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Maybe the Way to Rewrite Your Past, is to Simply Turn the Page

2011. Twen-ty-e-lev-en. I like the way it slips off the tongue, like a smooth wine suspends in the mouth. I think I’m going to like this year. At least, I have an unexplained, insistent hope for it.


After certain little girls had eyelashes to cheek, their little chests bobbing softly in the night, the hubby and I had one of those talks that will live on in the memory. One of those talks where the gate of honesty is unlatched and its hinges rotate to wide-open. We talked of dreams, some new, some that have been buried deep, assumed to be impossible. We talked of our life story and how we wish we could go back and rewrite so many of its chapters. We talked a lot about  “what-ifs”. What if this hadn’t happened, or what if we had made this decision, or what if so-and-so hadn’t done such-and-such, or what if the timing had been just a tad different, or what if, what if, what if?


I’m not really sure what to do with the what-ifs.


I don’t think you can stash them away in hopes that they’ll be forgotten. I think they’d always lurk at your door and barge in when least invited.


I think that maybe we have to look them straight in the face. Unblinkingly. And we either have to come to grips with the fact that things happened a certain way, or we have to ask God to redeem them through us. Or maybe both?


We don’t have the power to change the past, but we do have the power to change the present and the future. And even more than that, we know One who either wrote our past to lead up to a certain future, or He allowed our past and is in the process of working it out for good. Either way, I refuse to let the what-ifs paralyze us.


And while I struggle in understanding the ideas of free will verses God-ordained-destiny and wondering how they package up -nicely and neatly – I know that I can trust Him. As C.S. Lewis said about Aslan, God is not always safe. He does not always allow things to be as I would wish them to be. But, he is good. And I believe that with all my heart.


Maybe we need to stop dwelling on the what-ifs of the past, and begin thinking about the what-ifs of the present.


What if God is calling us to do this? What if God wants us to do that? What if He’s paving the way for this?


What if????


And our eyes open wide as the what-ifs of the past give way to new roads for our future.


So, as 2011 begins, I am more thankful than ever for my life. And I don’t just mean my living and breathing and moving body and mind. I mean that I am thankful for the story He is writing and that I am a part of it. And so are you, my friend.


So are you.


Fresh thanks….

#115 no fear in honesty with him or from him

#116 awakened dreams at the beginning of a new year

#117 while viewing Tangled at the theater, at the part where Rapunzel escapes the tower for the first time, hearing Firefly  frantically and loudly say , “But her mama said ‘no’!” =D

#118 a little girl asleep in their daddy’s arms

#119 laughing with girlfriends

#120 brand new, fluffy, blue and white pillows

#121 one last hurrah

#122  falling in love with where we are

#123 bath-crayon drawings

#124 Dove’s love for bears

#125 a rock garden of Christmas lights

#126 time alone

#127 that I miss seeing the red buckets

#128 lingering, simply to cuddle

#129 fresh motivation

#130 that there is One who knows our what-ifs, past and present

#131 that He closes doors and opens windows

10 responses »

  1. I love this. It certainly rings true with me too. I love fresh starts because there’s so much hope in them but I’ve been guilty of dwelling on the past and it’s pain. This is a good reminder. I love how you write.
    Happy New Year.

  2. The what-ifs will haunt me relentlessly if I let them – and I’ve already let them too many times in my life.
    I finally realized that whenever, wherever my what-if happened – either I was doing the best I could with the knowledge I had at the time, or I simply said no to God. If I said no, I can take that regret, give it back to Him, and let that spur me on to hopefully say yes next time.
    The only place there are no what-ifs is heaven, and sometimes I so long for that perfect place! For now, I’ll do my best where I am, seeking HIM relentlessly.
    Happy New Year Audra!

  3. Thank you—-I needed this post today! Rejoice in the fact that The Holy Spirit is using you and your writing!

    I am such a “what-if” kind of girl. I usually make a long list of them and write it all over my brain in order to properly handicap my decision making skills. 😉

    My ever-wise, older sister recently told me, “You can’t dwell on the “what ifs.” They “didn’t” and so we must move on from there.”

    That is so true and simple, yet I fail to “move on” so often. And then there are the “what ifs” of the future, which the Bible tells us not to worry about (“don’t worry about tomorrow…”)

    I know that you read Holy Experience (and alas-this comment is getting lengthy!) and so you probably read this post, but it really helped me. It is about appreciating and living IN THE PRESENT.

    Thank you,

  4. Yes, yes, yes, I read it! Thanks for the reminder! And thanks for dropping by and leaving your comments – your sister is beautifully quotable. =D

  5. Audra!

    You have so much to say!!! What a wonderful message for me this morning. I don’t get much time to blog hop, but somehow I ended up at yours today and I am very blessed for it. I really love this message of “turning the page” and it certainly goes right along with what Ann has been writing about…. living in the “here”.
    It’s also a lesson (a long lesson) that the Lord has been teaching me over the past three years or so. I guess I can be hard-headed! ;>

    Anyway, I did get a chance to read your first post also. I can relate to so, so much of what you wrote. If we ran in the same circles, I think we’d be friends. 🙂


  6. Thank you so much, Kara. I’m sure we would *definitely* be friends. 🙂 So glad we crossed paths . . . I believe that God is even in the blog-hopping. =D Yes, and it has been (and I’m sure *will* be) a long lesson for me as well. Thank you for your kind words – they encourage me so much!

  7. When I grow up I want to write JUST LIKE YOU!!! You are so incredibly talented. I’m reading this with my mouth hanging open in astonishment at it’s beauty. (it’s not the best look for me and I don’t even care!)

    Thank you for sharing your heart and your gift with the bloggy community!!

  8. Molly, you always make me laugh! You’re always cute – mouth hanging open or not. 😉 Thank you for your sweet, kind words and hearty welcome!

  9. Pingback: Beckoning « life in limits

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