In terms of love and distance, I prefer to believe that “distance makes the heart grow fonder.” There is something liberating in going to places other than where I’ve grown — exploring life, meeting new people. But going back at the beginning of everything brings back memories of love, joy, and laughter. Going down memory lane to things I used to love makes me remember the journey with all its triumphs and struggles. It just, well, makes my heart fonder of the years past.
Trips or short vacations to my hometown are such a refresher, because embracing the daily grind of achieving to be the better self brings the tendency to forget one’s roots. The changes are unending! But some few things don’t really change. I am thankful that our leaders at church teach us every single time to remember who we are and where we belong.
When I spent the holiday vacation with people from the earlier decades of my life, God brought me back to my previous life lessons. What resurfaced are realizations that I think must be worth keeping. Some of the significant ones are the following:
1. I am the success of my parents.
I can never thank God enough for my wonderful parents. There are still times when I miss them and wish they were still around. I see that sentiment in the eyes of my aunts and uncles whenever they see us (all the more when they see me, the carbon copy of Mama). It saddens me not to have them in each milestone of my life since 14. But then God reminds me, “That is why you are here, Keren. You are the legacy of your parents. You are their success. And every success you make is theirs, too.”
2. My This life is God’s legacy.
Looking back, it was not really my skills or my talents that saw me through trials and difficulties. We were not even well off financially. But while we lack in wealth we abound in grace. I was swimming in God’s grace since childhood up until today. My breakthroughs, the wonderful people in my life, my amazing siblings. They are all marks of God’s work in my life. I can love unconditionally, because He first loved me.
But His grace doesn’t end there. While I enjoy His favor, the people around me also get the benefit. As He blesses me, He uses me as a channel to others — to bless them, inspire them, lead them, love them. This life story that He writes — it becomes worth telling. It becomes worth living, because day by day it turns out to be His legacy.
3. This lady is a masterpiece in progress.
As I revisit the past years, God shows me how He mightily coursed me through the ups and downs of life. He shows how He molded me to be better, be like Him. But even more, He shows me that there is SO MUCH more to be done. There is more growing, learning, pruning, and letting go to do. There are more training and struggles to overcome in order for more victories to be won. I need to keep reaching for the next level not just for me but for others — because as I overcome limitations, others see that they can, too. As I move on beyond losses, others realize that they are strong enough to do it too.
And then, together, we recognize that the best is yet to come. That the current doesn’t have to be the permanent. For some, today sure is painful, but “joy comes in the morning.” Today can be good, but it surely will get better. And while perfection comes closer through perseverance, we just have to persist even more. Persist until the Author of our hope, He who began the good work in us, comes to carry perfection unto completion.
So until that day comes, Cheers to becoming better and better! Cheers to conquests upon conquests! 🙂