Here in the South, people, while reminiscing , might begin their sentences with “Used to, I————-“ (read: yoost-to). For instance, “Used to, you could walk to the Winn-Dixie from here.” This is a fun colloquialism for us Northerners to hear. (Though, realistically, we’ll never be able to pull off using it ourselves.) Fun, yes, but also, it makes me think.
We have lots of “used to” statements when looking back over our lives, don’t we? What are some of yours? Maybe, “Used to, I read the Bible.” Or “Used to, I was so on fire for God.” Maybe, you’ve thought, “Used to, I wanted to be the best wife/mom/friend I could be.” Maybe your “used to” statements evoke a sad sense of the good intentions you once had and “used to” desire to follow through on.
Or maybe, your “used to” statements tell a tale of grace, so to speak. Like, “Used to, I wanted nothing to do with God.” “Used to, all I did was look for pleasure in this world.” These statements, while slightly tinged with regret, end with happier remembrances as you realize all God has done in your life– changing you more and more into the image of Christ.
Maybe your “used to” statements have to do with dreams you’ve laid down. Those dreams might not have been from God, so laying them down was a good thing. But what if they were from the Lord? Are there dreams you believe God put in your heart? Don’t let them become “used to’s” in your heart and mind. Pray. Then, keep praying. Ask other trusted friends to help you discern how God may be igniting your heart to pursue this dream. Maybe you’ve wanted to adopt a child, internationally or locally. Perhaps you have a profound gift of service and you’ve dreamed of starting up a homeless shelter or crisis pregnancy center. Don’t give up. Don’t let “used to” become your opening line. God is able.
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.” Eph. 3:20