Day Two: Look (-ing Forward to Looking Back)

By: Bailey Brawner

For me, Lent is more of a looking ahead kind of thing. Obviously, Easter is coming up, and that’s something I always look forward to. More than Christmas, Thanksgiving, certainly Valentine’s Day, I see Easter as the most exciting holiday- in my book at least. Springtime, pastel colored dresses, traditions; these are all parts of the magic I find on that Sunday. So each day I go through Lent, I’m thinking, how many days till Easter?

Also true for me, my life is a looking ahead kind of thing. Especially in my current season of life, I have a lot to look ahead to. I’m graduating in a little over two months with a real life college degree. I am looking at jobs- grown up jobs that will last more than a summer, even! I’m waiting to hear back from graduate schools I’ve applied to, schools which will prepare me for the life I’m called to live. There’s so much to look forward to.

In the same sense, I have so much to look back to. Would I be graduating college without awesome parents who instilled the value of education in me, or who forced me to do math upon math at the kitchen table? Would I have applied to jobs and graduate schools without those who taught me how to read and write and learn well? Would I be entering a field of ordained ministry without using the opportunity to try new things, and to discover new passions in the midst of the fear of failure?

My gut tells me, probably not.

You see, we should look forward to new things in our life. There are many, big and small, and for them, we should celebrate. However, it is equally important to look back, to remember where these new ideas or events were born. Where was the seed planted in this new thing? What allowed this new thing to form?

As many of you may be aware, my preferred form of communication with God these days, is to journal. I write letters regularly, expressing my fears, joys, frustrations, and jokes to the One who I know listens the very best! Every once in a while, I will take a peek back in an old journal. It’s pretty embarrassing sometimes, because I recognize just how dumb some of the things I’ve been worried or excited about really are. **Mother, Father, you both may have been right on cue to call me dramatic or cynical on occasion. I picked out a little entry, one I don’t turn red reading to myself, to share with you all.

God, thank you for everything, even for, actually, especially for the things I tend to complain about. You are making me stronger and more faithful every day. I love you, God!

Despite the fact that this sounds like something out of a Precious Moments Bible,  it’s something to look back on. The “complain-worthy”  things I ignore or overlook now may have been hindrances to my relationships or work. If God hadn’t been showing me to thank Him for things I complain about, no matter why it happened at that specific time, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

God,

Thank you for the ways you move in our lives, even when you tiptoe right past us.

Thank you for the ways you speak, even if it’s just a whisper.

Thank you for the things you do for us, even when we don’t recognize them.

Thank you for the choices you guide us to make, even when we don’t want to make them.

Most of all, thank you for allowing us to choose You, each and every day.

We love you, and are grateful that you are the reason we look back and look ahead with awe, for we know you are working on us in big ways.

Amen.

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