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Last time, I ended by saying that I’d share more about where I’ve been.  Here’s the deal: there comes a point in time that the past is no longer a part of our story, at least not the part we share when we are getting to know each other.  If we’d met twenty years ago, I would have shared the heartache of watching my parent’s marriage being torn apart.  Fifteen years ago, I’d have told you all about the ex-fiance who turned out to be my stalker.  And as recently as last summer, I would have expressed the disappointment in lost dreams and in an unexpected change of plans. And the funny thing is, those incidents were  in the past.  But I carried it with me as though it were a part of my identity.  “Hello, I’m Sharon.  My Dad had an affair, my ex was a dangerous conman who used to stalk me, and my husband and I barely survived when he lost his job.”  Traumatic moments do influence who we are; who we become, but when there’s something new and better to talk about, why dig up the past?

A couple of months ago, I found myself wondering, “Why do we share old news as though it’s still in our lives?”  I was married, with a beautiful daughter and still sharing those stories.  I had a new story.  I have a new story. I believe we hang on to the past for as long as we are reckoning with it, or as long as we feel victim to it.

I have friends and relatives who can’t believe their dumb luck; who feel like life is full of hard knocks that keeps them down.  My observation is that many who are down trodden are so because of their own choices; because the only role they know in life is that of the victim.  If you’re in a never ending cycle of misfortune, take a look at your choices, your friends, your lifestyle.  The answer to your problems may be staring back at you in the mirror.

Bad things do happen.  No one is immune to the trials of life.   We will suffer.  And we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t react to the hardship that comes our way.  I’m certainly not encouraging denial.  What I am encouraging is this: rise above your circumstances.  Live life to the fullest and be thankful for new beginnings.

My parent’s marriage survived.  They celebrated their 44th wedding anniversary last February.  I am married to a man who adores me, and we have a daughter whom we adore.   My husband is gainfully employed.  My health has largely improved and we are currently pursuing new dreams.  And the best thing of all, I feel whole again.

Many days, I find myself giddy with joy, much like the bubbly little girl who sang “Oh, How I Love Jesus” with all of her heart.  I’ve learned to trust that no matter what the circumstances, I’m going to be safe and sound in the One Who first loved her.

I hope we have that in common.

Until next time,