Sandy was used to this thought pattern. She had spent most of her life bowing to the upper hand of men. It started with her father and continued in every relationship she has had with a man since.
Looking back was something she never wanted to do. Her past was as painful and dark as her present. Sitting on the bathroom floor of the one-bedroom apartment she shared with her latest man, Rob, she started to cry. She didn't dare look in the mirror. She felt the pain - it was everywhere. Her head, her right shoulder, both of her sides hurt. The pain in her right leg was so incredible that she didn't even think she could stand. But most of all? She felt the pain in her heart. Sometimes she wondered how it continued to keep on beating through all of the hurt.
Why would God deal her a life like this? Why would he fill her with so much pain? So much hurt? A bruised soul, that's what she is. Wait a minute, God? What made her think of Him? He has never been there for her. If he had, she wouldn't be where she is right now. God was supposed to be good, but her life was so... so... bad.
On the cold floor, Sandy closed her eyes and remembered being a small child, walking down the sidewalk with her mother to church on Sunday morning. They didn't have money for a car so they walked most places. And it was during those times - for a few short years - that Sandy's only happy memories were made. They would hold hands, sometimes skipping. Always laughing.
She remembered the church - lots of smiling people, mostly older. Music - a ton of music! She would sit close to her mom and try to follow along as best as she could. After all, she couldn't have been more than 8 years old at the time. She didn't understand much, and when her mother sensed that, she would always share with her a piece of gum and pull her closer as they listened to the Pastor talk. Even though she can't remember what he said, she can almost physically remember the feeling she got while there. Warmth. Love. Completeness.
Oh, well. No use thinking of those memories. Not long after they were made her mother died at the hand of Sandy's own father. And look at her now - just like her mother. Heading down the same road... with likely the same ending one day. If only she could change the outcome.
We are all like Sandy. Maybe not the hurt, the abuse, or the pain - but we have all made poor choices, bad decisions, taken actions toward broken roads. Sometimes it was with poor judgment, other times it may have been the best decision based on the knowledge we had at that time in life and the environment in which we lived. Seriously, they didn't come up with the saying "hindsight is 20/20" for no reason. We all grow and learn and then look back at the decisions in our past and shake our head... What on earth was I thinking?! That is how you KNOW you have grown.
Just recently, while riding in the car, my partner asked... "Do you know why the windshield of a car is bigger than the rearview mirror?" The answer? "Because there are bigger things ahead of you..." Clever, eh? And how true it is. If we spend so much time in the past (and looking in the rearview mirror), we are likely to miss what is ahead of us... through that big windshield. Who knows, you could even run straight through a roadblock. Talk about God trying to get your attention and you aren't looking!
You are going places, kid. Keep your eyes looking forward! And don't forget to thank God for your road map.