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“You can’t get where you need to be if you don’t face where you are.” ~ Joyce Meyer
I use to believe the past had nothing to do with today and certainly not our future. Once the day had gone, it was gone. Never to be seen or heard from again. I thought we could just push it out of our mind and those bad days or horrific encounters with certain people would be forgotten forever.
I was way off! It’s our past, the people and circumstances of it, that shape who we are today and who we will be tomorrow. When something bad happens, like losing a job or a friend due to an argument or a loved one passes, and we handle it badly, it stays with us. We can shove it down deep and refuse to look at it, but it will always be there.
When someone says something hurtful to us or mistreats us and we ignore it, it will stay with us. We often choose to ignore the person who hurt us. We even pretend the words or actions didn’t affect us. The hurt we experienced will always be with us. It will shape our actions in the future. It will cause us to make poor decisions that will not only be hurting ourselves but those around us too.
I believe it’s necessary to look back at our past, not to keep reliving the hurt and discomfort, but to improve and grow to become a better person. The hard part is in order to grow from these situations we need to look them square in the eye and walk through the pain and feel uncomfortable for a while. When we come up against something from our past that’s painful, we ignore it. We tip toe around it rather than walk straight through it. Ignoring the pain of the past is how we can get stuck.
When my mom was sick with Breast cancer I was her caretaker. When she passed I didn’t realize how it affected me. It was to upsetting to look at so I ignored it and stayed focused on the tasks ahead. Then years later when my husband got sick, the pain from my mother’s death that I hadn’t dealt with paralyzed me. My husband needed me to be his caretaker because he was to ill to take care of himself. I didn’t realize it at the time but I was terrified to. The last person I was a caretaker for didn’t make it and I felt responsible. I should’ve had the doctors work faster or do more. What if I couldn’t get the proper care for my husband? What if he passed while on my watch?
I had to work through the pain of my mother’s death and the guilt I felt. I needed to let God show me the truth so I could put the lie behind me. I had to believe God had a plan for me being my husband’s caretaker and trust He would enable me to do just that. Whatever the outcome was to be, I had to trust God with it.
In Matthew (5:14) Jesus says we are to be the light of the world. How can we be the light if we are covered in the dust of our past? Jesus knows our hearts and what hurts we are carrying around. We can call upon Him to reveal our past hurts. He can help you work through them if you just let him. Really though, if you stop for a moment I bet you can think of one, probably more, painful memories that you carry around today.
Ignoring our pains of the past keeps us from moving forward into the life God has planned for us. We let our past hurts control our lives by turning our reactions into negative ones. We block the blessings God desires to give us. We block the gifts God has given to us to build the awesome life He has in store for us. It stops us from getting to where we need to be.
So how are we supposed to work through the pain of our past? We should have someone we know well and can trust that we can talk to when the pain of the past creeps up on us. Talking is a great way to work through things. If you don’t have someone close to you that you feel comfortable sharing with, then I suggest finding a Christian Counselor. If you don’t know of one, I’m sure you can contact your church, or any church, to see who they recommend. Some churches even have Chaplains on staff that can help.
My prayer for us today ~ Father God, thank you for the beautiful plans you have for us. Lord I pray you help us to work through the pain from our past so we may move forward into the future you have planned for us, Amen
Have you ever stopped to look around and wonder how in the world you ended up doing what you were doing? Well, I’ve been doing that a lot over the past few years. Not in a bad way, a good way. Actually, in more of an exciting scary kind of way.
A few years ago the Pastor at the church we attend, Covenant Community Church, did a sermon on the Lord’s Prayer. He walked us through each line of the prayer so we would understand what we were praying, saying to God, each time we said it. The line “Your will be done” hit me hard. I realized I was asking God for His will to be done in my life, but did I mean it? How would I know if I was doing God’s will or my will?
I started praying for God to show me His will for my life, give me the desire to do His will and to see the opportunities when they came. Since doing this my world has changed, dramatically. I have discovered that God’s will for me is way outside of my comfort zone.
God usually gives me the desire, a heads up, to do something before the opportunity comes up. Probably because I always bring up the following points with God why He’s nuts to think I could do such a thing. As I’m sure you can imagine, this creates some interesting conversations with God.
- I’m not important/popular enough
- I’m not smart enough
- I don’t have enough experience
- I’m to weird/spazy
- I’m to busy
- No one wants ME to do it
Once I get through all of the above points and God is still pointing me in His direction and the opportunity comes about, I’m usually ready to move forward with His will. Sometimes this takes longer than others, depending on what God is putting in front of me.
Recently, I was telling a friend about my experience being a BSF Group Leader (Bible Study Fellowship). I was trying to express how much I enjoyed it and especially how I was blessed by the ladies in my leaders group and the ladies in the group I facilitated. The more I talked the more she seemed confused and displeased. By her comments I got the impression she thought it was a group with too many rules and no place for God. I began to get frustrated but determined to help her understand that was not the case. After a quick silent prayer I told her about the compliments I had received since becoming a BSF leader. She now had a confused look on her face and said “Rebecca, you are one of the spaziest people I know.” I smiled, looked at her and said “I know”. After a few moments she said “It’s the Holy Spirit”. Yes indeed, it was the Holy Spirit! I am a complete spaz just as my friend had said.
Before I was asked to be a BSF leader God put the idea in my head. I of course went through the above listed discussion points with God and then dismissed the idea. A few weeks later I was asked to consider, pray about, being a BSF leader. I knew then this was Gods will for me. Over the summer as I continued to pray about it I told God I had no idea why He picked me for this or how I would accomplish the task. I also told Him I completely trusted He knew what was needed to be a BSF leader and wouldn’t let me mess anyone up. I believed with all my heart God would give me all I needed each and every time to accomplish the task He had put before me. I have to admit, it is a lot of work, but God provides the time, the understanding family and blesses me for being willing to do His work.
With each new desire God puts on my heart I know I do not have what it takes to do it on my own. I also know God will work with me and through me, with the Holy Spirit, to accomplish everything He desires of me.
When you pray, do you give God a list of things you wish He would do? Or do you ask God to show you what He would like you to do and how to do it? Ask God to fill your heart with the desires He has for you. I promise you will find yourself accomplishing some wonderful things if you do.
My prayer for us today ~ Lord, thank you for the example of Jesus, the Holy Spirit which guides us and your never ending love. I pray we see the opportunities to do Your will and have the courage to act on them, Amen