No one is in the house, and I am watching Monday night football. I am sort of wondering what is wrong with me. How many other women do I know that would watch Monday night football alone and enjoy it? Not many.
I've shared this before, but the reason I love football is because my dad coached a high school team throughout most of my childhood. The sounds of the whistles, helmets crashing against each other, players yelling - they all remind me of being little and looking up at my daddy who was my hero. I got excited when my dad did, and I was disappointed when he was. I loved being on the sidelines and feeling like I was part of the team. Because of those experiences in my past, I enjoy the sport today.
Whether good or bad, our past experiences influence how we perceive our present situation. As a former single mom, my experience of having to do everything solo at times, makes me appreciate even the little things, like now having a second pair of hands to unload groceries. More recently, I discovered that my past experience of getting pregnant twice, unexpectedly, while trying to prevent it, led me to believe that if I actually tried to conceive, surely it would happen immediately. Past experiences can be powerful influences.
Yesterday, we honored the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11. I was literally glued to the TV for three days watching specials, listening to stories of those who sacrificed their lives to save others, stories of miraculous survival, and stories of bitterness and anger. Surely all who were involved were significantly affected in some manner, and would never be the same because of what happened. As I watched, I found myself wondering how some of them would ever be able to move on, to live without thinking of their past every single day.
In my own life, as I try to navigate around my own past, I've found myself asking God: "What are you trying to teach me?" I was overwhelmed at the verse that came to my mind this evening. I've read it a thousand times, but tonight it suddenly had new meaning. Proverbs 3:5-6 says:
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding [or past experiences]. Seek HIS will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take."
Yesterday, as I helped in children's church, I was reminded that God has a plan for all of us. We each have our own, unique set of influences, past experiences and circumstances, but God has a unique and perfect plan, that takes into account every event that shapes us into who we are. Trust that God has a good plan for your life, and that
"ALL things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." Romans 8:28
He is big enough to carry our hurt and our disappointments, and He is not deterred by our mistakes. He only asks for our hearts ['those who love God'] and our trust.