Looking back …

It’s my birthday. I’m 33 today. I was making plans a couple months ago to get together with my girlfriends and I actually couldn’t remember how old I was turning. 31? 32? I’m thinking it’s gotta be 32, because I know I’m not 30 now. But when I got home and asked my husband (he can always be counted on to do the math), I found out I was turning 33! EEk. I lost a year! Hard to imagine how much time has passed since I was my kids’ ages, or in school.

I have been having so much fun with facebook, catching up and reconnecting with those old school friends. I’ve also been going through old photos (for a secret scrapbooking project) and video (to finally convert VHS to DVD). So, I have been reminded of many memories from my high school and college days. So much fun as I think about silly songs that I made up about umbrellas on rainy days or crazy things that I did with friends, like strap sleds to cars or “borrow” food service trays to sled down hills.

There’s been a lot of embarrassing and painful memories, too, though, which I find it hard not to dwell on. My passionate personality tends to dramatize the past, and the teenage years were so full of emotion and hormones. I was selfish and immature, to be sure. Thankfully, God protected me from a lot so I don’t have major regrets, but a lot of little ones I guess. I am so embarrassed when I think about things that I said or did (and I’m not talking about poorly executed cartwheels and silly faces in the camera, although I find that I did a lot of that, and I do mean A LOT) around others or how I treated them. I was so unsure of myself and concerned with how people saw me–ironic, I know!–that I didn’t think about anyone else. If I could go back and do things differently, I would hope that I’d see people through God’s eyes. I would have more confidence, at least, which I think would allow me to be a better friend. And to not expect so much from others. I know I was hurt by my own expectations, wanting to control of those around me. But, that’s all in the past.

I pray that God would help me forgive others and that others would forgive me for mistakes I made. And then, let. it. go. You cannot change the past, and the Devil would love to have you focused on what can’t be changed. God wants me to focus on what can be changed, the future.

I see more of myself in my daughter all the time, and it makes my flaws stand out all the more. Avery has such a hard time moving on when she’s not in control or making mistakes. And I know that’s exactly how I am. It’s good, though not pretty, to get a fresh perspective of yourself from time to time. May God use that to prune me and make me more like Him so that I can be a better person in the present and the future.

“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14

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One thought on “Looking back …

  1. You are definitely not alone in feeling the tug between nostalgia and a bit of shame. If it’s any consolation, I remember you as nothing but sweet and kind in our college days. Plus, you loved grammar. ‘Nuff said.

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