God has really been teaching me a lot about the past and how vital it can be to the present. It’s a messy lesson for me though.
A few years back I went through a difficult time spiritually. I faced some mental/spiritual strongholds that had got the best of me for awhile. However, in the end, they gave me a deeper and more concrete grasp of who God truly is. Before this point in my life, I didn’t fully understand my need for God. Therefore, I didn’t fully understand His greatness.
This time in my life was uncomfortable. It was filled with fear, doubt, and many sleepless nights. I spent months trying to readjust my thinking on my own strength. I felt inadequate and unworthy.
Overcoming this didn’t happen by way of a sudden realization, and an overnight transition. It was a slow process, and came about after a accumulation of powerful revelations from God. I then had to daily choose to think and believe the things He was teaching me. It was a choice, not necessarily an emotion. I had to learn that just because I thought or felt something, didn’t make it true. And, just because I didn’t feel or believe something, it wasn’t any less true.
However, I say all this to say, I’ve spent a lot of time since running from my past. Ignoring it, avoiding it, and pretending it didn’t happen. God reveled to me that I was afraid of my past. I didn’t want to approach it, because I was afraid I would retrogress back to it. Therefore, I’ve avoided it at all cost for a lot of this time.
God had to reveal to me that my present reality is stronger than any allusion I use to believe and live within. He is my reality. He is my identify. He is my strength. He wants me to be confident enough in this, that I can stare my past head on without any fear.
See, God has great plans for our past. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that God works all things together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose.” I have a hard time grasping this. Even our mistakes are used by God in powerful ways. God wants to use my past to not only shape my future, but also to heal others.
It is clear to me that He has and still is using my past to build up my life. Like I mentioned earlier, before this time I didn’t understand my dependency on God. I had to be shown my true state of helplessness in order to grasp my deep need for Him. But in showing me that great need, God also so graciously showed me His sacrifice which can satisfy the need. To ignore my past, would mean to forget the beauty of the lesson. As well as forfeit the ones still being revealed.
But this isn’t only about me…
People need to know they aren’t alone. They need to know they aren’t the only ones that struggle. Especially in the realms of the Christian faith. It’s as though Christians think there are certain struggles and temptations they are exempt from. I say this only from experience. If only someone from the church would have looked at me and told me they had been exactly where I was, and it was ok. I needed to know I wasn’t the only Christian that struggled beyond the things people aren’t afraid to confess. God wants me to be able to do that for someone else; be vulnerable with them, and then guide them to the hope I have. But I can’t do that if I keep hiding from my past.
God’s brought me pretty far in this process. This time last year, I probably wouldn’t have wrote a blog about “the dark time”. I’m not running anymore though. God wants to use it all, so I’m going to make sure he has it all.
Don’t be afraid to give God your darker moments. He already knows about them, and they haven’t changed His love for you. Give Him the pieces and let Him rebuild you. You might need some of those pieces to be completely renewed.