Our past can influence our present and future in unexpected ways. Join Robyn Dykstra as she "time travels" through her personal discoveries on this topic.
By Robyn Dykstra
I came face-to-face with my past this morning.
In an effort to purge items in my closet that didn't fit my style anymore, or to be perfectly honest, didn't fit my mature, more generously padded frame anymore, I stumbled across two of my deceased husband's favorite shirts.
I stopped cold.
For years and years these shirts lay folded, waiting to be put in rotation again. Even more than a photograph or nostalgic song on the radio, the sight and feel of them took me right back to a time when we were young and bulletproof.
I kept them because they reminded me of my Hot & Hunky Huzb who died in his sleep of a heart attack at the age of 39. I kept them because I thought one of my boys, who were 7 and 4 at the time of his passing, might grow into them and I would see them repurposed - resurrected. I kept them because I thought I would see a version of my dear husband again.
I held onto them because a part of me couldn't let go of that time when all was well.
Does that happen to you?
You're cruising through your day, or your desk, or your drawers and you unexpectedly tumble back in time?
For me (this time) it was a great memory.
But other times, I've stumbled into my dark past.
A letter from an old lover.
A long forgotten item of drug paraphernalia.
A journal entry scribbled in hate.
A souvenir from a clandestine meeting.
A photo of the recklessly irresponsible girl I used to be.
And I thank God.
I thank God that he has used even the dark parts of my past.
I thank God for Jesus, who assured my eternal life with him from the moment I said yes to him.
I thank God for how kind and patient and merciful God was and continues to be.
I thank God for every minute I did have with my husband.
I thank God for my boys who grew into men their father would be proud of.
I thank God for redeeming my life time and time again.
How about you?
When you tumble into your past, do you remember with a smile or a grimace?
Is it a reminder of who you were or who you are?
Does it affirm who God has been in your life and who he will continue to be?
Join me in fighting the tendency to let the past define or steal the future. With me, can you lean into the discovery that God's promises never change? Oh how we need to hold this hope close!
Robyn Dykstra is a captivating retreat speaker and author of The Widow Wore Pink, A True Story of Life After Loss and the Transforming Power of a Loving God. Robyn lives to tell other women about Jesus through Bible teaching and storytelling. Robyn and Dave, her husband of 15 years, live and worship in Grand Rapids, MI. Connect with Robyn at robyndykstra.com.