I can’t help myself when I hear an accent; I want to know where people are from and I try to ask in a loving way. I know of people who have worked to perfect their speaking so their accent is nearly undetectable. They don’t want to stand out. I love to hear accents because so much of my early years I spent around people who were learning English as a second language and while we all have unique stories, I am sure that someone with a heavy accent has something fascinating to share.
Where are you from?
At first I might be inclined to answer the question from a physical standpoint. I am originally from Youngstown, OH but then I spent quite a few years in Nebraska and then in Indiana. There were a few other places in there but they’re not really worth mentioning. But the truth is all the places along my path made a bit of an impact on my journey, one way or another – even those brief side roads. They are a part of my story.
From where do you come?
Don’t think so much in terms of the physical space but the experiences that describe your childhood or youth or young adulthood. Do you allow them to have their space as descriptive? Or are these experiences defining? Do you rest on them and remember them often? Do you try to bury them? Are they good things? Or bad?
Are you stuck in that hard place?
Sometimes we can get so caught up in where we have been that we miss the places we can go. Being stuck in our history isn’t helpful. But if there are some things to work through and resolve, burying those things isn’t the answer either. There are times it takes years to understand or process “where we have been”. For some of us it has been a very bumpy road with diversions that have brought a lot of pain. Others of us have come from something much easier and carefree and we struggle to understand the pains and needs of others who have come from a place where there was a lack of stability or an abundance of junk.
Where we have been does not need to define who we are and where we are going. I may not have loved every place I have been but I know God can use each of them to grow my prayer perspective for others who may be experiencing something similar. God can and will all of our life experiences for the encouragement of others so it is important to process what needs to be processed. Let God recycle what can be used and transform our trash into His treasure!
“Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world; from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” Psalm 90:1-2
One thing I am always reminded of when I read Scripture is that it involves generations–time after time….from the beginning of time until the end of time…so many people and time periods….
You might not have generations of believers in your earthly family line, but you can look to the generations of believers and know you are a part of a spiritual family of believers. And, you can be the one God uses to impact your earthly family line with His message of love, mercy, forgiveness, reconciliation, and grace.
God has the big picture and uses all generations to share His Good Word. Today I am giving thanks for the many previous generations as well as those to come. May we each share the pieces of His-story to the generations!
“O Lord, Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you.” Psalm 84:12
Sadly, I have several situations in my history that have tainted my trust in people. I do have people I trust but I have learned that there are people who should clearly not be trusted, ever.
I have been trusting God for many years now though I have had occasional and brief interference by humans who were unhealthy. Thankfully, I did not attribute the actions of these people to God’s character, but processing the situations did take a little time. God also used those situations to strengthen my trust in Him as well as fine tune my intuition. For some reason, it never occurred to me that God endorsed or was behind any of that yucky stuff. And for that, I am thankful.
If you struggle with trust issues, it might be due to early experiences with unhealthy people in your life. If those people were in positions of authority or, worse yet, in positions of church authority, I am so very sorry for your experience. This is not how God works. Sadly, this is how sin in the world works.
If you struggle with some historical issues, I encourage you to seek healthy counsel so that your present and future are not defined by your past. May God heal, restore, and refresh you as you seek Him!
“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength till each appears before God in Zion.” Psalm 84:3-7
Here’s one definition: Something kept hidden from others or known only to oneself or to a few.
Do you have some secrets? I think we probably all have one or two. Sometimes we hide what we have done or what was done to us. Sometimes we try to forget something we heard or something we saw or something we said. I have a number of these gems tucked away in my memory. I hold them in but not because I am holding out. Sometimes I hold them in because of fear. Sometimes I hold them in because it doesn’t really matter at this point or it is truly something that doesn’t need to be shared. Sometimes the timing of the sharing is extremely important.
Have you read the book of Esther?
She had a secret. And God works in incredible ways through her life and in this book of the Bible. Read through Esther slowly. Participate in a Bible Study on it if you can. I highly recommend the Beth Moore study on Esther.
I think there might be a difference between private and secret but I haven’t teased them both apart enough to know. In my mind, secret might imply something naughty is going on whereas private means I am choosing to keep this close to my heart.
I pray that whatever secrets are on your heart are ones you have shared with God in a heart-to-heart where He can cleanse, renew, forgive, restore, and transform your history. Sometimes it helps to visit with a Biblical counselor or a healthy friend. Privacy is a good thing but when it is motivated by the fear of being found out, then it seems like it might be time to re-evaluate the situation. Let God breathe His Truth into your history because your history is really His-story.