After living in LA for officially two years, the life I lived in Seattle grows further and further away. The distance is increasing, and the memories are slowly fading.
For Christmas, I went for a visit and I wanted to remember what once was in my life...
Sometimes it's the act of visiting certain places that triggers memories better than anything.
You see, my life in LA in comparison to Seattle, couldn't be more different.
The landscape, the pace of life, the weather, the people... Well, it's all just so different. And when it's that different, it happens to be easy to forget.
And in a lot of ways I needed that.
Yet, I had forgotten, without realizing it, where I've come from and the important elements that have made me who I am today.
When we moved two years ago, I was ready for a change.
In fact, I craved it.
I felt my soul longing for something new, and deep down I knew God was about to do just that.
I was searching for God to fill me anew once again. I had grown so accustomed to my life, I couldn't see the forest for the trees anymore.
Like listening to a song over and over... After awhile, you don't hear it the same. The lyrics you loved now go right over your head. You don't appreciate it as much. It doesn't move you like it once had... You just become somewhat numb to it all.
At the core, my heart was transitioning, and so was God initiating the closing of a chapter in my life.
And so he did.
Two long years later, it was time to visit.
When you visit something that once was... that no longer is... Sometimes you can have mixed emotions.
You can remember good moments, but then be sad that those moments are gone, forever.
At the same time you might have bad memories, but be so glad that you are now far removed from them.
Mixed emotions... It's real. And It's weird.
And I had a lot of them.
It felt as though I was visiting a cemetery of chapters of my life that no longer exist...
Even relationships that were subject to the process of change and evolution, and even handling the passing of a few loved ones.
The realization that things are not as they once were, can sometimes feel weird.
It's interesting how it all works, as life evolves, looking back can leave you with such mixed emotions.
Most times though, remembering can be so positive and so encouraging... Remembering all the moments and people that have made you who you are today... It can be quite overwhelming.
A lot of gratitude fills my heart as I reflect back. So many good things for me to remember...
Like - being so young, naive and in love with God...
Wanting to see his miracles working in my life....
All of the leaders/pastors/friends/family members that were so influential to me...
Dating Wes for the first time...
Becoming a pastor...
Even remembering how God helped me to overcome real challenges...
Remembering the first time I felt God's call on my life...
And now, years later, sensing that his call has never left me... That's it... What I really needed to remember, that God is still with me.
A sense of invigoration has filled my heart. I'm bright eyed and I have a full heart as I look back.
I'm thankful for all that has been, acknowledging the special moments in my life... They're all so special to me.
But I must remember moments do not last forever... They're not suppose to. Those small moments are not the point of our lives...
Jesus is the point of it all, His kingdom and eternity... We have much to look forward to.
I'm so grateful for what was in my life, I couldn't be more proud of my "roots." But I'm more grateful that God is with me, and truly my best days are ahead. His obligation isn't to fulfill only one season of my life, like I've seen in Seattle, but it carries on from beginning to end.
He's with me. And he's with you.
I feel as though by appreciating my past, I can embrace my here and now with a tighter grip. And I feel release to do so.
I couldn't be more excited about what's ahead!
Here's to 2016.