Do you ever have those moments when something triggers a memory that physically revolts you. Usually my body reacts with a shiver, or sometimes I find my posture actually concaving into itself, my face grimacing. The memories that bring about these reactions are usually ones that I feel embarrassed about, something I truly regret, and rarely I have that reaction thinking of something someone else did to me. More cases than not, it is my own wrong doing that invokes such distaste. My past, like every other person's in the planet, is not perfect.
If it is a fact that no one is perfect, why is it so difficult for us to forgive ourselves? Why is it so hard to forgive others?
For me, I think that the difficulty in letting go of the past started as a defense mechanism. I would remind myself of the hurt and frustrations of my past relationships in order to avoid any situation that resembled my past transgressions. Harboring this pain consumed my thoughts and disallowed me to enjoy the happy life I had right in front of me. The anger that I still had towards myself also stunted my ability to forgive other people. Because of this anger, relationships were broken, communications cut off for a very long time, and despite that separation, the despair still existed. The most difficult part of the situation was acting like I wasn’t still battling the demons of my past. The world had kept turning and as much as I knew I should be moving on too, I still reminded myself daily of the bad things I had done, while putting on a smiling face and trying to push forward.
It wasn’t until very recently that the burden of anger/sadness/regret from my past was lifted. What I realized is those situations and fights years ago that seemed to stop the world as I knew it, shaped me and molded me and made me rely on Christ more than I ever had before. I had to work through my own insecurities to fully embrace 2 Corinthians 5:17 which says,
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
What I had been told so many times but not fully comprehended was that I am forgiven! Simple as that! Just as I am forgiven, the friends I held grudges against are also forgiven! Who am I to continue to harbor ill feelings towards other people when I have done absolutely nothing for forgiveness? And yet, having done nothing, I am new and forgiven and I delight in that burden having been lifted! We are all so undeserving, and yet we are fortunate enough to have a Father that loves unconditionally, even when we do not love ourselves. This fact in itself is so amazing that I really still have a hard time comprehending the enormity of it. There is NOTHING we can do that cannot be forgiven!
Do you have any burdens of the past that need to be lifted to the Lord? Do it! Don’t pull a stubborn Lauren and wait a few years just to feel better. Do it RIGHT NOW! I promise it is a much happier and healthier way to live!!