Is there a difference between moving on and moving forward? I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately after a friend emailed me. But the more I think about it the more I see a vast difference.
According to macmillandictionary.com moving on means to “stop discussing or doing something and begin discussing or doing something different.” To me this involves forgetting, leaving behind, and wilfully doing things differently. The kids and I will never “move on” from Craig. He will always be a huge part of our life and we will keep him alive as we talk about him, remember the things he taught us and cherish our memories of being loved by him.
In contrast, the dictionary defines moving forward as “to begin doing something in order to achieve a goal or solve a problem.” “Moving forward” is then what we need to do as a family. This involves doing the difficult things that come up from Craig passing away. Including selling our home where 18 years of memories live, moving AGAIN this summer and for me it also involves changing jobs so that I can work full time. These arduous tasks are not things I want to do. Nor would I have had to do them if Craig were still alive. In fact, in my weakness, I begged God not to make me do any of them. I wanted to freeze time and stay right where I am now to keep memories alive. This may seem silly and sentimental of me but I cried thinking about moving out of our rental house because Craig has meticulously hung all the pictures here. And I cried over the thought of moving out of my speech room, well because Craig (spray) painted my cupboard in that room (Sorry, Karen!) and helped me hang all my bulletin boards. He did that with me every new school year. The thought of moving into a new speech room and hanging the bulletin boards without Craig is super sad.
I know that moving forward without him will be extremely painful. And to be honest in my weakest moments, I’m uncertain and fearful of the future. Now logically I know God is going to be there for me and I know based on the past, that I can trust Him to take care of me emotionally and physically.
I get a text from my dad just about every night with encouraging words and often a verse or two. One verse he keeps sharing with me over the past four months is 2 Timothy 1:7. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity but of power, love and self discipline.” Dad reminds me of the truth that fear is not from God, but from the devil. What the Holy Spirit gives is in direct contrast to fear…it is peace. I would read those words from Dad and think, “Yeah, but….”
I joined a Beth Moore Bible study at church. And guess what last week’s one hour video lesson was on? Yep! 2 Timothy 1:7. And boy was she fired up about that verse and going back to the Greek meanings of the words. Did you know that the word for fear deilia in that verse actually means, “cowardice” and the meaning coward comes from a word meaning “bob tailed hare?” So when we are fearful, we are actually behaving like a little rabbit, running to hide. Isn’t this what Satan wants us to do when we encounter all kinds of difficulties and suffering in life? Run and hide in fear. Hide from others…isolate ourselves from friends and stop going to church, where we can sit alone and brood over our pain and suffering and feel more and more alone. And that’s how he defeats us.
In contrast, the word for power is dunamis meaning “achieving power”. All the words from the stem duna have the meaning of being able, capable. And the prefix cap means “to seize.” So capable means to hold or seize the power. Where does that power come from then? It comes from the Holy Spirit who lives within me, within you. If you have Christ as your Savior, than you have that power too. What that means to me is that I can hold on to the power and not give up in the face of difficulties. I can have courage to move forward solving problems and doing difficult things without Craig. Even if, or even when emotionally I don’t feel like it.
Here’s where the rubber meets the road. I have a choice of what voice I’m going to listen to. I can marinate in the fear, the “what ifs” of the future or I can switch the channel in my mind, to God’s promises and his provision. Praising him for what He has already done for me: Doors He has opened for me and even thank Him for the closed doors and the disappointments. That’s a tough thing to do…thank Him for the disappointments. Here’s my list of what I am thankful for: right now, on May 1st
1) My house in Mission Viejo is in escrow
2) I’m in escrow on a new home in San Jose
3) The door closed for me to go full time at my current job next year
4) I have signed a contract in a new school district for a full time job
I would encourage you to do the same in whatever difficult situation you are in right now. Maybe you are also dealing with extreme pain and suffering or feeling like emotionally you just want to “high tail” it away from everyone and hide. Don’t run! Take courage, remember to seize the power that is within you and move forward with God’s help.
Blessings to you,
P.S. We have the opportunity to continue Craig’s legacy and the ministry that he dreamed of starting for pastors and ministry leaders who are going through a time of brokenness. To learn more about this, please visit our new website and join our cause at www.empoweredlivingfoundation.org. We would be so encouraged by this.
Here’s a video of my favorite song about fear…. I especially love this part,
“Fear you don’t own me
There ain’t no room in this story
And I ain’t got time for you telling me what I’m not
Like you know me, well guess what
I know who I am
I know I’m strong and I am free
Got my own identity
So fear, you will never be welcome here. “