The “past.” A small word that can either make you or break you. When I look back at my past, it was filled with lots of hurt, pain, and regret. To this day, I privately thank God for the triumph He gave me after experiencing such a horrible past. I was mentally and physically abused. My eyes stayed filled with tears. I cried so much that I couldn't recognize who I was when I looked at myself in the mirror. I can remember losing myself by overeating, not caring about what I put on or how I dressed. All I felt within me was that someone took power over my life, and I was going to just give up and throw in the towel.
My childhood was not peaches and cream, either. I remember getting picked on numerous times. I became bitter. If someone would say “Hi” to me, I would automatically become defensive. Being so young, my childhood shouldn't have been filled with bitterness and hatred. It should’ve been filled with love, laughter, and dreaming about what I wanted to be when I grew up. And once I became an adult, I realized that I never healed from the past of my childhood. I actually thought it was normal behavior to deal with being mistreated and being called out my name, especially in relationships. I would stay in the relationship and deal with years of abuse because I thought that I didn't deserve to be treated with respect; after all, I never got any respect from my peers when I was a child. So, I allowed people to use me. I ended up developing unhealthy relationships that kept repeating itself.
When you look back at your past, ask yourself, “Did I learn a valuable lesson? Am I doing the same thing now that I did years ago? Am I socializing with the same type of people that I socialized with in the past? Have I changed for better or for the worse?” To be honest, I do think we need to look at our past just for a few minutes just to see if we’re doing a repeated cycle.
First thing you should do is reevaluate your life. Determine how things were in your past and how things are now in your present. If you can identify that there is something repeating itself from what you dealt with in the past, then that means you’re taking the first step to prepare for your future. Write down all the bad things that have happened to you in your past, and write down the type of people you socialized with in your past. Were they supportive? Did they add value to your life? Were they encouraging? Are the people in your present life lifting you up spiritually? Are they praying for you to have victory in your future? If not, that means your past is repeating itself and it is time to change your circle.
Yes, it’s a hard thing to do when the people that’s bringing you down is your own family or friends. All we can do is pray for them. In the meantime, focus on your future. Write down a future plan. What strengths do you need to practice before you can embrace a promising future? What type of people do you want in your cycle? What kind of relationship do you want to build? I feel that if we have a plan and stick to it, we will not fall back into repeating our past.
In order for us to embrace the future, we must put God as number one in our lives. We have to do what pleases Him and not what pleases the world (I John 2:15). I use to say to myself, “Oh, God can’t help me have a better future because of my sins.” That's exactly why we should go to God for help. He says come as you are. He knew we were a mess before we even got on our knees to pray.
If we are bitter, angry, or emotional, we must nip that in the bud before it gets worse. We must tell our past, “You are no longer a part of me.” It is time for us to embrace and accept our future. It will be filled with love, understanding, and happiness.
If I ever deal with any kind of hardship, I will hang onto God’s word. He gave me the power to have a successful life and a promising future. And I claim it! I receive it!
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