Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Saying Goodbye to the Past

Childhood wounds, failed relationships, shipwrecked careers, and painful mistakes can haunt us for years and keep us from moving forward.

We want resolution, or restitution, or answers, or closure, or something to give us the peace we need to close the door on that chapter and move on.

Why did I spend ten years with a man who was incapable of loving anyone but himself? The pain of it left me nearly incapacitated.

I prayed for peace, but the waves of fear, oppression, and torment washed over me again and again.

Why did I do it? Why did I stay? Why did I keep going back, even though he proved over and over again that he could not, or would not, ever change?

I wanted answers. I wanted something to make it okay. But that something never came.

One of the hardest lessons I have ever had to learn is that not everything is fixable in the way that I want it to be. But that does not mean I have to live the rest of my life in torment. It means I have to relinquish this unfixed thing to God. I have to accept that there are some things I just can't fix.

In Isaiah 61:1-3, God promises to heal the brokenhearted, to give joy instead of mourning, and beauty instead of ashes. When I relinquish those hurts to Him without trying to fix, explain, or triumph over them in my own strength, only then can He align with me and gently shower me with healing, joy, and beauty.

I imagine myself walking across an empty field, carrying a large bag of rocks. Eventually, when I am too exhausted to continue, I stop in the middle of the field and open my pack, laying out all my rocks before the Lord. There is pain, anger, sadness, fury, rage, revenge, self-pity, entitlement, frustration, loss, grief, confusion, envy, disgust, and so on.

Thank God, He doesn't judge me! He just smiles and takes all my rocks. He fills the field with green grass and beautiful flowers, dresses me in flowing white, and showers me with sparkling light. The sun is warm and the breeze is refreshing. He gives me fresh, clear, cool water to drink, and it revives my spirit.

Every time I start to feel weighed down by those old feelings, I remember the scripture and remind myself of how I have given those unhealed hurts to God in exchange for His beauty and joy.

Not everything needs to be fixed. Some things just need to be traded.

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