Retrospect Is My New Best Friend

I’m a planner. I think things through. I’m not a fan of abrupt life changes. 

So I had to laugh at myself when one year ago, I resigned from my stable job, said goodbye to friends, packed a moving truck, and left Missouri to move back to Iowa. When I got to Iowa, I had a temporary political gig waiting for me. (Side note: this ended up being some of the most challenging work of my life and while I was very happy to say goodbye to it, I’m glad for the growth.) I didn’t even have housing lined up – good thing my parents like me enough to have me stay with them for a few weeks. 

All things considered, the entire move seemed like something I wouldn’t choose to do. But there have been a few times in my life where I have clearly felt the Lord guiding my choices, and in the weeks leading up to the move, His voice was clear: 

“You need to be near your family. You need to be closer to the friends you’ve known for years. You need to leave your comfort zone here.” 

I listened. Through the chaos of the move, the frustration of house hunting, the hard days of work, and the hours I spent on the road away from home for said work, I hoped that God had a purpose in me uprooting my life. 

Retrospect has become my new best friend because, without it, I wouldn’t be able to appreciate the goodness God displayed in guiding my steps. 

I had no way of knowing that God was going to provide a house that would be more of a home than my little apartment in the city. A home that would see more tears, more joy, and more fellowship than that apartment ever did. 

I had no way of knowing that a global pandemic would sweep the world. I didn’t know that my family members would be the only people I would meet with in-person for months and that doing that would have been impossible if I still lived out of state. 

I had no idea that I needed to be close to my family for the storms we would weather. From health issues to hardships, physical proximity allowed me to be there for my family in a way that texts and calls never could have replicated. 

I had no clue what wonderful work and opportunities God had lined up. That my rescue dachshund’s separation anxiety would lessen after he became best friends with my sister’s dog. I didn’t know that God had a church community lined up for me, one where I could grow deep roots of fellowship. 

What seemed like chaos and hardship at the time was God’s design for goodness in my life. Retrospect allows me to praise Him for that. His ways are not our ways. 

What has God done in your life that you can fully appreciate now? Take some time to reflect – He’s working for good even when we don’t fully see it.

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