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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