Special Note: This weekend I will be selecting five questions from our readers and facebook “friends” as the topics for the week. If you would like to participate and ask me a question simply send me a note on facebook or email me using the mailbox link on the right hand side. I delight in sharing as the Lord leads!
Question: My childhood was devastating. I grew up in an abusive home and wasn’t protected. As I grew older I began making unwise decisions that only added to the pain and chaos. Now that I have given my life to the Lord, I know I am forgiven but I still feel this heaviness that I can’t get rid of. It has affected my marriage, my parenting, and my friendships. My husband and I have went to counseling but still my past haunts me. Do you have any suggestions on how I can finally overcome my past?
Answer: The first thing I want to assure you of is HIS LOVE! “Who the Son sets free is free indeed!” (John 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. ) Christ died for us while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us). He has always loved YOU and desires to have a personal relationship with YOU! (Jeremiah 24:7 And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart. ) I too have events and moments of my past that are not God glorifying however, they do not haunt me or keep me in bondage. I know that it is by His amazing grace that I have been set free and so I live each day in that awareness. I have always felt that if I didn’t live my life 100% free from the chains of the past then I wasn’t free at all! I rarely remember that person of the past, for my sight is set ahead toward the mark that is before us! (Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us). I believe that if I allowed the past to dictate my days it would steal my tomorrows; I wasn’t willing to let Satan have that victory! I know how deep sin can take someone. I know the devastation, lies, and stealing that the enemy does. (John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly). I also know that our God can restore ALL that the locust have eaten! (Joel 2:25 And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten) Many times I hear from people that they think I have the perfect life, perfect relationships and perfect home. I am not being modest when I say that everything you see good in my life is HIS doing! I do love the life God has given to me, the relationships he has restored, and the mission field of my home. I am confident that He is no respecter of persons and He wants to do the same in your heart and home! (Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons)
Here are a few helpful tips I discovered over the years:
CONFESSION: I went to those that I had wronged and humbly asked for forgiveness. I put a great deal of prayer into it before hand and had specific things I was asking forgiveness for. I prayed for timing and went to others when He led. (James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. )
REPENTANCE: I did a 180 degree turn in my life!! My life looks nothing like it did before and that was on purpose. The selfish habits, thoughts, or ideologies had to go! I was filled with so much thanksgiving for what Christ had done for me that I wanted (and still want) to offer myself as a LIVING sacrifice. (Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out )
LIVING IN GRACE: Living in grace didn’t mean that I had a pass for poor behavior. It meant that I had another opportunity to impact the world for God! It meant that anytime I would remember something grievous that was done to me or that I did, I would instantly give thanks to the Lord for saving me from the pain and I would give it “all” back to Him. If you’re like me, you will notice times when you have a choice to live as a victim or live victorious! I chose victorious and you can too!!
I know I added much more Scripture references than I typically do in a reply. I would encourage you to go through and look up these verses for yourself. While I love to share with you ladies, I am confident that my words will pass and with time they will be forgotten however, HIS Word will stand. It has power and offers life for those that accept Him. May God be glorified in your life as you throw off the chains of the past and embrace the beautiful life He has for you! I have often found this passage of Scripture to sum up my life. Perhaps it will be meaningful to you too!
When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.
Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them.
The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.
Turn again our captivity, O LORD, as the streams in the south.
They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.
He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
With much love,
Mrs. Joseph Wood