Adoption · Community · Encouragement · Motherhood

Reflecting on the Past and Feeling Hope for the Future

It’s been an interesting season to say the least. Last year started out unexpectedly and wonky for many. Little did any of us know the events that would follow when 2020 began. Covid-19 happened to us all and then our family found ourselves in crisis with one of our kids. Trauma can be triggered by many things. And after Christmas of 2019 we quickly had to make some decisions to get our son the help he needed. It was a really scary time for us. There was a lot of chaos in our home and with the world shutting down, we found ourselves feeling so powerless and confused. We felt depleted from events happening in our home and along with the rest of the world, we were experiencing a lot of changes that were out of our control.

I like to reflect when I am in tough or challenging seasons. I like to look back often and reflect on how God has provided for me in the past. It’s easy to look ahead in the future with hope when you have looked at the past with gratitude. When you do this you are reminded how God has shown up for you through tough times and how He will pull you through the present ones.

I have learned a few things in this past year and I want to remember them years from now. God has really ordained a lot of a good out of the bad stuff that happened last year and, man oh man, am I grateful.

#1: Being present is important. Covid-19 has caused a lot of us to pause from our routines and our “normal”.  Our calendars have paused and there is not much we can do about planning ahead because many things are restricted and closed. I am a huge planner. I love to be intentional about my time and my calendar but there is something different you learn when you are completely present in the moment with each day. You pause. You don’t look too far ahead into the future because you are focusing and giving your all to what is right in front of you. When you’re present you realize the importance of each day, who you have, and what you have. I’ve started a grateful journal. Every morning when I am doing my quiet time, I try to be intentional about writing down what I am grateful for. To be honest, with the stuff our son was going through and being forced into virtual learning it all caused me to have a bad attitude and become doubtful about the future. Yet, when I choose to start my day from a place of gratefulness, well, everything changes for me. Gratitude is a daily choice and it helps us have a healthy perspective when we look at all the ugly stuff happening around us.

#2: Life interrupted happens. Whether it’s an unexpected season, event, or crisis taking place- change is inevitable. Our lives will be interrupted in some seasons more than others but I believe GOOD can still come out of the interruptions. What if some of our interruptions were actually blessings in disguise? When our family was going through crisis, so many people came around us to support us and it’s reminded us that community matters. It was a very hard season but people stepped into that season to help our son like never before. Even Covid-19 changed everything. Our “normal” is different but it doesn’t have to be all bad. I never thought I would be doing virtual learning with my kids for this long but it’s made me see my children’s needs more clearly and advocate for them better. Even our oldest has made big headway while getting help over this past year and it’s been so encouraging to reconnect and revaluate how we do “family”. He’s a different kid! God moves in the mundane. He moves in the interruptions. Our family is different because of what we have been through. It’s been nothing short of easy, but we all grew in this season. What a blessing!

#3 Community is everything. I love seeing people face-to-face. I love greeting people, giving hugs, and hosting people in my home. Yet, Covid-19 has caused interactions with other to decrease immensely with social distancing. One of the things my son, Josiah has taught me is that you can still be intentional when life changes. He’s so good at making friends and playing with his friends in the neighborhood every chance he gets. Whether it’s being intentional when we see people from a distance in our neighborhood, calling people more, or reaching out to help- It all has worth it. People want to feel valued. I love it when I get a random text from friends asking me, “How are you?” or “Thinking about you.” It makes all the difference to feel seen.

We’ve had an amazing mentors come into our son’s life who have left a lasting impact on his heart and mental health this past year. They have taught us to be better parents and pushed us to grow. We felt so valued and we are so grateful God put them into our lives. People want to feel like they are known and loved. We can still come around others and help them in their journey safely. We can still do that even when life throws us curve balls and changes the dynamic of what our relationships look like. People are important. We can make our relationships even stronger when we are all able to come together again but what can we do now? How can we still pursue people? I am asking myself these questions too.

These are three simple things I am learning and areas I am trying to grow in. How about you? Where are you at with all of this? Are you feeling overwhelmed or challenged? Are you worried about the future? Take time to reflect this week and be reminded how God isn’t finished with you yet. He’s got your back. He knows it’s been hard. Stuff like this doesn’t interrupt him nor does it overwhelm him. I love that. What is God teaching you right now? As you reflect on the past, how does it give you hope for the future?

I think taking time to reflect is good for the soul. Every day I am thanking God for the present moment, my health, his provision, and I also like to thank him for how he is going to provide in the future. I pray you do the same.

“Those who know your name trust in you because you have not abandoned those who seek you Lord.”

– Psalms 9:10

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