There are two types of questions I often get. One is whether I miss my “old life”. The other is some morphed variation of questions about my “future life” (as if I can see that far ahead).
At first I used to immediately jump to the questions about the future responding confidently and with certainty about how great things will be some day. That “future” conversation deserves its own blog and will one day get it, but this day is not my focus (literally and figuratively).
For now, I want to declare this fact regarding my past, “I don’t miss my old life, just some of the people in it.” Now, hold up. Wait a minute. Don’t get all up-in-arms thinking that by my “old life” I’m merely referring to the time when I was married, which many might assume, and should not. Definitely don’t think that I’m discounting, dismissing or being less than genteel about those nine years. Not true. In fact, I fully value and appreciate each and every day regardless of the outcome, but the time I was married was just a teeny-tiny sampling of my 42 years here on earth. When I say my “old life” I mean ALL of my life.
I’ve just decided that where I am right now, in this very moment is the absolute best place for me to be. It’s where God has me. And trust me when I tell you, where He has me is as good as it gets for me until He sees fit for otherwise . The thought of thinking that where I used to be is better than where I am (even if it felt like it at the time or in retrospect) makes me think it’s not the best thought to think. I can’t imagine how God feels when we all look back over our pasts as if that’s the best He has to offer. He’s too GOOD to be outdone by anything anyone else has done and anything He’s done. He’s always focusing on us appreciating where He has us now, learning from where we’ve been and preparing for where we’re going while still appreciating where He has us now.
The job I have may not pay off in the same way as others in the past, but it’s my job and that makes it the best thing for me with what matters most…right now. The church I attend may not be as small or closely knit as some in my past, and people don’t know me from Ruth or Sarah, but it’s where I’m going and growing and that’s working wonderfully for me. The neighborhood I live in now may not have the same amazing, urban sounds and smells (the good smells like barbecue grills fired up on a hot, summer day) and neighbors who are more like family than friends, but it’s peaceful and where I call home at this moment and that’s alright with me. The friends I have now may not be as many in number or influence like perhaps some in the past, but they’re my friends and that makes them, and me super special.
So I’ll say again, “I don’t miss my old life, just some of the people in it.” I will say, in utter honesty, that out of all the phases of my life I’ve accepted that it’s some of the relationships with some people no longer here, those that had to leave my circle, or those that I don’t see or interact with as often that I most miss. I do miss the presence of some pretty swell people I’ve come to know and love. I often think of some of them, see their posts on social media, hear of them in their well-doing and yearn for some sort of renewed connection, but then, even still I muster up that “something on the inside” that tells me to be grateful for the friendship, the family bond, the spiritual or social circle or the professional association. And that’s good enough for me. All else from my past served its purpose and that was to get me to the here and now, but in no way convince me that my yesterday was any better than my today.