• Debbie Howell

Friends, Memories & the Beach

This week I’ve been enjoying some special time with friends that I’ve known for years.  It always amazes me how easy it is to reconnect with those who have played signifiant roles in my life even after years of not seeing much of each other.

CJ and Katie Jones have been my friends and role models since they helped lead the Pathfinder club I was in as a teenager.  We’ve been catching up this week on our current lives and laughing about the memories of the past.  There are so many sweet memories of winter camping in Maine (glad THAT’S in the past!), working on honor classes, canoeing on the rivers of Baxter State Park, campfires and ghost stories, climbing across cables far above the river, and just hanging out together.

Looking back helps us see what and who shaped us to be the people we are today.  It reminds us who we should take the time to thank and appreciate and leads us to a place of gratefulness.

As I sit here this morning in their condo on the beach of South Carolina and watch the waves roll in I’m reflecting on so many memories in my life.  Most of my life I’ve thought that only the good memories were worth remembering, but, as they say, “with age comes wisdom”.  I treasure my memories with CJ and Katie and the rest of our amazing Pathfinder leaders, but I’m learning that the other memories of my life that I would rather forget also play a significant role in who I am today.  It’s ok to sit back and remember the struggles and painful memories because those may be the very ones that have made me strong and compassionate towards those I minister to.

Looking out over the beach I see people walking on the sand as the ocean sends wave after wave in their direction.  Each wave is unique and powerful.  Every day the waves of our lives roll in the good and the bad, the challenges and the blessings.  We never know what the tide will bring in, but if God’s footprints are in the sand next to ours we can step forward with confidence knowing that he will take everything that happens to us and make it part of our own unique and amazing story.

In Jesus name…

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