We are all looking for peace, right? When it comes down to it though, what keeps us from experiencing peace is either living in the past or living for the future. We bounce back and forth between obsessing over a past we can’t change and worrying about a future we can’t control. And the result? We miss what God has for us here and now.
Growing up as a Chinese American daughter of a mail-order bride and a busboy in San Francisco’s Chinatown, Bonnie Gray never felt like she belonged. She spent her childhood hiding “Chinese Bonnie” who lived in a dysfunctional home in poverty in order to be accepted as cheerful “American Bonnie” who lived a life that looked like everybody else’s.
She tried to throw away pieces of her past—the ones she thought no one wanted—but in the process, she discovered God was tenderly gathering all the broken fragments to build a new story of faith and joy. She learned that it’s only when we learn to embrace the truth of our past that we can finally make sense of our present and celebrate what truly matters.
Picture this: I’m visiting a friend whom I haven’t seen in years.
We’ve been able to stay in touch on the phone and by email. I’m traveling through her hometown and we meet for lunch. We hug, squeal, exchange “oh you look so good” comments, and then order our lunch. As we eat, we catch up on our kids and lives.
After the first frenzy of conversation, she’s less chatty. She doesn’t answer my questions very quickly. She seems so distracted. Our conversation loses its rhythm.
Then she says something about someone she’s following on Twitter, and I think, “Where in the world did that come from? I don’t even know who she’s talking about.”