The sky was bright with colors, one flash after another. There were ten of them sitting on a blanket watching the fireworks above their heads. My heart swelled with gratitude for the memories my children were making with their friends that day at the lake. I love that their friends all love Jesus, that they aspire to make His name known. I thanked God for the life my children have.
But if I’m honest there was something else there too, way down deep inside. Not so much jealousy, but more a sadness for what I did not have. Sometimes I wish I could look back on my own teenage years and remember good wholesome fun and good Godly friends. Everything in me wanted to go sit with them and enjoy the pure friendship and laughter. They wouldn’t have minded, most of them are like my own kids anyway. We all have fun together. But I knew, for the two of them that are actually mine, they needed those memories of their own, without me there.
This morning as I sit by the pool and think about how incredibly blessed my children are to have this life they have, I also ask God to replace the past I missed out on with the future I know He has planned for me. Not one of youthful lake day memories, but one of influencing the lives of others toward Him and His love for them. What I lacked in my younger years has actually been the fuel that lights the fire in me to encourage change in the lives of others. My past for His future. I get the better end of that deal for sure.
So the sadness disappears and is replaced with an expectation of something yet to come…an expectation of the goodness of God in my life, the lives of my children, and every life we all intersect with. Today I am thankful for who He is in my life.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.Jeremiah 29:11