Would you think that there was a mushy, chick flick side to me?  There is. 🙂

One of my favorite movies of all time is one I saw on ABC Family about three years ago.  It stars Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Patrick Dempsey (who I thought was beautiful way before Grey’s Anatomy).

Anyway, the story centers around a little girl who loses her mother at the age of 7.  Knowing that she wouldn’t be there for her daughter’s formative years, the mom writes out a map for her life including the class offices she should hold, the majors she should have…and how many men she should date before meeting the one: Lucky 7.

In case you want to check it out, I won’t get really deep into the film, but I did want to share this one point.  Amy (Kimberly’s character in the film) almost missed out on her blessing because she was so caught up in doing what her mother told her to do.  Because she didn’t want to let go of her past, it almost messed up her present. 

Sure, because love was the motivating factor of her mother’s “suggestions”, there were some directives that she gave which were right on the money, but there were also some that left Amy feeling pretty dissatisfied.  Amy was so caught up in pleasing someone else that she never really fully took out the time to discover what she wanted in life; what would make her happy.

Many of us life our lives in this exact same fashion.  It may not be a person’s map that’s guiding us, but it definitely could be a past habit, mistake, perspective that is creating our present.  We don’t think we deserve a virgin because we’ve been so promiscuous.  We don’t think we can live a life of abstinence because every six months or so, we find ourselves falling off of the wagon.  We don’t think anyone will love us because we’ve never really learned how to love ourselves.

There was a real gut-check moment in the movie when Peter (McDreamy) asked Amy, “So what do you do when the map runs out?”  Amy had been so used to following it that it never occurred to her that one day, she would have to put the past behind her and step out of faith.

Today, I ask you the same thing (with a twist): How long are you going to let your past motivate your present and dictate your future?   You can’t do anything about what you’ve done other than to right whatever wrongs you can and ask God for the grace to bear whatever consequences may come your way.  But, you can do something about your present. 

There is something miraculously humbling about the fact that even with all that I’ve done, God saw fit that I wake up this morning; not only that, he allowed me to even have a platform to write out this blog. Once we ask for forgivenness, he’s not nearly as concerned with our past as we tend to be.  That’s because HE ACTUALLY FORGIVES US.  More times than not, we don’t forgive ourselves (whole ‘nother blog message).

I know when it comes to my own “personal demons”, it’s usually when I recall what I used to do, what people used to say, what I used to think, that I will fall into a relapse.  “Shellie, are you scared?  Use porn as a distration”; “Do you not feel loved?  Have sex with a guy who thinks you’re really hot”; “You don’t want to be alone?  Get someone you don’t even really like that much to come sleep over with you”.  Heck, that’s what you used to do.

Just like Peter did with Amy, we all need to have a moment with ourselves when we ask, “Dang, how long are you going to let your past dictate you?  When are you going to move forward?”

I think that’s why I like the movie so much.  Yeah, it’s a romantic comedy.  Yeah, it has a wedding in it.  Yeah, it’s got some mushy moments.  But everytime I see it (about three times a year), I’m reminded that my past needs to stay in the past.  I don’t know about you but when I ride in the front seat of a car looking backwards for a long period of time, I end up getting motion sick.  I’m not supposed to be looking at the back seat.  I’m supposed to enjoy the scenery by sitting face forward.

On life’s highway, determine in your mind to “travel” in the same way.  Don’t let what you’ve done make you e-motion sick.  You’re alive today and relatively in your right mind, right?  That means there’s a plan, one you probably haven’t seen before, but in comparison to what you have seen, that’s probably a good thing.  MOVE FORWARD.

It’s the only way to “get lucky”.