Whatever the situation, it's one of the hardest things we must do. Friendships...ideas...dreams...our memories are steeped in the past while we forget about our lives in the present.
As of last November, I'd moved three times in the past year and a half. With my first move, I missed my old friends desperately and would have given anything to "go back home." And each time I visited my friends and family where I used to live, I got a little more distant, a little more detached--sometimes without my knowing it.
One year ago, all I wanted was to move back to where I used to live. I remember mistakenly wishing that I had never moved to the Midwest.
But I wouldn't trade anything in the whole world for the one year I spent out there. Not another year back in my old home, another year with my old friends, another year anywhere else. Because in each place I've been, God has given me friends and experiences that in my mind are worth far more than any worldly possession.
At the same time, He was slowly prying me apart from my old friends. I think of friendships that were, friendships that used to be so strong, and I want to cry because the girls are so different now, it's like I don't know them. And a part of my mind thinks, If I hadn't moved, if I had stayed here, maybe we would still be friends...I wouldn't have missed out all the things they did together, without me...
Yes, that's true. I'd have an entire year of memories with them, in my old home.
And an entire year in the Midwest wouldn't be in my memory. Those friends, the girls I became so close with, I wouldn't even know. The family vacations, the sleepovers, the youth group meetings, the freezing cold winter (well, that I'm not missing too much), the volleyball practices, the laughter. Something would be missing, a really big something, a huge part of my life.
It take me a long time to realize that that part of my life lives in my memory, but it's not who I am anymore. I love that part of my life... but I can't get it back. Rather, God has put me where I am for a reason.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
You're where you are now because God has planted you there. Yes, maybe you're missing your friends, your old home, your church. But would God have put you there if he didn't have a plan? Would he do anything without a plan? Is missing someone, or something, any reason to not live life fully? (which is something I struggle with hugely, so don't feel alone.)
At times I still regret my leaving. Old friends have grown close to each other while I've grown farther. But, my sisters in Christ, some of the best advice I can offer you, if you have similiar thoughts--move on! Yes, it's difficult, and I know from having done it myself. But there are friends, memories, places to go and things to see where you are right now, and if you sit back in the past and wish for what's gone, you'll miss it on the life God has given you.
Somewhere back there I left my worries all behind
My problems fell out of the back of my mind
We're going and I'm never knowing where we're going
To go back to where I was would just be wrong
I'm pressing on!
--I'm Pressing On by Relient K
Pressing on doesn't mean you have to forget your past. Keep your memories in your heart and don't let go of them...just don't let them blind you to the blessings and friends Jesus is placing in your life right now.
There's something else I've realized only recently--I don't want to go back. Even if I could, I wouldn't. I'm here now with amazing friends and fantastic oppurtunities, and wherever I am, life has to be lived!
So, my sisters, live it. Wherever you are, whatever the situation, whoever and wherever you're missing, live out your life fully for Jesus--with no regrets!
About the author:
My name is Caroline, and with my pen, camera, and Jesus, I intend to live every day to its fullest and honor God through the song that is my life. I have a passion for writing and stories, paired with a huge imagination. Thick novels, rosebuds, the ocean, summertime, raindrops, epic music, and fairytales are just a few of my favorite things. I blog over at A Writer's Life For Me. Thanks for reading, and God bless!