“Dad, why are you rewatching your old game?”
This was a sincere question from my 9-year-old as my husband reviewed the film from the day before. She honestly assumed the answer was to see where the refs messed up. But my husband’s response was simple.
“To get better.”
Like a coach reviewing game films, we all have a chance to get better and grow our faith by reviewing our life game film. They say that you should always count your blessings. But have you ever thought about how recounting your blessings could also help shape your faith?
Due to the nature of the coaching lifestyle, our family has had to start over a few times. Whether from a move or a new season of life, I have encountered multiple “do-overs” for everything from ordinary to major moments.
At first, I moved forward without reviewing. I repeated the same steps. Whether those choices resulted in positive or negative outcomes didn’t matter. They were simply the easiest and most comfortable ones to take.
I didn’t think much of the “why” behind different challenges in transitions until our pastor talked about transitions and how to handle them well. He mentioned that reviewing your story was one of the best things you could do for your life and your faith.
So, I analyzed my previous steps to see what was and wasn’t working and reevaluated how a few adjustments would help me move forward better next time. But more importantly, I took the time to see where God was in the details of my story.
This idea of recounting our journeys and God’s faithfulness throughout isn’t a new concept. It was so important for the people of God that it was one of the last things Moses did before he climbed his last mountain.
The Israelites had short memories. They were forgetful people which had proven disastrous throughout their journey. So, for the second generation that would inherit God’s Promised land, Moses reminded them of how God was with them for every step and that he has and will always fight for them.
“The Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast wilderness. These forty years, the Lord your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything.”Deuteronomy 2:7 NIV
We aren’t that different from the Israelites. Unfortunately, we also tend to be forgetful. I know there have been times when I haven’t even finished the sentence saying, “Thank you” to God for answering a prayer before my focus has switched to the next problem.
But this isn’t about rehashing the past, potentially finding “the refs” to blame for what didn’t go the way we wanted. Instead, it’s about looking back to see how God was present in the good and the bad times and identifying his provision (even if it wasn’t the exact provisions you requested). Just like a coach after a challenging game, this exercise helps us to move forward together with God. The goal is to increase our trust and love in him so that we will move forward with a strengthened faith.
And recounting not only can help you avoid previous mistakes, but it can also clarify your journey. As you understand your journey more, you can share your experiences which could help others to identify and recount theirs.
Christianity initially grew because the disciples and those who came in close contact with Jesus told their stories and experiences with him. Most of the time, blessings need context to be appreciated, understood, or even seen. It’s too easy to chalk up our life experiences to coincidences, good luck, or our own abilities. Worse yet, we risk not recognizing God’s hand at all. And I’m not just talking about the good times and the moments of abundance. That’s easy. It doesn’t take many words to describe those moments.
The most difficult task of sharing how bad things or hard times are actually blessings in disguise is also important. I guarantee you that as your story has unfolded, some of those heartbreaks and disappointments proved to be for your benefit and/or your betterment. As mature Christians, we can bring the context out by connecting the dots in our own stories and organizing them in a way that makes sense to us and others.
We learn from Moses that sometimes God allows certain situations and difficulties to develop our character further. But, he never intended to bless us so we could keep it to ourselves. He wants us to be an example. He wants us to pay it forward. Through the hard seasons that turn into blessings, we can connect in unique ways with the people we encounter. Our pain may be an encouragement or a resource for specific groups of people who’ve experienced similar things.
“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.”Deuteronomy 4:9 NIV
As coaches’ wives, we know just how vital film review is for improving the individual player and the team. Why would we doubt that it could also come in handy for our life? We need to find God’s hand in the details of our life and relay all the ways God displayed His goodness and faithfulness because that will help others see it in their lives. So, learn your story, then tell your story. It’s the most powerful thing you can do as a follower of Christ.
Jess Gilardi is a head lacrosse coach’s wife living on the East Coast. They have three young kids and have been living this life since 2004. She was a mental health therapist in the school system before becoming the full time chaos coordinator for the family (a.k.a. stay-at-home mom). Jess started writing, hoping that by sharing her stories and lessons learned, she can help others learn “the easy way.” Connect with Jess on Facebook and Instagram
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