Looking Backward?

This is a revisit from January 2012.  As I read through it, I realized this is a post I need to read and reread - especially on the more challenging days.

You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.  (Psalm 16:11)

Some days I feel as if I have lost all sense of purpose in this life. When I have little energy or strength, I sometimes feel I would much rather just curl up in bed than face the world.

The worst times are the times when I start to compare myself to others, or look at what my life was like seven years ago.

Seven years ago would have found me walking along Michigan Avenue in Chicago after having taken the South Shore train that leaves the station around 5:00 in the morning.  I’d be walking briskly, smiling at the people I have become acquainted with as I made my way through throngs of people and arrived at my internship site.  My hair would be “just so”, I’d have my make up on, and be dressed in professional clothing and heels.

Now I look in the mirror at the me who tries to at least get lipstick on, make sure my hair is at least combed, and have on “comfy” clothes that don’t hurt or bind in any way.

How focused I can get on those past things when I stop to compare!  My mind wanders to this activity and to that - but I, in reality have neither energy nor stamina for many.

While looking backwards can help when I am focusing on what God has done in the past, that is usually not the kind of looking backwards I fall into.  

Learning to stay here and now - in the present - even if the present hurts is what I am finding I need to do, because living in the past is even more painful.

Those are the days when I need to look at the “self-care” list I have made for myself.  Did I force myself to get dressed?  Check.  Do I have lipstick on?  Check.  (I know it may be silly, but it makes me feel more like “me”.)  Do I have encouraging music on?  Wait - I haven’t done that yet.  Have I read my Bible today?  Ummmm.  I was going to get around to that.  Have I worked on my Bible study?  Well, I was planning on doing that later, too.  Have I done anything to try and encourage someone else today?  

I can slowly begin to see why this is “one of those days.”  I am not doing the things I know I need to do on a daily basis to take care of myself.  I am not looking for nor listening to God when I fail to do the things I know will help me along.

What works for me, won’t work for everyone - but I think it is important that we have some kind of a routine that keeps us out of the pit of despair that is oh-so-willing to drag us down into its depths.

Is this “one of those days” for you, today?  Are there steps you can take to start turning things around?  

What helps you on the “down” days?

We were promised a joy-filled, abundant life.  Yet, we must do our part to abide in Him in order to live that life.

What is God showing you that you need to do today?

Father God, Thank you for allowing each of us to find the things that help us stay close to you.  Grant us the incentive and the courage to make those steps that lead us towards You, rather than focusing on the “used to be” parts of our life.  Help us to be ever thankful for all you have done in our pasts, but more importantly, for all You are doing now and for our future with You.  Amen and Amen, Lord!  So be it!

For my email friends - have you visited the  Encouraging Words  website?  You can find devotionals listed by topics, visit the archives, and leave your thoughts on this post or anything else you'd care to share!

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