We are still at the beginning of a new year! We have so much ahead of us like spring, sports, summer, vacations, etc…. How many, though, are hanging on to their old past? Ouch! Did I just hit a nerve? I write about the things that I deal with so you guessed it, I still have problems with my past and boy do I have a lot of it.
Philippians 4:8 NIV says “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” The thing is, I seem to find myself dwelling and obsessing about my past and not all of those things it says to think on in that verse.
I think about some of the things that I feel I should of done differently before heading for divorce. I think about how some of my bad decisions have hurt my kids. I think about the bad that has been done to me. I have at times, what they call flashbacks from some traumatic situations of emotional/verbal abuse of things that I had forgotten. Sometimes I think about if I had misjudged or mistreated someone.
I think about my behavior in pasts relationships, of how I did not value myself and allowed myself to be in situations that did not follow my morals. At this point in my downward emotional thought spiral, I get a sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach. As you read this, maybe you are starting to think on your past or maybe you are trying to imagine mine (yikes!), but either way you may also notice that there is a feeing of oppression or darkness that comes over you. You may feel a heaviness in your chest like I often do. After the heaviness sets in, for me, I start to worry and then the worrying leads to anxiety which brings up more of my past and then the cycle starts all over.
What God has put on my heart lately is forgiveness. I am not talking about forgiving others this time. I’m talking about forgiving myself. You see, when I have had these vicious worrisome thought cycles about my past, I would start asking God to forgive me as a way to try and lift that heavy oppression that would come over me. I would do this over and over again. What He recently reminded of me in a message I heard over Christmas at church is that He has already forgiven me from the very first time I asked! He casts them into the depths of the ocean and eternally forgets them!
Micah 7:18,19″Where is another God like you, who pardons the guilt of the remnant, overlooking the sins of his special people? You will not stay angry with your people forever, because you delight in showing unfailing love. Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean!”
Hebrews 8:12 “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
If God can cast my past into the depths of the ocean then so can I! You can claim His promises of forgiveness and ask Him to help you to forgive yourself and mentally see yourself standing on the beach and casting your past into the huge expanse of ocean to be washed away. Then, live like it.
God doesn’t tell us to think on all things like in the above scripture that are pure, lovely, and praiseworthy so that we can be “holier than thou” or religious. He tells us to think on those things because they can keep true joy in our heart. When we think on those things we aren’t focused on the past or the heavy oppression. It keeps us in the present, living the life He wants for us, and happier.
When my husband asked me to marry him, he had put a love letter in a bottle and threw it into the edge of the ocean so that it would wash up on shore and I would find it. I couldn’t ask for a better man. Look what God took from me, forgave me, and then gave back to me in the ocean. He is waiting to do that for you. Begin this new year by starting to let go of the past and live your present. It gives such a refreshing new meaning of the saying “Out with the old and in with new”!
Donna Mott is known as the “Blendermom” thrown in the mix of a blended family on her blog www.blendermom.me. She has a fourteen year old daughter and a nine-year old son, as well as a ten-year old bonus son. Together with her wonderful supportive husband, she is trying to teach her children the truest Christian values of loving God and loving each other through compassion and service. She is a 2009 graduate of “She Speaks” through Proverbs 31 ministries and has written for www.upliftingfamilies.com. She enjoys writing personalized poetry. She also writes and composes personalized songs for special occasions. She loves snuggling with her seven pound fur-baby, Maltipoo, Brady. You can follow her on Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram @blendermom3.