From This Day Forward. These were the words I wrote in the middle of the sermon our pastor preached out of Philippians chapter three a few weeks ago. He was talking about forgetting those things behind us, and moving forward.
He was talking and I was listening.
Moving forward successfully has been my consistent goal over the past few years. If you have ever experienced a major life changing event, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Things happen. We do our best to accept and adjust. We move forward. We do the next thing. We open up new chapters. We make new connections. We live in new places. We do our best to forget about those things that are behind us, but it’s hard.
At least I think it’s hard.
I loved many of those things that I have been asked to leave behind. My hopes and dreams and heart were connected to that which I am encouraged to forget about as I press forward.
“You need to move forward,” some folks have said to me, “You need to let go and get on with your life.”
To be honest with you, I have found myself feeling really frustrated when I hear this.
I mean, let’s face it, in the past few years I have moved to a different state, got a new job, a new place, a new church, made new friends, and live a whole new life. How is that not moving forward? I just didn’t like get it.
But as I was listening to my pastor preach about it a few weeks ago, I was struck with the necessity of “forgetting those things behind” as a prerequisite to reaching forth unto those things which are before.
From This Day Forward. These were the words I wrote in the midst of the notes I had been taking.
From This Day Forward. This is the phrase that is used in marriage vows when two individual lives are coming together to move forward as one.
As soon as I got home, I looked up the traditional wedding vow to be reminded of exactly what is spoken.
It goes something like this:
(Bride’s Name), do you take (Groom’s Name) for your lawful wedded husband, to live together after God’s ordinance, in the holy estate of matrimony? Will you love, honor, comfort, and cherish him from this day forward, forsaking all others, keeping only unto him for as long as you both shall live?
As I read through them, it suddenly hit me what I needed to do in order to truly be able to move forward completely in my life.
I needed to make a vow with my future. I needed to grab a hold of the hand of it, stand before God, and agree to make a promise to love, honor, comfort, and cherish my it from this day forward, forsaking all others, and enjoy the reality of it as long as I live.
Think about the significance of this vow on a couple’s wedding day. They come together with two lives filled with past loves, lives, and experiences. They come together with their own ways, means, and ideas. They each come to the altar with a boatload of stuff that is going to have to be left behind if they are ever going to have a chance to move successfully forward together.
God knows this. As a matter of fact, He has been reminding folks about it since the first marriage occurred between Adam and Eve in Genesis 2:24.
Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
Every significant relational beginning involves some leaving and cleaving.
As I laid my head down on my pillow that night, I knew what I needed to do in order to truly move successfully forward. I need to make a vow with God to my future.
I needed to promise to forget my commitment to past loves and lovers, and to be willing to embrace whole heartedly whatever the days ahead might bring.
As silly as it sounds, I stood before the Lord the next morning, with my future in hand, and made a vow to commit myself to it – no matter what, and no looking back. As soon as I did, I felt a world of burden lifted off of my back and a lightness in my heart every day since.
I will always feel sorrow for the losses I have experienced. Feeling sorrow is just a part of being human. But I’m no longer going to be stuck by my sorrow. I’m not going to stand there looking back, as life is pulling my hand to move forward.
From This Day Forward.
From this day forward, I’m married to my future. Committed to forgetting about everything that was lost, and embracing what ever God brings and allows to come.