Rearview Mirrors are distorting.
Really, they are. When you think about what’s happening, you have to eventually come to terms that any and everything you see in your ‘rearview mirror’ has now been distorted by some very important factors:
1) Time has passed.
2) You have changed.
3)That “thing” has changed.
Nothing wrong with reflections. But they are only beneficial when it comes to learning from the past, not from reveling in the presumable joy in going back to it.
Okay, so last week I log onto Facebook. Yeah, I pretty consistently satisfy my “Pringle/Jefferson Blood-Nosiness-Gene” by perusing Facebook whenever I am bored. So there I am scrolling away through crazy updates and I catch the recent news that “someone I used to know” is recently engaged.
Honestly, that’s the first thought. He’s Engaged? There is no way! So now, I have to verify, Yep. I have to pull up his page and see what’s really going on. And there it is! He’s changed his own personal status. And just so you guys know, I rolled my eyes at first. Really, I did. (Might have sucked my teeth too, but I can’t really remember! 🙂 ) Then I heard my Old Man say in my head: “Be a big girl, now” in that classic Willie Jefferson tone that says he’s going to treat me like an adult even though I’m acting like a child. Okay, so I take a deep breath. BE A BIG GIRL, I tell myself. Got it.
I smile to myself, do a quick nod, “LIKE” a few of the comments posted by his family and friends, wish them a very hopeful congratulations, I go back to the home page and keep on scrolling. I mean, there are just too many other people, with news I’d much prefer hearing, for me to stay on his page with my mouth hanging open! LOL!
So I’ve chosen to handle this well. I’ve chosen everyday to put on my “big girl skirt” and be easy. I go home for Thanksgiving and randomly mention it to my mother when we do our morning news reports. (I go to bed so early, and if you know my momma you know she is very busy throughout the day, so the only time we really get to chat or gossip is early in the morning before our day gets started.) Anyway amidst the laughter of today’s reports, I light-heartedly mention to her that “the Ex- has gotten engaged….” and all of a sudden she’s serious. She stops laughing. She’s looking at me with her “Momma eyes” and asks me if I’m okay.
“Mom,” I reply just as serious because I want this road that she’s just taken to end right here,
She takes the hint and throws out a subtle aside: “Okay, well, I’m just asking. You know sometimes women get to that point when they start wondering what would have happened with THAT ONE had things worked out”.
I take a deep breath and give her my truth: “Momma, had God not confirmed the truth about [his name here] and I, then I probably would wonder, but I know the decision we made was the right one. There’s no need to wonder.” She’s looking at me again, but knows the conversation is over when Nora comes in and says that she’s going to Starbucks to work on some homework before breakfast! Thank heavens for free WI-Fi and breakfast invitations! LOL!
Anyway, the days go by and I am having lunch with a homegirl at work and while we’re straight having “girl-talk” about this man and what I know to be true about him. She gets serious and straight-up asks me: “ Well, what about her made her the one?” And since I have no idea, all I could do is say as much. I was just as lost about it as any stranger would be, since I don’t know her from Adam. But really, “I am happy for them”, I explain. She looks at me like she just knows I’m lying. I convince her again, “Seriously I am.” [in my soapbox proclamation voice:] At the end of the day, had he still been single. I know I wouldn’t want to be with him. I know I’m not supposed to be with him, so why trip out now that he’s engaged. Truth of the matter—I know what she’s getting, so there’s no need to wonder.” Our lunch is ending, to-go boxes are being passed and filled, so the conversation goes back to work drama, pregnant teenagers, and how much money we didn’t spend during Black Friday.
One day later, after morning calls to my darling mother, I have her voice in my head. She’s saying: Well, Krystal sometimes you wonder…
You always have that one guy. You ask yourself: “what if things were different…” what if I had stayed….” What if we’d made it work….
It amazes me how the voices of people I love stick with me. You’d think that as much as I live inside my own head, that my own conscience would be the only one on repeat, but here it is Wednesday afternoon before bible study and I’m tripping about what Momma said.
My mind is traveling. Sure enough, it’s a place that I don’t want to go, but before I realize it, I’m already there. I began to question it. Well, what if we had worked out? What if it were me? Would I be happy? Would I be better than I am? [What does it matter, if it would not have been a better situation?] But he asked her…
It’s starting… and I can’t stop it.
He owns his home. Will they move? What will they name their kids?.… yep, ridiculous as it sounds… I was all over the place. And this is what happens when you allow ‘others’ in. Your company, regardless of their intentions, can cloud your judgment/ mis-guide your thoughts.
So its Wednesday night and I’m in Bible Study and my darling pastor ministers on the subject “Have you Consecrated Yourself Lately?” (with my subtitle: “No Looking Back”) Now he is ministering on the importance of being consecrated to the service of God. How there are certain times when God calls you to do something and you have to consecrate yourself for that purpose (for the specific instructions that he’s given). Of course, he’s talking about worldly conceits and knowing that the world will take you if you allow it. He starts talking about how looking back is a waste of effort (ref: Luke 9:62). And though he is ministering is on worldy habits that die hard, all I’m thinking about is The Ex-.
