I remember when I volunteered at the Cancer Support Centre, a woman with stage four cancer sharing that she now "lived in the moment" embracing every breath that life gave her and the experiences of each day. She cherished the simple, the day to day happenings without wanting more. She knew the future was not going to be a one filled with promise and hope. She did not believe in life after death. But she did not complain, or regret the presence of time but instead chose to use it wisely.
I think when the events in your life slow you down, make you stop and evaluate your surroundings, relationships and events you take on a fresh perspective that life is fragile. We are all blessed with a number of days on this earth. We do not know our expiry date but it brings no value to the present or the future to long for the past. Instead we need to live each day with joy, not a joy based on an emotional high but instead a joy that is rooted in our soul. That joy can only come from one relationship. As we anticipate the Christmas season, we need to reflect on one person in the past and that is the birth of our Lord and Saviour. We can reflect back on what that event brought to the world, even now when the world seems so unsettled and filled with catastrophic events. The joy, peace, and hope that comes from that one event can help you not to look back to the past with longing and wanting what was, but instead help you to move forward with great anticipation of what could yet happen in your life. Being thankful for what was, but even more thankful for what the future brings!
No one chooses suffering in their lives but we are human, fallen creatures that will all experience some form of suffering in our lifetime. Not because God is not a loving good God, but because we are human and the choices we make to move forward from our suffering is totally up to us.
When I look back over the last few years and how much has changed in my life with career, health our family, there are many many blessings. Those blessings were not always evident in the sufferings but instead unfolded as we chose not to go back but instead to accept the new reality and move forward. Healing doesn't come from the past, it comes from taking what you learned and using it in the present to shape our future.
I am thankful for every event in my life, It allowed me to deepen my relationship of faith and trust in a God who loves me to the depth of my soul. He has never left me, nor forsaken me, and He will continue to walk ahead of me before the journey continues meeting every one of my needs. To me that brings great peace and comfort knowing that "going back" is not an option but "going forward" can be the great anticipation of what He has planned for my life.