and have gotten through. There is hope.”
What about the push and pull of becoming an independent young adult? Man! To have someone believe in you when it seems your parents don’t. Someone to encourage you and spur you on, reminding you that you have a purpose.
Oh, but the good time– those times that we cherish. Hanging out with friends after school, sleepovers, and going on adventures. And who can forget about prom? (Okay, I don’t remember everything about prom. It’s probably better that way.)
Ultimately, the events of our history are the building blocks that help create who we are. When I hear someone say it’s against God’s will for us to look back, I have to disagree. While it’s not okay to look back desiring what we have left behind (read about Lot’s wife), our history is a tool that God uses to not only reveal Himself to us but to equip us to minister to others. Our history is our testimony.
As I look back reflecting on my past, the Holy Spirit reminds me of how far God has brought me on this journey. He reminds me of the condition I was in before I started to get to know Him, and of all the ways He has revealed Himself to me up until now. He even refers back to my past to reveal to me areas He wants to work on. God uses my history to remind me that things are always better when I trust Him.
Is He finished with me? Absolutely not. In fact, His work in me will not be complete during my time on this earth. My transformation is a project that will be ongoing until I see Him face to face on the day of His return. (2 Corinthians 3:18). So, just because we are still broken doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be obeying God’s call to share our testimony.
So, when was the last time you spent time reflecting on your past? Where did you come from? What is your testimony? What are some ways that God has used your past? Are you transparently sharing with those that need to hear the story that God is writing in you? Who has God deliberately placed in your life for this season to share with?
But wait! What testimony is God currently developing in you? Who or what are the things that cause us to look back as Lot’s wife has done? Is God trying to get your attention?
For now, you are exactly where you need to be. So, be still. Seek God and allow Him to use your current circumstances for your good and His glory….your testimony.