The rear view mirror. We use it every time we get into a car to drive. It is our guide for what may be behind us, so that we can glance back to change lanes or be prepared for anything unexpected that may be coming up behind us. The mirrors on our car are meant to help us, direct us and keep us safe, but they are not mean for us to stare at what was left behind, or the danger becomes what can happen in front of us.
I have been tried and tested by fire in my life. In my personal opinion, I have gone through hell and somehow come out on the other side. I know there are people who would look at the things I have walked through and say that yes she has been through a lot, but there are people who have been through worse, and they are right, but I firmly believe that God does not give us any more or any less than we are capable of walking through. Each one of us has walked through our own personally difficult times that have pushed our limits on our every day life, our beliefs and our overall will to persevere, it’s how we come out at the end that matters. I won’t go into the nitty gritty of my life story and what I walked through (if you would like to know please feel free to email me, I am very open and grateful for my testimony), but I will say I hit rock bottom, I believed that I had been abandon my family, my friends and most important my Savior. I was done, finished with everything and wanted nothing to do with anything that reminded me of the God I felt had abandoned me, but oh what He was doing and going to do in me was so beautiful I cannot even begin to express my thankfulness.
Why did I go off on that tangent away from mirrors? Simple, I will occasionally glance back in the rear view mirror during this slightly bumpy drive that is my life, but that is all I do, glance. If I concentrate too long on what is behind me I miss what is ahead. If we barely miss being in an accident, but spend all of our time staring behind us and the wreckage, the people who are hurt, the what could have been, all we are doing is setting ourself up to wreck down the road.
We have all been through something that has shaped who we are, something that has stuck with us, whether positive or negative, and those moments have either helped or hindered us in the life we are living. For me, my past has made me the woman I am. My past has shaped me into someone that can at times be a little harsh but at the same time truly tries to find joy in everything I do, even though I know I screw up a lot in the process! I know so many who have had things that have greatly impacted their lives, those impactful moments, whether good or bad, have caused them to not just glance in that rear view mirror, but stare and are unable to peel their eyes away to see what lies ahead. We cannot let the things of the past stay forefront of our mind and distract us from the lane change we may need to make, otherwise it begins to consume and define us to a point that we miss what is ahead and can negatively shape our everyday thoughts views on something that God has delivered us from, causing us to miss His grace in those trials.
Our pasts are meant to shape us, not define us. We are meant to learn, grow and be grateful from the constant wreckage we are being saved from, but to ensure that we continue to stay safe, we need to keep our eyes focused ahead, away from the distractions of the past, but still grateful we have the ability to occasionally glance back and be amazed by His constant grace to keep us safe, even through the fire.