We all will go through periods in our lives when the roads of life may bring us pain. It’s a road where we’ll receive hurt, heartache, sadness and disappointments. It may have been during this time when you felt all alone and wondered to yourself why me? You may have even felt as if no one understood or no one has experienced what you were going through at that moment. Also you may have felt that you could not or would not make it pass the situation because the hurt and pain was too deep to come out of. But, look at you now! You’re making it! What took place in the past is in the past, you are here today and you are still standing. (As for me personally, I’ll give my God praise for bringing me out!). (Psalm 34:18(NIV) 18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
So ask yourself this question. How did you allow the experiences of the past to affect your present? Yes, that period of roughness did have a huge impact in your life, but what have you done with those experiences? Did you allow them to “hinder” you? Did you “learn” from them? Did you “repeat” those mistakes again and again? When you have gone through a period in your life where it seems like you won’t make it and you have no one to turn to, not sure which way to go or even how to get there, from my own experience I’ve come to know it’s a period you will never forget. So back to my question, of what did you take from it? I ask this because I’ve seen many go through and come out with different results. No, I’m not talking about the results of the situation. I’m speaking of how the results allowed the situation to affect your present life.
When you have learned from your past experiences, you are able to recognize the lessons, mistakes and missed opportunities that were before you. When you have learned from past experiences, you come out of your situation, stronger, wiser, determined, self-confident, healthier, and with just a little bit more faith. You recognize several things from those experiences:
- It was a journey that you’ve overcome and not one that overcame you.
- Past mistakes will not dictate and control your present or future.
- You’ll take a bad situation and use it for your good; having enough wisdom and strength to press on and not be defeated by what you went through.
- Looking back over your life, instead of being bitter, you are able to say, “I went through that to get where I am today, and I’m in a better place because of it.”
Now I didn’t say this erases the memory completely; however, instead of the memory having control over you, the Lord will give you control over the memory through Him. As for me, I always say, “Thank you Lord for having the final say, lessons learned, now time to move forward!”. (Isaiah43:18-19(NIV)18 “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old 19 Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
If you’ve allowed your past trials, mistakes, hurts, and disappointments to hinder you, then you are not in a good place and you need to come out of it! You are allowing your past to control your present and to dictate your future. I understand some are saying, “But I’m hurting;”, “he or she hurt me;”, “I can’t seem to get over it;” “I messed up and made a mistake.” Well join the club of many, my sister or brother! Although you’ve made mistakes, missed some opportunities or someone did you wrong and hurt you, are you now going to let that situation or person have even more control over you? When you allow these things to hinder you from moving forward, you are basically surrendering complete control of your life over to it. You can’t move forward and see what greatness awaits you because you are too busy looking behind you. What happens when you try to walk forward while looking behind you? You run into mess, miss opportunities and get lost on your journey. Why would you want a situation or an individual to have that kind of control over your life, besides God, of course? Right now you could be missing out on deliverance, healing, blessings, opportunities, or a good man or woman because you are hindered by what you keep looking at behind you. If you want to be free from your past, you need to let it go. My saying is, “Let Go and Let God!” Ask God what is the lesson He wants you to take from that experience and move forward with eyes fixated on what’s in front of you so you won’t miss your true destiny. (Matthew 16:23(ESV) 23But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
I was once asked how I could still be kind to people who have hurt and mistreated me. My answer was and still is, because I forgive them. Some find that difficult to believe, but I’ve learned that in order for me to heal and move forward in my life I had to forgive them. I’m not saying this was always easy, but through Christ I am able. Most importantly, I remember that I’m repenting daily and asking for forgiveness for myself, and if I were seeking forgiveness, I first had to forgive. Not being able to forgive is like a disease. It keeps growing and getting deadly. This disease will affect every area of your life and not in a good way. While you are still festering in your inability to forgive, often looking and hoping for pay back, or trying to make people’s lives miserable, they may have already gone before the Lord, repented and moved on. You do know that God is a forgiving God. (Psalm 32:1(ESV) 1 Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
The healing process is different for everyone, but the one common thing is that looking behind will not help. So instead, allow God to turn your head and place the focus on Him. Christ is the only one who can truly heal you completely and give you the kind of joy that you will not be able to receive anywhere else. Give it to Him and let Him heal you completely so you can stop looking in the rearview mirror. (Psalm 147:3(ESV) 3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds