Finding peace from your past is a subject that took me years to come to terms with. It’s rough, tough and filled with emotions. Most people will delay coming to terms with unhappy memories resulting from loss, divorce, abuse … a plethora of problems. Sometimes we find peace through a lesson learned from a sudden incident … for others, it can be a life-long process.
From infancy, kids think their parents are perfect. As I grew older, I realized that my home and family were Dysfunctional – that’s with a capital “D.” I loved my parents and they loved me, but our relationships were based on secrecy and conditions. When I was in the 4th grade, they divorced. It was like a tug-o-war between parents which skewed the entire family dynamic. That’s how I learned early in life how to keep secrets so the world would think I (we) were perfect. My first break-through came as I learned parents are human beings, too, and, therefore, imperfect. Once I learned how each of my parents were raised, how they each inherited how they responded to conflict, stress, the trials, regrets, and negative memories they held on to, I better understood why my parents were like they were. My relationship with my parents improved from that point on. Gratefully, I was able to learn, forgive, and let go of my past in order to enjoy wonderful relationships with both my parents before they passed on.
Our lives are filled with memories — good and bad. The impressions of the past live in our minds, where we look at them over and over again. We re-live scenes like snapshots, each time evoking strong feelings that influence what we think and how we react. It’s human nature to dwell on the negative – what we regret or what injured us – and then to cast blame on others. But we weren’t designed to dwell on the past – we were designed to live for the present. So many of us dwell on reflections that make us unhappy, we cannot see what is there to make us happy.
“I can’t do it, I was hurt too much growing up” you might be thinking. “There is too much for me to forget and too much for me to forgive. The pain and the anger won’t go away. I am still suffering. It’s impossible for me to get over what happened.” Partly, that’s true — in our own power, it’s impossible to put the past behind us, but God steps in and forgiveness takes over. It happened for me and many, many others – the same can happen for you. He can give you the strength to move on without the hurt and the anxiety. He can heal every wound completely if you let him.
Are you dealing with anger and unforgiveness from your past? With relationships? With family members? Talk to them … a relationship takes two and there is always two sides to every story. Start living again — don’t wait to make peace with your past.
John 8:36 “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”