Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Your past does not dictate your future

I was talking with someone very close to me a few weeks ago and she mentioned her struggle with moving forward in her purpose. She explained to me how she felt like her childhood experiences are what's making her remain still. This is her story. Her name was changed to protect her privacy.

As a child, Sheila often felt neglected and because of this, she felt as if she couldn't move on to the next level in her life. Her parents weren't 'too' strict, but were certainly highly opinionated (as most parents are). They often discouraged her to moving forward in what she wanted to do. Unfortunately, because of misguidance, she made some wrong decisions that caused her to go a different route that she didn't expect. She graduated from a school that she didn't want to; because she was kicked out of the good one she started in. Poor Shelia really lost a sense of who she was and what potential she once thought she had. She became a loner who gravitated to the wrong crowd. She decided to do things her own way- without their support. With the discouragement, coupled with unsupport that she received from her family; she figured this was the best route. And even today, she is struggling with the idea of doing something great because no one ever really instilled it in her before. Now even being married with a beautiful daughter, she feels helpless and inadequate.

How many of you ever felt like your past was getting in the way of your future? Let me ask in a different way. How many feel like your past IS getting in the way of your future?

I'm sure some readers will say yes. And maybe you won't comment on this post, but maybe deep inside this is starting to tug at your heart because you actually may feel exactly what Sheila is going through.

The truth of the matter is, Past Rejection hurts! It stings and feels like someone or something has complete control over you and is stopping you from stepping out of it and moving on. Am I right?

Being bound by things that happened to us can really cause great damage. We begin to feel insecure. We begin to feel worthless. We begin to feel like where we are today is the end of the road for us. Well, let me plainly be honest- and I want you to feel me on this- Your Past does NOT dictate your future. You can move out of it and step into what God has for you!

As I shared with Shelia on the phone, you can't allow your past to be an excuse to God. The truth is, that's not a good enough excuse for not walking in your calling. That may sound cold, but it is really true. When you stand before the Lord, it's not going to be you and your parents or you and anyone else who hurt you. It's going to be you and Him.

Forgive and Let Go!
In Shelia's case, she has to forgive her parents. Forgiving people is not easy, but oh when you do- it will take that weight off of your shoulders. Unforgiveness is bondage. It holds you prisoner. It keeps you in one place and prevents you from moving forward.

Matthew 6: 14-15- 14For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

As you read in Matthew, you’ll learn how crucial it is to forgive. Just think about it this way. Think of all of the terrible things they did to Jesus before he was crucified. They spit on him, nailed him to the cross and there he hang before he died. Yet, he still forgave them by dying for us. In a like manner, we should forgive those who persecute us- those who hurt us. In fact, scripture tells us we need to “bless” those who persecute us. (Matthew 5:44).

Shelia’s parents did their best. They were wrong to discourage her and not give support- but they were doing their best to raise her. But now that she is an adult, she has to look pass the past and think of what God can do in her life right now.

I wonder, what past situation you are allowing to hinder you from moving forward. Maybe it’s not your parents. Maybe it’s something your old boss said to you. Maybe it’s your own personal inward feelings of inadequacy because you didn’t make straight A’s in school. Whatever it is, I encourage you to let it go. Release that thing to God and allow him to show you how to move forward. Once you submit it to Him, he’ll take care of the rest!

Excerpt from Simply Wisdom

"The truth is, there are times in our lives when we really need to step back and trust God without always running to (or trusting in) in other people. It is so easy to put our trust in man. We have friends that we may consider very reliable. However, God is far more reliable than any friend we will ever have.” (Simply Wisdom, pg. 34)