One of the pros of social media is the ability to capture great moments in your life. Think about it. When you go somewhere cool, meet someone famous, are reunited with old friends, or experience something breathtakingly beautiful, what do you want to do? You want to capture it in a photo or describe how you felt in 140 characters so you can share it and later reflect back on that moment. One social media app has capitalized on our love of reflecting back and remembering the moments we capture.
The Timehop app sends users a daily notification compiling their photos and social media updates from that exact same day in years past. With slogans like “celebrate the best moments of the past with your friends” and “your best memories, fresh daily,” Timehop plays into the fun of remembering the good times.
But what about all the times we didn’t post to social media? What about those moments that were life changing but we wouldn’t necessarily call them “the best memories?” What about the challenging moments when we weren’t at our best? What about the “trials?”
We like to focus more on remembering the good times, but I believe there is a real benefit in remembering the times we’ve struggled as well.
A few weeks ago I was talking to a friend when she reminded me of a something I had done a year ago to the day. I had completely forgotten the anniversary she was referencing not because it wasn’t significant. It was very significant in fact, but it was associated with some hard things I had gone through. When I told her the date had completely slipped my mind she said, “I remembered because I know how important it is to celebrate the triumphs not many people know about.”
That really got me thinking about how I don’t do a great job of reflecting on and celebrating the trials I’ve gone through in my life. I just want to get through them and move on to happier times. That’s just not the way God works.
James 1:2-3 says “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters when you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”
This verse says trials of many kinds. Regardless of what led you to face a trial in your life, the Lord has something to teach you through it. Believe that He will work all things for the good of those who love Him. Whether something bad just happened to you or you made some decisions that led you to a dark time, He can use it all to teach you and to bring glory to Himself.
The perseverance and wisdom we gain from walking through trials should be celebrated. Those things shouldn’t be put on a shelf or hid away because we are too ashamed or sad to talk about the paths we took to gain them. When we talk about the trials we’ve gone through and what we learned from them what we’re really doing is celebrating the Lord’s redemption. When we take the time to reflect on and share about more than just the good times, we spread hope to those who might not believe they too can be redeemed.
Choose to remember the harder parts of your story in addition to all those good times. Choose to see all the ways you’ve grown in the face of trials and all the ways the Lord was by your side the whole way.