He knows us far better than we know ourselves…….that’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.      Romans 8:28 (MSG)

How we look ahead has a lot to do with how we look back…..how we keep track of where we’ve come from and the people we’ve known and who have known us along the way.

Who we are now is because of who we were then. The people who raised us and taught us and the ones who hurt us. Our parents and siblings and childhood friends. Aunts and uncles and cousins. Our teachers and preachers or strangers and lovers. All of them had and some still have a part in our lives.

And because God gave us the gift of memory we can’t get around it. That’s just how it works. So it’s important to remember well and truly……the wonderful and happy and the scary and tragic. All the good and all the bad.

A gracious thing happens when you remember well.

The good memories are treasured and they come unexpectedly and make you smile. Sometimes they bring tears but it’s the sweet, cleansing kind.

The other memories….the painful ones and scary ones…..the lonely ones…….the dark ones……all of them can become a source of thankfulness and compassion.

Thankful….because you’ve either made it through or are making it through. And compassion for those who have endured or are enduring the same pain or darkness.

Because we either make our worst memories work for us or they’re going to work against us.

All of them make our story. God takes all of it and uses it for our good.

We just have to let Him.

“It is through memory that we are able to reclaim much of our lives that we have long since written off by finding that in everything that has happened to us over the years, God was offering us possibilities of new life and healing which, though we may have missed them at the time, we can still choose and be brought to life by and healed by all these years later.”      Frederick Buechner

In response to the Weekly Photo Challenge New Horizon.