You Have to Go Back to Go Forward


For two decades, I hid from my past. I didn’t want to face the truth of what I had done as a rebellious teenager because I was embarrassed. I couldn’t believe I had ever been addicted to drugs or alcohol. I wish I could erase the memories, the pain, and especially the consequences I had to pay. I was married to a pastor; my pastor’s wives friends seemed to have perfect husbands, children, homes, and ministries. It appeared that they had no problems.

I felt like I struggled without progress in all of these areas. My life seemed hopeless. I wondered what was wrong with me. One day, in the middle of a meltdown, I couldn’t stop crying, I was depressed and in anguish. In a meeting with a Christian counselor, we discussed how I didn’t know how to forgive myself. I put myself in God’s place thinking I had committed the unpardonable sin.

I found out by what means I could accept the forgiveness God offers, yet my condemning thoughts of blame, shame, and unworthiness haunted me. These were meant to distract me and even take me out of serving God altogether. It was time for me to own up to my mistakes and let my past disciple me. This choice to embrace my past gave me certain opportunities to learn and even unwrap a few gifts. But my emotional baggage weighed me down; I felt extremely burdened because of  my unresolved conflict, and I couldn’t unpack  it on my own.

Through sound biblical counsel and the faith of trusted friends, I became aware of my insufficiency to solve my problems. I accepted God’s grace it as a gift, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). I had a difficult time accepting, yet once I responded to God’s offer, I gave Him my gratitude. Now I can’t stop thanking Him and telling others what God has done for me. “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift,” says 2 Corinthians 9:15. 

Do you need help unpacking something that’s weighing you down? Do have junk in your trunk? I know someone who can help. Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father, thank you for the blood of Jesus that covers a multitude of my sin (1 Peter 4:8). Thank you that you have forgiven me and there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). Thank you for helping me get rid of the junk of my past, so I can walk forward in freedom and security. Thank you for not holding my past against me. Help me to let go of guilt and shame. I choose to grab onto grace and hope. Thank you for changing my mess into a masterpiece. Thank you for using me for an important work you have planned for me to do (Ephesians 2:10). I choose to let go of the past so I can walk into the exciting future you have in store for me. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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