Have you ever experienced a time in your life that you wish you could return to?
For me, there is one specific season of my life that I would give anything to re-do.
My senior year in high school, I interned with my student ministry. And let me tell you, I was IN LOVE with that season of life. I met some of the most amazing people and had some of the most amazing friendships.
I had a couple of families that invited me in and loved me like their own.
I led an eighth grade girls bible study and mentored one of the girls. Her family, oh her family, I just adored them! I'll never forget her mom making me a cookie cake for my birthday and me crying like a baby for the love they poured out on me.
Then there was another friend of mine. We were inseparable for a time and I adored her family as well. The night I spoke with my dad for the first time ever, I immediately drove to her house and sat down with her and her mom talking through it all.
There was just something about that community of people that I absolutely still want to be wrapped in.
And I also believe that there are some friends that are there just for a season. And those people, oh those people served so much purpose in my life for that season.
It was a season when my step-dad, who had been in prison for 4 years, was coming home. It was high school graduation, and then meeting my biological dad for the first time. All in one year.
It was emotional. It was trying. I struggled with purpose. I struggled with acceptance.
But this community, this season that I had truly filled my cup. At times, my cup overflowed.
And I think the most devastating thing about it all is that I don't have relationships with any of those wonderful people anymore. And I'm not sure that any of them know what a profound impact they had on and in my life.
Even more devastating is that I am the only cause of not having those relationships. You see, I didn't date much in high school. Mom always told me I'd meet someone in college. And so when I went to college, I met someone the first day. And I compromised everything I believed for a stupid boy.
Those compromises ended friendships. It wasn't a bad end. It was just one of those things where you look up and everyone is gone....I didn't even realize it was happening.
I quit my internship for a boy.
I chose this boy over my passion.
To be clear, this boy was not my now husband. It was literally, just a stupid boy.
By far, the biggest mistake of my life.
I mean honestly, here I am eleven years later, and it still bothers me. It still breaks my heart because I let a boy destroy everything else that I needed so desperately.
I think there was a reason in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah that God told them not to look back.
Looking back brings heartbreak. Longing for what once was. When the reality is that we can't change the past. No matter how many apologies I offer, I can't go back to the way things were before I made poor decisions. Seasons of life have changed. Storms and sunshine come and go. And life goes on.
But often, I think about how differently things might have been had I been wise. Honestly, I don't know the answer. Nor do I know what the main point of this post is.
What I do know is that scripture says time and time again to focus on looking forward.
We must learn from our past, but not stay there. We must free ourselves from the baggage we carry.
And we absolutely must press forward, for God is doing a new thing.