Are you a prisoner of your past? Are you still holding on to what happened? Why me? Like I said in my book, It Is Well, Why not you?
This weekend I had the opportunity to sit still, which is rare, and watch a little television. I stumbled across this NetFlix series titled, “Wentworth.” For those of us who aren’t up on the current trending shows, it is an Australian drama of the life of several women in prison. The main characters were imprisoned for different crimes as a result of murder, drug addiction, alcoholism, and anger which all stemmed from situations in their past. Situations that hurt them so deeply; they were trapped. As I watched several episodes, not only did I see how the women’s past had caused them to be imprisoned physically but their past had imprisoned them into believing they were someone who they were not. They were incarcerated by their past. Trapped!
Are you trapped in your past? Have you allowed your abuse, your hurt, your lies, your mistakes, your anger, your low self-esteem to trap you in the past? Have I entered your street? No? OK, what about your weight, your debt, your cheating, your alcohol abuse, your drug addition, your past relationship? My friend, I am here to share that YOU are not the only one that has been through something. All those things happened to you for a reason. It is helping to shape you into the person God created from the beginning. It was part of God’s plan for your life. Jeremiah 29:11 reads, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and to not to harm you,” catch this part, “plans to give you hope and a FUTURE.” What God didn’t do was plan for you to be trapped in it. Your past is simply a part of who you were. You are PERFECT, and born to be a testimony to someone else to share exactly how good God is.
The number 8 is very significant in the Bible. It is symbolic of resurrection. It is a new beginning. In this 8 month of the year (August), I dare you to boldly unlock the handcuffs of your past and let it go. Let it be your story. Your testimony on how God was there the entire time and how he used “it” to heal others, and to change lives, especially yours!
How do I begin to heal? It hurts so bad. Well, first you have to recognize that ‘thing’ that have you trapped. Pause here for a moment or two, a few of us have been hurting so long we don’t even know what it is that has us trapped. Ok, ready? Do you remember? Great! Now, let it go! Once you see that ugly part of your past for what it is, the past, you can move forward to a new beginning. Now that you know what has trapped you in the past, you can begin to heal.
Next, you must realize you are not alone. Our past can sometimes force us to be in periods of isolation. We can suffer from a wide variety of emotions – hurt, embarrassment, shame, discouragement , afraid, brokenness and even a feeling of unworthiness. But those my friends are all lies set by the enemy. You are not alone and if you look close enough you can see God was with you the entire time cheering you on. Have you ever started a conversation with someone and then all of a sudden you realize that they also went through the same thing you did? It is not a coincidence. It was God reminding you, you are not alone. Do not be ashamed.
Well, now its your turn to start that conversation and tell your story. The next time that feeling comes to share what happened to you, hold your head up, straighten your back and speak boldly about the things that happened in the past and how you are no longer trapped by them. This my friend is what will truly set you free. I hear the handcuffs to your past falling. It’s time for you to let the past stay in the past. You just took a step into your future and it looks mighty bright.