This past weekend I was browsing through the treasured blog posts that were randomly uncovered for me, looking for one to repost here, and I couldn’t help but get a little misty-eyed as I skimmed over some of the beautiful gifts God has given me in the last ten years. Something that my mom always drilled into me was that it’s incredibly important to, “rehearse the wonders of the Lord,” meaning very simply: to remember what He’s done. This has helped my faith grow and has been my lifeline for a very long time. When hope is hiding and fear is roaring, I do my best to remember how God has met me in these kinds of spaces before, and how He has always seen me through to a greater tomorrow.

These old blog posts are an excellent source of faith-building stories, and I am overcome with thankfulness because of how God has provided for me and my loved ones. One post simply detailed a Divine-appointment kind of day where I kept running into my favorite people because God knew I needed to. Another one told of some miraculous happenings in the book publishing process that helped me see that God’s hand was truly on my writing journey. And yet another reminded me of my “prophetic plant” which has only given me the gift of flowering when I’m in crisis, minus one time. One could argue that’s because I have a black thumb, but when I came home from the hospital after a month and my plants were all but dead, this one had a bloom sticking straight up amongst drooping leaves as if daring me to rise to the challenge of thriving over simply surviving.

After looking at those old posts, I was chatting with a friend who has also overcome a lot in the last few years and we both felt the importance of pausing to remember the trials, but even more so, to praise and thank the Lord for what He has done with them. Neither of us could imagine what life would look like if not for the traumas faced and we acknowledged that what we have received from the Father in exchange far outweighs the pain and grief of previous seasons.

For a very long time I was told, “Your best days are not behind you.” That was an incredibly hard thing to grasp in the middle of the storms, but my word, when God makes a promise, and we partner with it, He keeps that promise.

I have clung to the verse found in Joel 2:25 that says, “I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten. . .” I have declared it to myself over and over, and I’ve reminded the Lord of it time and time again. I am seeing it come to fruition in my life. I almost wrote, “I am starting to see it come . . .” but then I realized that even in the middle of the pain and loss, He was bringing restoration. God is so creative and so faithful, and He is restoring dreams that I thought were lost years ago, and they look better than I could ever have imagined. The more I reflect, the more I see His goodness in every memory.

He is above space and time, He is above the decisions that seemingly change the course of our lives – He is above it all, and He is so worthy to be praised, no matter what season we find ourselves in.

Can you see God’s faithfulness in your past seasons of pain and grief? If not, I encourage you to ask Him to show you His presence in those moments. I promise He was in every single one, and He has a gift for you if you’ll acknowledge His restorative promise.