While we were there a discussion began about people from our past. It was all in a humorous manner discussing how we probably wouldn't see many people from our "old" days in a place like that. You know how it is. Later as I reflected on the night, I had to laugh. I saw lots of ladies from my past! I spoke with a mom friend who I hadn't see in several years. We got to catch up on our kids, homeschool, and life in the few minutes we were able to speak. I also saw one of my "youth" who is now married and has a sweet little baby of her own. Her mom was there too. I saw an acquaintance from an old Zumba class. I even saw a new friend who ended up at the table next to me.
I began to think about the people God puts in our path. Each of those people came from a different time or circumstance in my life. As I pondered further, I realized even at our table there were ladies that God had on my path. One of my best friends. Her mother-in-law who hired me for a job almost 20 years ago. A younger family member who was a toddler when I met her and is now a lovely young woman.
I have an old friend who sometimes refers to her "dark days". I think most of us had a season like that along our path. Most of mine happened very early on and about 3 hours from where I live now. I don't have to confront those particular days or memories very often. In times of trouble though, I can beat myself up remembering the silly mistakes I made, the sin that I partook in, and my poor behavior. I shudder to think of what some of my current friends would think of that person I was. However, I know God has forgiven me and thus there is no reason I should not forgive myself.
God didn't just place some of my past in my path that night. Once I began to really think about it, the last few weeks have been full of chance encounters. All of them have been people who have been a part of my "Christian" path. People from various churches and ministries who've played a part along the way. At first I thought God was just reminding me of all the wonderful help I've received along the way. Maybe He was just helping me remember all those who have encouraged me, prayed for me, or studied the Bible with me. What if He was also reminding me of the people I've encouraged along the way? What if He was showing me how well those were doing that I've prayed for in the past? What if He's reminding me that I studied His Word with them too?
The message at that women's ministry meeting was about believing in the miracles God can still perform. It was about being bold with our prayers. It was also about remembering all the truths God has shared with us in the Bible. A big part of all those areas is faith. Along my path, I've needed the faith of all those people I've come across in the last few weeks. Their faith helped me in my journey. Maybe my faith helped them too.
One of my brightest, happiest, funniest, faithfulest (I declare that a word...) friends has started her own blog. She is amazing, and I know her words will bless you. Her newest post is on waiting which requires an ENORMOUS amount of faith. I hope you'll pop over and check out The Butterfly Chair!
2 Samuel 22 contains the familiar words of David,
"The is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
Further down in verse 37 David says,
"You enlarged my path under me;
Who or what is God placing along your path for you to notice? Sometimes He has us look back in order to prepare for going forward.