Waiting for the Happy Ending
Maria Fontaine

Life is full of choices. Every day there are choices, large and small, and every day that passes leaves a greater legacy of past choices. Some turned out to be good, some bad, some a bit of both, and some we're not yet sure about, but each played a part in making us what we are.

Here are a few principles that I find helpful when thinking about the past and what has brought me to where I am today.

Our future isn't limited by our past. No matter what decisions we have made or what others decided for us, and no matter what point we are at now, the future is still as bright as God's promises—ones like these: "If you have faith ... nothing will be impossible for you,"1 and "All things are possible to him who believes."2 If you're not where you want to be, there is time to change that. Where there is life, there is hope.

If some choice you made seems to have had a bad outcome, or one that is not what you had in mind, remember that you probably haven't seen its full effect yet. What looks like a stone or a serpent may yet turn out to be bread—or even a three-course meal.3 Film director, actor, screenwriter, and producer Orson Welles once said, "A happy ending depends on where you stop your story." Or, as someone else put it, "Everything will be okay in the end; and if it's not okay, it's not the end yet." That principle is certainly true for those who love the Lord and look to Him for guidance, because He has promised to always work things out for our good in the end.4

It's human nature to look back and have regrets about some of the things we did, or to wish we'd done them differently. God understands that and sympathizes. But it's a mistake to overlook the good that also came from those experiences—the wisdom, maturity, and other lessons learned, which have helped to shape our character and prepare us for bigger and better things to come.

When you look back on the past, count your blessings. Remember those "true, noble, just, pure, and lovely" things that also make up the story of your life.5 Thank God for the good decisions you made in the past, as well as those that He's going to help you make in the future.

1. Matthew 17:20
2. Mark 9:23
3. See Luke 11:11-13.
4. Romans 8:28
See Philippians 4:8.