Nothing can hinder us more than staying stuck in the past. You cannot move forward into the new season that God has for you until you make peace with your past. Making peace with your past includes forgiving yourself, forgiving the ones who have hurt you, letting go of false guilt, letting go of how things should be or could have been, and releasing every toxic memory of the past.
Moving forward means fresh start. All the old ways of thinking and doing things that did not work before are left behind. Your past had a purpose, you most likely now are stronger in your faith and commitment to Christ.
Continually bringing up the past, especially repeating memories that are harmful serves no purpose but to decrease your hope and your faith and to increase discouragement and depression. There is a time to go back into your past to heal your broken and wounded hearts, but when that stage of healing is over, you need to move forward so that you do not get stuck in past pain.
The enemy wants you stuck like quicksand in your hurtful past and painful memories? Why? Because you cannot live the life that Christ came to give you fully. Christ wants you living free and also joyfully. Yes, you are to enjoy your life to the fullest. How can you enjoy your life when you are bound to the past, reliving your past to anyone who will hear your sad stories as a way to gain pity. Christ does not want you pitiful but powerful. Stop focusing on the problems of the past, what did not work, who was not there, who you lost, or even why something happened.
Let God heal your brokenness and then begin to live again.
Reflect and ponder: Do you feel stuck in your past problems and old wounds and can’t seem to move forward in your life?
Counselor’s Corner: God does not want you to rehash, remember and replay your old wounds and past problems, He wants to heal your heart, set you free, and release you to move forward. Make peace with your past, it happened, and no matter how you wanted things to have turned out differently-they didn’t! Focusing on the past is a surefire way to keep you in bondage. Traumatic memories are very powerful, and they can keep you stuck in pain. Painful memories can throw your physiology out of balance and prevent you from experiencing the peace of the present moment. People who live in the past of painful memories cannot enjoy the present very well because they keep reliving what has hurt them. When you think about the negative aspects of your past, fear, dread, worry, discouragement and even depression can hold you captive. Bad memories have strong negative emotions attached to them, which triggers physical and chemical changes in your body. Every time a bad memory causes a stressful response it takes up to 36 hours for your body to rid the stress hormones. If your mind is constantly replaying bad memories, your body does not get a chance to return to its natural resting state and as a result your body stays geared-up.
Steps to moving forward:
1. Take the necessary time to grieve. If you have had trauma in your life, you will need to get to the “roots” of your embedded pain. Allow Jesus to begin to heal the “roots” that get uncovered. Acknowledge what has hurt you, and don’t use anything to numb your pain. When you have not processed your pain or trauma memories, your mind is concerned and will try and relive the memories with the hope of some type of resolution.
2. Rewire your brain. If you have endured a crisis, a trauma or extended stressors; your brain needs to be rewired. Trauma has a negative impact on the brain, but you can daily start to repeat scriptures and positive truths that reflect the truth in God’s Word over your life. Rewiring your brain is simply replacing the memories of the trauma or wound with God’s Word.
3. Make new goals, including short-term and long-term goals. Write out your goals.
4. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you to forgive and to release everyone who has hurt you. Forgiveness is key to being able to move forward. Forgiveness does not mean reconciliation. Forgiveness is done on your part, but reconciliation involves both parties with repentance at the core.
5. Refocus on things that are positive and of a good report and the traumatic memories will eventually be filed away as over. This is where taking every thought captive into the obedience of Christ can be applied (2 Corinthians 10:5). As a painful memory tries to steal your current peace, refocus immediately on something that is positive. Do not dwell on the painful memory and especially don’t go back and try and figure out why something happened. What you are doing by refocusing your thoughts is essentially erasing the harmful memories to make way for positive memories and the ability to get unstuck.
6. To stay moving forward, release and process painful events immediately. When you don’t release painful emotions regularly, they can get stuck and will eventually cause illness. Release pain as soon as possible in prayer, alone with God, or with a trusted, Godly person.
MEDITATE ON THESE SCRIPTURES:
He restores my soul.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness the prisoners.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.