Happy New Year! As we enter into the new year you are probably hearing a lot about moving forward and embracing the new! But what if the past keeps trying to bring its way back into the forefront of your mind? You know that thing or person that you thought was left in your past?
It's easy for us to bring our focus on the past whether it be those great moments where we were living our best lives or those not so great moments. I will be honest this is an area that I have to constantly evaluate when it comes to my mental and emotional health. Because when we get caught up on the things of our past it can hinder what the Lord is wanting to do in our future. In His word we see how He is constantly bringing His people to greater. Bringing them out of bondage or old mindsets to where He desires for them to be!
See the Lord He is all about doing new things in our lives. He is a god that isn't short of new ideas and bringing ways to show us that He is caring for us and has a great plan for our lives.
So with new years or new seasons you often feel the need to do some decluttering or as some would say "spring cleaning". Well before the year was over I decided I would not only go through my closet for old things I don't wear but also through my electronics like phone and computer. And you know what God revealed to me during that process? As I was looking at the many messages and old contacts I held onto from years prior I felt the Holy Spirit saying that I tend to "hold on" to things way past their time. Whoa. My chest! lol Can you relate? Do you tend to hold on to things past their expiration date with hopes you will need it in your future? What I have noticed is when we hold on to our past longer than God meant us to. See you cant move into the new when you are still holding on to the things of the past. God is doing a new thing in your life do you not see it or recognize it? (See Isaiah 43:19.)
I think we hold on to things in our past because we think that what is ahead won't be better or won't be able to compare to our "good ole days". But what that really is doing is putting our lives in our hands and not in God's. We are putting Him in a box based on our finite mind. We are trying to take control because we are under the foolish impression that we actually know better than Him. Yea I know, crazy right? Don't be afraid to hope that what is ahead is actually good and to take it a step further BETTER! That your latter days are better than your former. That the best is yet to come for you. God is not a god that will withhold anything from you.
Those things that no longer serve you , don't have a place in your life anymore...
Ok so how do we leave the past in the past?
Be hopeful and in expectation for greater!
God has a great plan for your life. Just like He has taken care of you to this moment, this won't change for your future. Remember that and be hopeful. Hope can be defined as a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen; a feeling of trust. Know that God knows where He is taking you. Remember the truth and the promises that are over you. He knows the plans that He has for you and they are for good and not evil (Jeremiah 29:11). Even if you have experienced bad situations in your past, trust that with God, greater things are up ahead! I know this can be hard, but He is right there with you! He's always had your back!
Evaluate the lessons and take them for what they were LESSONS
One thing I love about God is He takes those moments that were meant for evil and turns them around for our good That thing that was meant to take us out He uses them to not only build us, but to build up others. Nothing that happens to us takes Him by surprise. Trust me He sees them way before we do. But in His loving-kindness, He has a plan already set in place where He will use it ultimately for our good. No matter what, be grateful for the past and what it taught you whether good or bad. Every season we have is for a reason. I truly believe that when you do look back at your past it should only motivate you. It should show you how great God is and how great His hand is on your life. You may not know what's going to happen in your future, but you do know where you are right now. If you let God guide you, your right now will be better than your back then. You may not see it, but God uses our past as a reason to move us forward not to go backwards. It is just up to us on whether or not we take hold of those lessons. If you are still in search of the why's and what those lessons are, seek the Lord. I want to encourage you that He is a loving gentle Father who doesn't withhold from us.
Move forward with those lessons
In order to leave the past we have to move forward. And moving forward is an action. Which often leads us leaving some things behind. I know this can be hard, but we have to let go of those things that no longer serve us and where God is taking us. So that can be anything from that unhealthy mindset you've had since that incident in your life or that person you know should've been gone a long time ago. He is wanting to do a new thing in us.
Remember your why
Like many things in life you have to be motivated to change and to continue to move forward. A positive way to do this is to remember your why. If you have to constantly remind yourself why you you left your old life and what made you want more for your life, DO IT! Do whatever you have to do to continue moving forward. Do not get entangled in the bondage you have already been freed from by reminiscing on your past (Galatians 5:1) So honor Him by being free from the things that caused you to be in bondage. He has gotten you to this place and He is more than willing to continue the greatness inside of you!
I really hope that you enjoyed this and are encouraged on how to leave your past in the past. You got this!
As always, stay beautiful inside and out!
Further Scripture reading: ***FYI as always all Scriptures are clickable. :)