Everything changes, that is the beautiful thing about life. Though not every change is beautiful, every change is important for growth.
This weekend my sisters and are spending some time in Lynchburg, VA, a place we all went to college. It is neat to be here but so much has changed! There are shopping centers in the wooded areas where we used to roam, and some of my favorite restaurants have changed hands or closed all together. – And I was so looking forward to my triple banana split with a scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream, one scoop of cookie dough, one scoop of rocky road, almonds, whip cream, and caramel (no cherry thank you) – but Billy Joe’s is closed, replaced by a carry out food chain.
The biggest change in my eyes is Liberty University. The campus is completely different, there are new and huge buildings everywhere! Walking through the property I saw only tiny glimpses of what used to be. The chapel is still there, a couple of the dorms are still the same, but not much else looks like it used to. However, that doesn’t mean that they have forgotten the past. In fact, the main building, DeMoss hall was built on top of the original structure that was there when I went to school. I think that is pretty awesome! In 1971 when the school was founded, its purpose was to provide a place to grow young men and women in Christ. To teach them how to live stronger and more effective lives for the Lord and for their families. Liberty is a place filled with young people training to become champions for the Lord. And, using the lessons and foundations of the past, the school, both structurally and instructionally has grown and changed.
This is what God intends for our lives, He wants to bring us to a place where, when we look back at our Christian walk, our experiences, and the relationships of our past we see growth. Too often people want to run from their past, you can’t change the past, you can’t erase the past, and you can’t pretend that your past hasn’t affected you, it has. And it is important – every piece of it. From the things that brought joy, to those that caused great pain, and every experience in between, you have been shaped by your past.
While walking across Liberty University’s campus it was unrecognizable to me on the outside, but it’s purpose, the heart of the school is still the same, albeit stronger and with more opportunity. Knowing that as the school changed it didn’t remove the past, but rather used it as a base from which to grow is pretty awesome.
This begs the question, why do we often live our lives as though we are trying to erase the past? I want to look at every moment, every experience, and every relationship and recognize that each of those was a brick with which I should continue to build my future.