This weekend I was blessed to have two very good reminders of how much your past can impact your future. Saturday night I had the pleasure of attending Inspire Life Skills (https://inspirelifeskills.org/about/) 14th annual Gala called, "Behind the Mask." Founder Kristi Perez saw a problem and worked to find a solution. Inspire's goal is "to create a safety net for emancipated foster youth while they transition into young adults and to help them break the cycle of abuse and poverty of their past." One of those helped by Inspire shared her pains of the past and how bright her future looks now. Her choice to not remain a victim of her past has made it possible for her to live a life of courage today.
The second blessing was in attending services at The Bridge Church (TheBridgeChurch.TV) as they celebrated 35 years of service to Murrieta and the Temecula Valley. The message presented by Pastor Gary was that we should honor our past, but celebrate our future. He shared about two voices being raised in unison as some were reminiscent of the past and others praised God for what the future would hold. Same situation, but two perspectives.
I recently heard someone say that we should be thankful for the pains of the past because they made us who we are today. I think of my own past pains and looking over my life in totality (which you get to do when you have more years in your past than you do in your future), and I see how God has used those pains to help others. One colleague of mine said, "You can only go as deep as you yourself have been." This is so true. If I have not felt pain I would not be able to have empathy for others. The more pain I endured, the deeper into their pain I can go and show them a way out.
I'm not a poet by any means, but I scribbled these words after the Sunday service as I contemplated the combined messages of the weekend:
There’s more to life. There’s more to love.
There’s more blessings to receive from above.
There’s more to have. There’s more to give.
In every breath you take there’s more to live.
My prayer for you is that you would not live in the past, but learn from it. Don't let fear hold you back. Have hope. Be encouraged. And Encourage others to do the same.
I am pleased to say Encouragers Counseling & Training Centers is a proud partner supporting both of these amazing organizations to bring help and healing to those they serve.