Celebrate How Far You’ve Come

Generally speaking, I think it’s safe to say you should typically travel through this life facing forward. As a matter of fact, our faith encourages us to look forward with expectation and excitement of what’s to come. We know what’s to come is far better than what’s behind us.

This all makes sense to me. Keep facing forward with faith and expectation, right? This theory was proven recently when I made the mistake of glancing backwards during a run. I quickly glanced over my shoulder and {imagine the most dramatic, non-graceful, tuck-and roll fall possible} down I went. Hard. I mean, cry-worthy. What was I thinking? If I’m moving forward, there really was no benefit in looking back. I mean, after all, we don’t have the luxury of living yesterday. So bring on tomorrow, because with Jesus, I’m in.

But maybe, just maybe, it’s worth it to take a glance back every now and again. You’re catching me on the coattails of a birthday. So in addition to eating an entire bag of chocolate covered cherries and having dinner out, my birthday ritual includes some self-reflection. And as part of that process, I look back over the previous years and make note of where I’ve been. Sometimes I even open my journal. In it I find joy. But I also find entries where I felt pure darkness and hopelessness. During those times, I find days where life felt empty. Where I wanted nothing more than to crawl back in bed, where facing the world seemed too overwhelming. Or entries where I witnessed a loved one hurting and asked God to intervene. I reminisce about days consumed with empty prayers that seemed to be unheard.

But it is in the process, where I also find reason to celebrate.

Because as I look back over the heart-wrenching struggles, challenges and emptiness of life – the view in the mirror proves I’ve gotten past those days. It’s where I can see how my prayer for help was answered as He gave me strength {instead of immediately fixing it like I had asked}. That glance backwards is where I see how strong I am, when I seek God’s help. It’s also where I understand that emptiness and how it came together months later to bring me a new friendship. It’s where I see my struggle over the course of years shape me into a person with greater empathy. It’s where I look back and smile… acknowledging all that God and I have accomplished together.

It’s often times, in that rear view mirror, where our faith and hope in Jesus is strengthened. It’s where we are reaffirmed to trust God, because He’s proven Himself time and time again. It’s in this rear view mirror that our soul is strengthened to trust our Lord and live, facing forward, with excitement and anticipation as His plans unfold. It’s here where our soul celebrates God’s faithfulness… but it’s also where we can applaud our strength too. Certainly we find it in Him, but when we look back we’ll realize how brave and courageous we were too. We’ll see that in those times when we trusted God, together we made it through.

You’ve got these examples too. I know you do – they aren’t always easy to see {particularly when the experiences are recent}, but God’s been there. He’s seen you through. And you’ve been brave and courageous to arrive there. You {and God} are worth celebrating. So as you skip through your day facing forward, find a moment to look back and celebrate how faithful God has been and how strong you are. Together you and God have come a long way… together, you’ve got a joyful journey ahead.

Relevant Scripture: “The LORD will give strength to His people; The LORD will bless His people with peace.” Psalm 29:11

Father God, I celebrate all we have done together. Our past experiences reveal your uninterrupted faithfulness. And you give me hope to look forward as Your plans unfold. Lord it is with great anticipation and confidence that I look forward, trusting You for where we’ve been and where we’re going. Amen.

Author: Carrie Kiekhaefer

I'm Carrie Kiekhaefer and I'm passionate about finding and reflecting JOY in this life. Unfortunately, I know a lot can get in the way of that JOY. Life is messy and complicated. I'm here as a messy child of God, a natural encourager, a blogger, a coach and a designer to help you navigate through the mess. With relevant scripture, a relationship with Jesus and some honest blogs we can find, let's discover and reflect His Joy - together.

2 thoughts on “Celebrate How Far You’ve Come

    1. Oh my dear friend… thanks for the encouragement. And your timing seems to be impeccable… there are days where I question the value in my words. It’s then, that Jesus sprinkles some encouragement in the comments from a lovely soul like you. And as I look back in that rear view mirror, I love that I see you throughout my journey. We’ve been friends long enough that you’ve witnessed some of those challenges and doubts, and you’ve been Jesus’ voice when I needed extra support and encouragement. Thanks for being you. Much love and joy. C.

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