What would your life look like today if you believed the ugliness of your past to be truly dead and gone? Like, if wounds from an old relationship didn’t fall out of your closet every time you opened it, wouldn’t that be nice? Or you didn’t vomit in your mouth every time the new someone started sounding just like the old someone, and all you can think is, “Ugh! Make it stop!” How about that thing you did way back when that still haunts you? What if you really are forgiven?
What if you could look at today through the lens of today, not yesterday? Would your relationships be different? How would your perceptions and choices change? What would your conversations sound like?
What if you believed Lamentations 3:22-23? “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies are new every morning.”
Could you use some new mercies right now? Mercy for yourself or to extend to others?
Ephesians 4:21-24 says,
Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from Him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God — truly righteous and holy.
Why does this feel darn near impossible some days?
We must throw off the former.
Stop seeing with old eyes. Stop relating to people and reacting to circumstances and relationships based not on what is happening now, but on what happened then. Stop treating this person this way because that person treated you that way.
You know what I mean.
Sometimes we indulge our past a little too long. I’ve been guilty of that. We refuse to let go. We hold our pain up like a shield to protect us from the scary things of life. We experience enough hurt that we finally scream, “Enough!”
Can I comfort you with Jeremiah 8:21? “I weep for the hurt of My people. I am stunned and silent, mute with tears.” Yes, God weeps with us, and He calls us to run to Him, to remember that we have a new nature, to live truly righteous and holy. He is ever calling us forward, to “forget the past and press on to what lies before us” (Philippians 3:13).
What would it look like for you to truly discard your hurt and your shame, to quit playing the blame game, to take ownership of your mistakes and leave others to their own? What if God were doing a brand-new thing in your life, right in front of you? Would you see it?
Jeremiah 8:4 says,
When people fall down, don’t they get back up again? When they start down the wrong road and discover their mistake, don’t they turn back?
Getting back up and turning around … that’s the struggle, isn’t it?
In 2 Corinthians 5:17, Paul tells us that “Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone. A new life has begun!”
It’s time to stop letting your past consume and dictate your future.
Invite the Holy Spirit to come. 2 Corinthians 3:17 says that where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom! If you’re having trouble moving on from something in your past, invite the Holy Spirit to invade your heart and your circumstance with His freedom. Put down your shield and be vulnerable with the Lord. Is there something He wants to teach you now that you couldn’t see before? Invite Him to permeate all the dark corners and flood with light the rooms you’ve kept hidden from view. It can feel scary, but there’s no safer place than the arms of Christ.
If you fear punishment for your past, or if your past has left you fearful of connection with others, there is not, nor can there be, love. Perfect love is powerful and fearless. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.” 1 John 4:18 tells us that fear and love cannot coexist. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear brings with it thoughts of punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect (whole, complete) in love.”
Are you ready to move on and love fearlessly?
Connect with the love of God first. Untangle your heart from your past and anchor your heart to God. Invite the Holy Spirit to bring you freedom and move you forward.
“Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). Go forward and move fearlessly into your future. He’s already there, beckoning you to come. He’s the against-all-odds lover of your soul. He wants to surprise you with His grace, overwhelm you with His goodness, refresh your weary soul, and start and finish your story.
I’ll leave you with Psalm 139:1-6 and encourage you to read the entire chapter. It’s a beautiful picture of God’s heart for you:
Lord, You have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my every thought even from a distance. You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment You know where I am. You know what I’m going to say even before I say it. I look behind me and You’re there, then up ahead and You’re there, too. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me to comprehend.