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Moving Forward

November 2, 2019 by Jill Maisch (Maryland, USA)
Jill with her wonderful husband, Bill, to whom she has
been happily married for seventeen years.

In today’s meditation I share about an extremely difficult period in my life from nearly 25 years ago. It wasn’t easy for me to write and submit something so personal, but God gave me a nudge that I couldn’t ignore. Perhaps it will offer help and hope to someone going through a similar situation.

Shortly after my three kids and I moved out of our home in 1995, a friend shared with me a quote by Søren Kierkegaard, which I promptly taped to my bathroom mirror: “Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.” As I slogged through days and weeks of depression, anxiety, and financial uncertainties while continuing to work full time and parent my children, I knew I had to make a choice. I could easily have chosen to wallow in the mire of “what if,” “woe is me,” and “why me.”  Instead, I made a conscious decision to move forward with the goal of building a happy, healthy future for the four of us.

Don’t get me wrong—it certainly wasn’t easy, and in fact, the first couple years often felt like I was living out that old adage “one step forward and two steps back.” Prayer, positivity, and perseverance, however, kept me going.

Through the words of Isaiah, we are offered a timeless strategy for moving forward during tough times, “Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert (Isaiah 43:18-19, NRSV).

When I was in the thick of it, I honestly couldn’t perceive any sort of “new thing springing forth.” But it was. I have since discovered strength, confidence, and resilience that I never knew I possessed. I am able to empathize with and accompany others who are going through similar situations, my faith has a depth that wasn’t there before, and I’m definitely happier and healthier! Thanks be to God!


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The Upper Room magazine's mission is to provide a practical way to listen to scripture, connect with believers around the world, and spend time with God each day.

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I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.” 

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