Hang on to memories, smile when you think of them, laugh about them, reminisce about them and share them, but be careful not to get caught living in them. The Lord has plans to give you a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11) and those plans are far better than anything you could ever imagine.
“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has ever conceived are the things God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9
He gives us the gifts of those memories, but there are many more ahead. Don’t miss out on today and memories you could be making right now because you are too busy wishing you were still living that great memory. In the words of good ‘ol Dr. Seuss – “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”
After weekends like these last few, it’s hard not to wish they could last forever. However, as I think about this more and more I have found that this mind set puts God in a box. I’m not trusting that he can bless me with even more. Who’s to say God can’t create even better memories or friendships in our futures?
I hate goodbyes. I used to want something to happen at the end of vacations that would make me want to go home so that leaving would be easier. Dumb, I know. Some of my best memories are from family beach vacations with my grandparents and all of my cousins. It was always hard to leave because I don’t get to see them very often throughout the year, but that makes our time together that much more special. The Lord has grown me in this and I no longer ever want the trip to end with anything less than the best day of the week.
When you try to avoid the feelings you don’t like, you usually avoid the good ones too. Trust the Lord to bring new blessings everyday. Don’t be afraid to completely let go and love people or your time at a place even if it means a harder end or goodbye.
I’ve learned that if you worry about the end of the week and having to say goodbye, you fill your mind with discouragements and you aren’t able to fully live in and enjoy the moment. You miss out on good times and great memories because you are too busy worrying about missing them!
If you are afraid to really invest in and become friends with someone because you are afraid of screwing it up, not being liked, or of the friendship not working out, you may avoid rejection or the pain of an end or a goodbye, but you miss out on what could be the best friendship you’ve ever had too.
I’ve come to realize the blessing a true God given friendship can bring. I have zero patience though, so waiting for the Lord to develop those friendships can be hard. I realized that true, real friendships that last are precious gifts from God and that I have to seek this type of relationship with him first and he will take care of the rest. Patience is required to build strong friendships. It takes time to get to know someone and to build trust between the two of you. And you just have to trust in the Lord’s goodness and perfect timing.
I also learned that not every friendship is necessarily going to be a tight one. Sometimes my role to play is just being an encouragement for a short time or a bridge to them meeting someone else who is supposed to be their close friend. I have to be content in that and trust that the Lord knows best, that he knows what we need, and that if I am obedient I will fill the role I am supposed to in his plan.
Prayer has become a huge part in all of this. Seeing the Lord’s faithfulness in an answered prayer is a beautiful thing. God’s goodness has been overwhelming lately. It is so encouraging to know his promises are true and that he is good all the time.
We need to love like we were children. Kids become instant best friends with anyone they meet. They whole-heartedly jump into being your friend without worrying about what anyone else thinks, without any preconceived notions about what the friendship should be or not be, and with no concern about how it may end.
“I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:2-4
I have the blessing of serving at an elementary school afterschool program in Loachapoka, AL and the first day I was there I made over 20 new friends. Sure they were all under the age of 7, but they are awesome. One little boy came up to me, asked my name, and just started talking about everything that came to his mind. We talked about everything from Ninja Turtles to school to how old we are. As we sat there, he hesitated for a minute, grabbed my arm, and said, “Ooh, you have big muscles!” I died, of course, because I really don’t have very big muscles, but also because kids are funny. They say whatever is on their minds and don’t care what anyone else thinks. The carefree joy that comes from children is contagious and so uplifting.
I have been blessed with so many great friendships in the last few years. I have a family away from home here. The kids at Loachapoka asked my roommate and me if we were sisters and really, we might as well be. It’s so cool to see the Lord work in our family here. As friends graduate, they don’t leave the family; they just become distant relatives. As new friends come in, they become another member of our family. The Lord is always at work whether we can see it or not and trusting in your relationship with him will bring peace about your relationships with others.
“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:18-19
Jesus changed everything. If the people of God lived in the past and only focused on the blessings they had already received, they would have missed out on the greatest blessing of all time. They would have missed out on a relationship with the God of the universe who loves beyond what we can comprehend.