How to know if it is time to leave your past behind

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A note from Wendy:
Today’s devotional is written by Fran Thring. I’m always partial to lending this space to another South African blogger. I hope you’ll enjoy her story (and feel challenged) about something as every day as a dining room table. I know it got me thinking.
Deuteronomy 26 verse 11
Guest post by Fran Thring:
You and the Levite and the alien who is among you shall rejoice in all the good which the LORD your God has given you and your household. Deuteronomy 26:11 (NIV)

I live in the Dubai of Cape Town. People visit my apartment, walk through the double doors. And stop. “You live here?” I always feel slightly sheepish, “uh, yeah...” 

I should not be living in that apartment. 
I should not be living in that part of town. 

I moved there after a year as a full time volunteer at my church. I hadn’t seen a vitamin in weeks, I was homeless and my bank account - let's avoid that topic shall we? 

The apartment was a miracle.

From the moment I gazed through the double doors of my Dubai in Cape Town, life was fabulous. I lived in paradise. 

There one problem though, this 5 star living didn’t come with a dining room table. 
Flat screen TV, check. 
Walk around kitchen, check.
Balcony overlooking the pool, check. 
But no table. 

A girl needs a table; a house needs a table and gosh, life needs a table. 

Left with no option my housemates and I did what every self-respecting African does- speak to people who know people. There was bargaining, a trip to the wrong side of town, a man with missing teeth, and a week later we were the owners of a rustic 10-seater Oregon pine table. Perfection. It completed life like a salty cracker a good hard cheese. 

That table was loved. From Mexican dinner parties, 21sts and pancake breakfasts to late night popcorn fights the table became an axis in a whirlwind of friends. 

In 2014 I trudged through one of the hardest years in my life. I’m not sure what it was- a concoction of unmet expectations, exhaustion and loneliness, perhaps? My best friend moved back to the States and wrapped up tightly in her overhead luggage was my fabulous life of dinner parties and friends. Daily, I came home from work, curled up on my couch or sat at my table to face an onslaught of memories I had resolved I could never match. 

Looking back, I know now, seated at that table – I had a choice. 

I could open my heart, gently let go of the cold hard hurt growing clammy within its walls, or, I could sit there. Alone, stuck in my memories. Choices. 

The bible says “you and the Levite and the alien who is among you shall rejoice in all the good which the LORD your God has given you and your household.” Deuteronomy 26:11 I could look around me at my household, the soft brown couches, balcony and double bed and see good or see bad.

I had to allow my apartment to gently remind me: Jesus cared enough back then and he cares now. 
He is faithful
That apartment reminds me good too comes undeserved.

Ponder: How long have you sat in your past? 
Is it time to let things go and open your heart to the new people and opportunities God has waiting for you? 
Who can you invite to join your table?

Prayer: God, thank you that you don’t let us sit in the past but invite us to move forward. As I inch towards the future keep my eyes open to the people you would have me invite to share their lives around my table. Amen. 

About the author of this guest devotional:

I am kind, wildly ambitious, self-motivated, silly, fun-loving and energetic. I love the thought that when we are not stingy with the world, cool things happen. Writing and Jesus keep me sane(ish). Somedays I eat banana chips for dinner. I've started to blog here:

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Photo Credits (Creative Commons): | Design: Wendy van Eyck

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