I want to honor my spiritual journey over the past 30 years. To sit here today and dismiss it all would be wrong. It wasn’t all bad all the time.
Looking back it was my life experiences that shaped me into who I am today. I am so thankful for the opportunities and resources along the way that helped me heal, grow and move forward. God has made His provision for healing and wholeness readily available to us.
Unfortunately, we often stubbornly hold onto our pain by refusing to forgive. It acts like a soother keeping us trapped in a “poor me” mindset.
There were two people in particular that I chose to forgive and when I encountered them again, as I did from time to time, it was like nothing had ever happened allowing me to treat them respectfully.
I was able to climb out of the confusing muck of bad experiences and memories they brought me by forgiving them. My emotions and even my body embraced the release I experienced as I literally left this baggage behind. It allowed me to move forward unhindered by the weight of the past.
Living in the story that unforgiveness creates, does not serve anyone. It is time to turn the page and forgive once for all.
We must grasp the Apostle Paul’s attitude of moving ahead toward the future God has for us:
13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the prize for which God has called med heavenward in Christ.”(Philippians 3:13 NIV)
Paul uses a term describing a runner who stretches and strains every muscle as he runs toward the finish line. We reach our finish line by forgiving and forgetting those things that weigh us down.
Similar to the runner in the race who spends hours in training, it takes real work, blood, sweat and tears to forgive, overcome and become who God intends us to be.
In order to move ahead we must do what ever is necessary to get unstuck from the past and adapt new mindsets and patterns of behavior that keep us moving forward.
- Decide to forgive and turn the page and write a new story for yourself.
- Decide to not act out the old behaviors and react to what happened in the past.
- Decide that your life is not about them anymore. Your life is about you and the loved ones who have borne the brunt of your emotions because of unforgiveness.
Let’s be honest with ourselves about what is holding us back.
Pointing fingers at other people will not solve our problems. We need to take time to look back on the past year and decide what we don’t want to take with us into 2019.