Ah, the good old days…when life was easier, we were younger, and the world was as it should be.
If you’re like most people, chances are you’ve surrounded yourself with items that bring back memories of a special time in your life. Maybe you’ve stayed in touch with friends and laugh over old photos on social media. Perhaps you kept certain items from those years, even if they are now outdated. You may even find yourself doing things a certain way simply because that’s how you’ve always done them.
There’s nothing wrong with feeling nostalgic of the past. In some seasons, it can even be healthy to look back and remember the ways God blessed you. But sometimes, what we may mistake as nostalgia is actually a deeply-rooted fear of change.
It is only natural to fear the unknown. We are creatures of habit and cling to what’s familiar. But if our eyes are constantly locked on the past and the way things used to be, we miss valuable opportunities to make new memories here in the present. Even worse, though, we take our eyes off of God and the incredible blessings He has in store for our future.
I had a client several years ago who shared the negative impact nostalgia had on her family. When she was in high school, her grandfather unexpectedly passed away. While she and her family grieved over this loss and painfully accepted the new way of life, her father became so fixated on the memories of his childhood with his dad, that for the next five years, her family wondered if any of the new memories they created were valuable to him at all. Her father was so fearful of what it would mean to live in a life without his dad, that he unintentionally forced his children to live without theirs.
In Jeremiah 29:11 God makes a promise. He says, “I know the plans I have for you...plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” You can’t afford to miss out on the amazing plans that are about to unfold, even if those plans come after a season of difficult and painful change. Remember, when God calls you to something, He will get you through it as well. So when you find yourself reminiscing, make sure you aren’t grasping for the past, but instead remembering God’s faithfulness so you can face this new season without fear.
Some questions to consider as you enter your weekend:
- What memories are holding you so tightly in the past that you’re distracted from the present?
- In what ways was God faithful to you in those seasons of blessing?
- Do you believe God wants to bless you in this new season He is calling you to as well?