Pastor Gool moves on to Luke 17:33 where Jesus instructs us to “Remember Lot’s wife!” I’m writing my notes and suddenly my neck heats up. (God’s getting my attention. Oh, Krystal… the Holy spirit is saying….) Pastor Gool continues: He’s telling us to keep in mind what happened to her. Lot and his family were given very specific instructions when they ran from Sodom and Gomorrah, and instead of her focusing on the instructions given, she was caught up in wonder about what was going on in Sodom. She was looking back instead of focusing on where God was taking them.
My pastor tells us to write this down:
When you look back, you are saying that you don’t trust where you are going.***Looking back is almost saying that you don’t truly believe that “where you are headed is better than what you had to leave behind”
I’m flabbergasted. Blown away by the timing of it all.
It’s been a week since this man’s engagement and though I’ve professed to be nonchalantly happy for them, have I really been? Is it jealousy? Is it vengeance? I have no idea what it is. At this point, as God is ministering to my spirit about the reflections that I’ve been doing off & on for the past couple days. Those random glances I’ve been making in the rearview mirror of my life.
I am confronted with the impaling truth that I’m almost 30! I said I’d be married by now. I said I would have birthed out these beautiful babies by now. My life is supposed to look differently. God is letting me vent. He’s letting me complain.
As I circumvent all over my feelings, I breathe out my desires.
God knows these things. It’s nothing that we don’t talk about often enough. And lo-and-behold…. (sarcasm intended here!) God starts talking. When I purpose to listen, he always talks. But seriously now, he’s talking to me, but not as the Almighty, Not as Jehovah Jireh, Not as Lord of Lords, Not as Rapha or any other name and title that people use to reference Him. In a very plain way, He’s telling me all the things I know to be truth. He’s saying what my thoughts are. He’s saying my truth. Not to convince me, but to remind me as a friend, that I cannot get caught up in this rearview mirror. What I see now is distorted. My perception of the past at this point has changed. I’ve gotten older, wisdom gained makes things look differently now. Had things been peaches back then, that relationship wouldn’t have been my past, it would have been my present.
As a friend, he’s reminding me of the prayers I prayed during that relationship. He’s showing me moments where He instructed me early-on about that relationship and I missed the directive. He is showing me the moments of confirmation how the once-boyfriend became now “The Ex”. It’s not anything overwhelming or all-encompassing, this approach that God has taken with me tonight. ***And don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to belittle the mighty-ness of MY GOD. I’m just saying that in a very intimate way, God loved on me. He loved on me. It was personal, quaint. Like mid-morning coffee at a beachside inn with your best friend. Something shared for just us two. Kind of like a lightly-pressed “laying on of hands”.
So here’s the take away: He’s not changing anything. I haven’t asked him for anything, but Wednesday night, God gave me his shoulder and and I breathed deeply. I become more settled in the truth of the promises he’s made me regarding my future. Looking back is clearer now. God gave me instructions. I obeyed. So why am I wondering? The truth is simple. Easy to swallow now that the focus is back on the present, and not the past. He’s reminded me that HIS truth has more weight than mine ever will. What I mean you ask? Well, I believe in the promises he’s given me, but as God reminded me during Bible study: If I didn’t believe them, would that make them any less true?
No. Not in the least!
I am amazed by the reality that my GOD, as mighty and powerful as I know him to be, quieted my mind and intimately reassured my spirit. Made me smile deep down the way a best friend does. I’m honored for that relationship; that intimacy. To really be His friend and call him mine. (Sounds corny, but there’s no way else to say it.) Towards the end of service I got all warm and tingly inside ( and these are the moments when I directly receive God-given love. I call these moments HOLY SPIRIT HUGS LOL! ) It’s an embrace between us two. A physical confirmation of His presence. I get them often enough, so I smile because I know it’s another sign of reassurance.
Lord, I hear you , I tell him; my latter will be greater than my last. I’m not tripping about what you’re doing in the lives of him and his fiance’, as a matter of fact, I’m excited still because I know MY HE will be so friggin’ better than what I may have thought I had, I’ll be blown away by what you’ve done in my life.
I’m sitting there in church, and (my ace, my homie, my#1) God’s whispering in my ear (probably winking too) …. You do realize that the windshield provides a far better view than the rearview anyway, right?
And pillars of salt don’t look good on anybody! LOL!
I smile. “I know Lord, I know.”
It took me forever to read it. I think I read it, but I bypassed it. This is great Demaris! Oftentimes we get so trapped in the past that we don’t think about the reasons why it is just that, we forget about why situations happened the way that they did, but God gives us these experiences for several different reasons. I needed that! Thanks for sharing!