When you have to look back


Due to some recent circumstances in my life, (spoiler alert, it’s a break-up) I have been supported and loved by so many people…(it helps when you announce it at a staff meeting). Family and friends and everyone who love me have reached out with incredible insight and support. A common reminder that I get from almost everyone usually includes some rendition of this sentence: “There is a plan.” over and over again. It is not always those 4 exact words; it comes in various contexts.

“Just wait until you see the purpose behind all of this.”

“There is a reason for everything.”

“I know you don’t understand this now, but you will.”

“You will look back one day and see why this has happened.”

“You never know what God has up His sleeve…”

All of these are very true statements. To someone outside of an extremely painful situation, it is easier to see the plan from an aerial view. To see the story unfold and the purpose behind the ups and downs.

But what about when you’re at the center of it? When it is so heartbreaking, and so devastating that you can’t see past it? Looking forward isn’t a helpful option for me when I’m curled up on the floor wondering if anyone has ever died of heartache.

While I may know there is a greater, better plan for me, the realization that my own plans may never come to fruition the way I want them to is an earth-shattering one.

I think there are some people in those moments who can look forward. Who can see past the pain and who can cling to the promises of the future and hold steady in that. But for me, instead of looking forward to God’s future faithfulness, it is helpful for me to look back on all the times he has been faithful in the past.

While so many are telling me and reminding me of a beautiful future that awaits, the only thing I can do in these days is to look back on the ways God has provided for me in the past. I can see the reasons why things worked out the way they did and why I got a job at the school I did and why I met the friends I did. I see his provision. I see His hand.

Deep down I know He is going to do that again. Deep down I know this season of my life serves a purpose. But instead of looking forward to all He WILL do in my life, I am finding solace in looking back at what He has already done. I am not ready or at a point where I can see a future past my own plans. A future that isn’t how I pictured it or how I want it to be in this current moment. Even though God’s way is going to be beautiful, it is tough to see the beauty that will come in the midst of your brokenness.

I have got to think that once we take a step in obedience towards God’s plan, He gives us a little leeway in the time department. You take a step of obedience by giving up your plan and walking towards His. That’s hard stuff. You let go of everything you thought your life should or could have been. You give it up. Even after letting God have them, I think it’s okay and natural to grieve those plans, and cry about those plans and mourn for those plans for a little while. Sometimes you’re not ready to look ahead. For me, there are times where all I can do is look back on past pain and past heartbreak and rest in the simple fact that He has brought me this far, and He won’t leave me here.

Blessings not chins,



3 Comments Add yours

  1. Kirk says:

    Don’t know if this will help. I finished one of messages with the following:
    I want to close with this from the book called Kisses from Katie. An 18 year old girl who went to Uganda for a short term mission trip and ended up going back and adopted children who were in need. She wrote the following
    “Remember, God will never give you more than you can handle.” People repeat this frequently; I heard it when I was growing up and I hear it now. It is meant to be a source of encouragement, and it would be if I believed it were true Bit I don’t. I believe that God totally, absolutely, intentionally gives us more than we can handle. Because this is when we surrender to Him and He takes over, proving Himself by doing the impossible in our lives.


  2. adamracheleriks says:

    Jenna, this is my first time reading your blog! Your words of struggle and faith and hope in the middle of pain are so touching! I’d love to share an experience with you of my own sometime. Sending you love and hugs, beautiful, talented lady!!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s