REFLECTION - A fixing of the thoughts on something; careful consideration.
Have you ever taken the time to reflect on the beauty of who God is and the many ways He has shaped your life?
Recently, I felt a tug on my heart to take time to dig deeper into my relationship with God. I sensed God leading me to write a letter to my younger myself.
I have to admit, at first, I thought this was a great idea. Then, as I started journaling, I wasn’t so sure. I soon realized how hard this was going to be. Not necessarily because it was painful to look back, but because there was so much I wanted to share with this young, precious girl.
What is the purpose of reflection?
While it’s not healthy to live in the past, I have found there are times when the Holy Spirit prompts a time of reflecting back on my life. He’s at work in ways I may not recognize at first, but proves to always benefits me in the end. (Instead of the above sentence: I don’t always understand the purpose of the prompting, but this Spirit-led process always benefits me in the end.
In writing this letter to myself, God has taught me:
To See God More Clearly
Psalm 106:2 (NLT) | Who can list the glorious miracles of the Lord?
As I looked back on my childhood, I experienced an eye-opening recognition of how God has loved, saved, rescued, healed, provided, protected, guided me throughout my entire life. Even though I have been through many hard experiences, knowing looking back I know that God was there for me through it all. It is a wonderful comfort.
To Encourage Others
Psalm 40:10 (NLT) | I have not kept the good news of your justice hidden in my heart; I have talked about your faithfulness and saving power. I have told everyone in the great assembly of your unfailing love and faithfulness.
Walking down memory lane and having the Holy Spirit show me all the ways He cared for me, gives me great joy. That joy overflows to others as I share the good news of Jesus Christ and all that He has done for me. We all have a story to tell and our story is powerful…yes, even the good, bad, and the ugly!
To Forgive Others and Myself
Matthew 6:14-15 | If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.
The Lord used times of reflection to reveal where that has been unforgiveness in my life. I have found out how important it is to forgive. Forgiveness frees me from the bondage of bitterness and pain, and closes the door that can allow the enemy access to my life. Sometimes we can easily see our unforgiveness; other times we have to ask God to show us. Regardless, unforgiveness holds us captive. Let’s not wait another day to forgive the offenses others have committed against us. We also need to forgive ourselves so we can be free.
To Remind Myself That Disappointments Happen…But God Is with Me
John 16:33 (NLT) | I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.
The Bible is clear that we will encounter trials and sorrows even as Christians. There may be times that we have a life altering experience or endure a circumstance beyond our understanding. During those times we may be tempted to take our eyes off of Jesus. This is when reflection can be one of the most powerful tools we have, especially if we’ve written down our reflections. Not only can we read His Word and renew our mind with His promises, but we can also take out our journal and revisit what God has shown us about the past. This empowers us to fight, to praise, to worship Him in the midst of any circumstances!
Even though reflection typically happens at the end of December as people make resolutions for the New Year, we need not wait until then. Periodic introspection is beneficial. Doing this through writing a letter to my younger self helped me clearly see how far God has carried me in my past. I am encouraged knowing He will continue to carry me into my future.
Do you ever reflect back on where God has been in your life? Do you journal or write this down…or maybe even write a letter to your younger self? Tell us here.
Diana Jones is a compassionate wife, mother, grandmother and friend. She is passionate about sharing God's love and all that He has done throughout her life. She is also looking for opportunities to grow spiritually through reading, prayer, singing and being in fellowship with others. She is thankful for the opportunity share her stories here at Circles of Faith. You can follow her at Twitter.