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As the season change and the weather begins to get cooler.  We look forward to the things we love about this season, but we often look back with sadness.

We all know that we are creatures of habit, and most of us don’t embrace change.  It only stands to reason, then, that as things change that are out of our control, we experience sadness and often regret.

Looking back over my life, there are things that I wish had gone differently…

Like the day I refused to go to down the road to let Aunt Vicki cut my hair.  It was thundering, and I was afraid.  Words between Daddy Bruce and me that I can never get back.  He only lived a short time longer.

There was the the time I told my mom I wanted to live with my dad.  That devastated her.  I still cringe when I think of that day– standing in the back yard, looking down at my feet in the dirt because I couldn’t bear to look at her.

The day she slipped from this earth.  Thank you, Jesus, you let me be with her as your angels ushered her into Glory.  But still, to have that day back and the ones before, to be different, to love, to understand, to help, to just be with her.

All those days I fought with my little sister.  We did not get along much, and now I see all that wasted time.

The day I decided to cheat on the cross country course and hitch a ride in the back of a pickup truck.  But my conscience got the better of me and I jumped out–of a moving truck–onto the dirt road.  I’m not sure my nose had ever bled so much.  I never have lived that down!

The day Chris and I found out that there was no life left in my womb.  And the other.  And the other.

The day he told me he was addicted to pornography, and the years preceding.  To have not had to experience that….

Asking “What if…”

So, so many things, even those outside of my control, I would have changed or wished they had gone the other way.  And I find myself looking back and wondering, “what if…”

What if I had not been so selfish all those times?  I know I would have enjoyed the times I had more had I focused on someone other than me.  But would I have learned the lessons I have learned?  Would I be able to tell my kids from experience what such selfishness brings?

The answer is no.  I experienced those things so that I would be who I am now.  Even then, God was molding me and making me.

But those things out of my control?  What if my parents had never divorced?  Or if my step-dad and my mom had lived?  What if those lives in my womb had strengthened and blossomed?  What if….

There are so many things that would be different.  The thing is about looking back over past seasons is that if we choose to change one thing–even one–we change it all.  I’d sure love to have my mama know my kids, but if she were still here, I’m not sure I would have met and fallen in love with Chris in the first place.

If that first life in my womb hadn’t faded, I wouldn’t have my Nan, and had the other two not faded, there would be no sweet Dassi-girl.

When the seasons change – thankful even in sadness

In seasons, in change, we have to look to the One who knows us, knows what’s best for us, and trust him.

Looking back over the years and all the turns of seasons, there is sadness sometimes, yes, but there comes a time when thankfulness appears as well.  I’m not “thankful” per se that my mama died when I was 13, but I am thankful that God provided and He has taught me things from that.  He has brought about beauty from those ashes.

Reflecting on the Past | Learning to be Thankful in Sadness

And my husband’s addiction?  I shared before that I believe his confession was an answer to prayer.  I would have chosen to not take that road, but the Lord has done great things!  He has mended, restored, and healed our marriage, bringing it to a place of even better than before.  What’s even more amazing is that He is using it to minister to others.  What if that had never happened?

I can’t look back over the years and not be thankful!

So as we go into this Thanksgiving season, we’ll look back and reflect.  Some memories will bring us great sadness and some will bring regret.  Others will easily bring joy and smiles and thanksgiving.  Admittedly, some stuff we track through stinks, and it’s tough to get if off–it lingers, if you will.  But in time, it will begin to stink less, and our feet will begin to move more freely again.  In the meantime, my prayer is that we surrender to our Savior and trust Him, thanking him for the great things He has done!

I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.  ~Psalm 34:1

7 comments on “Reflecting on the Past | Learning to be Thankful Even in Sadness”

  1. Wow! Your most beautiful words, yet. Thank you for reminding us to appreciate that sadness and use it for His glory as we look to the future. You are a blessing.

  2. Thank you for sharing sister! God has taught me so much in the past 10 years or so. Being married to a drug addict, his affairs, going through a divorce, raising a daughter by myself, both of my parents passing away….such difficult times but EVERY SINGLE time, I drew closer to Him and that’s what He wants! And now, since I have been taught so much through hard life lessons, ministering to other women who may have had a spouse that was addicted helps me to continue to heal. Thank you Jesus for your grace and mercy and for my sweet friend!

    • Wow! You are so very strong, Julie! And I know that’s because when you couldn’t hold yourself up, Jesus carried you. I am so thankful to call you friend. Love you!

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