The past couple of weeks have not been easy, as many of you may know. They have been trying, and I have spent many hours talking to God, trying to figure things out. Yet I have also been looking ahead and behind me at the same time. I have been looking forward to spending time with friends and family in the next couple of weeks, while also looking back to the moment that I last saw several of them. These past couple of weeks have not only been hard but have been a moment to remember the journey. Sometimes I feel like we forget to do that when we are in hard times.

We forget that life is in fact a journey, there are going to be hard time as well as good time. Yet that doesn’t mean that God is not there, nor does it mean that this was something that God planned. Sometimes hard times happen, though God still uses them to make us grow. This reminded me of the verse, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) This verse reminds us how through every challenge we face, God lets us go through it knowing that we will come out stronger.

With all of this in mind I also turn to the verse, “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14) This verse reminds us that no matter what, we should be focused on the goal ahead, forgetting the pains of the past in order to reach the goal. Showing us that yes, the pains of life are to make us stronger, but we shouldn’t stay focused on the pain, or lose site of the goal. Rather remember the pains, and look forward in order to truly see how far that pain has gotten you and how far you were able to go because you experienced that pain. It’s important remember how far you were able to go, because for me the past couple of weeks have not been easy.