Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness and
Streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43: 18-19 NIV
How unfortunate it is to be held hostage by your past. Life is happening, the calendar dates are changing; days to months and months to years, yet you are aging in the same spot.
There is a proverb that says:
“You can’t keep the birds from flying over your head, but you sure can keep the birds from building a nest in your hair”.
Challenges are inevitable and mistakes are guaranteed. Admittedly, they are at varying levels for different individuals. But ultimately it is your response to the situation that determines the end result.
Everyone has a past, a secret or two they hope no one will ever come to know about. Some allow past ill decisions or failures to determine their future, and others find ways to turn the tables around in their favour. The difference is perception. I made the mistake of thinking I had to be perfect to seek God. This mindset was my captivity, and I was on a daily grind of trying to figure everything out on my own. I went from pillar to post in search of liberation. I was advised on “this and that” and then did “this and that”. Truth be told, I exhausted myself running around in circles, and that’s when I made the decision to let go of my pride and bolt into the arms of hope. I realized much later in my walk with God that the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus would be pointless if I could attain perfection on my own. It does the heart good to know that God made allowances for every blunder I would ever make; past, present and future. Knowing that God is not interested in me impressing Him, is weight lifted off my shoulders. He looks at my heart, not the works of my hands. He is moved by my faith, reliance on His grace, and my trust (confidence) in Him, not by my VIP pity parties. The Bible very clearly states that we are saved by grace, through faith, not by works, lest anyone should boast (Eph. 2:8). I did not buy my salvation, it is a gift from God, unwrapped by my faith.
What I am trying to say to you today is, stop trying to live independent of God’s grace. It doesn’t matter the mistakes you have made, it doesn’t matter what you have done, God’s love is unconditional, all-forgiving and all-accepting. You only have to allow yourself be loved back to whole – the best version of you. Others may have given up on you, you may even have given up on yourself. But your imperfection is unmined gold and He wants to unearth the gem that you are. The cool thing is, He is not subject to the world clock, and is not affected by time zones. It may seem like you are either running out of time or out of time, but in God’s reality you are just on time. If you think you are a mess, trust me there is always one other person in a messier situation. Come, the tangled mess that you are and let Him undo you one crossed wire at a time. He always needs something to work with anyways.
There are honestly still moments when for reasons unknown, I feel the need to scold myself for the stupid and rash decisions I have made. They seemed sensible in the moment, but as they say, hindsight is always 20/20. Unfortunately, the picture only got clearer after the fact.
Save yourself the misery, stop judging yourself and don’t sentence yourself to a lifetime of “blah”. There is no justice in that. People are oh so very quick to remind you of your mistakes or faults, but Mr. and Mrs peoples did not create you, their words may sting, but let them be like dust – no staying power.
Every new day brings hope. Every new day is an opportunity to be better. When you fall, don’t stay down and don’t think you have to hit some sort of reset button. Get up, dust off the dirt and continue on. Forgive yourself. Accept what God is offering you and live life.