Oh man, sometimes I feel I’ll never live my past down. Sometimes, I look around and wonder if my friends and family will live down theirs. Will we ever be punished enough for what we did, get over our losses and say goodbye to the ways our past still tries to define us?
The past has a way of hanging on. We try our hardest to leave it in the dust, only to find its control strengthened by our best efforts. We dive into new hobbies and relationships, hoping by some miracle this new thing will be the fix, the solution…and it never is.
What I’ve found is that nothing has the power to cure us from our past or our pain. There are things that help us muddle through the questions and tools to keep us sitting in the pain until it’s time to move on. There is nothing though, that simply fixes us from the consequences and effects of our past.
And that’s just it. There is no fix. So how do we find healing?
It’s not quick and it’s definitely not easy, but It IS possible.
First, healing begins to take place when we start to face our hurt. It might be writing about it, talking it through or something else; whatever it takes to face and feel your pain, do it. When it gets to the point where the weight of your hurt feels too heavy to bear, you’ve found your starting point. And in time, you’ll wake up feeling just a little lighter than the day before.
Second, healing happens over time. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, life is often two steps forward and one step back. We’re imperfect and prone to mistakes. The sooner we realize that, the sooner we’ll be able to receive the grace we need, the grace God loves to give.
Third, healing happens when we can let go and be brave enough to believe again. When we’re so fixed on our pain and it’s all we can do to bear the weight of it, it seems we can only survive. As we take time and start to face our hurt, we’re eventually greeted with a choice to stay in the hurt or to climb (however slowly) out of it. When it’s time, let go. Choose to believe. Choose to climb.
While there are days my past pain still hangs on, it’s rarely defining like it once was. Now, my most painful experiences are just more reason I know God and love Him the way I do. Today my past feels more like privilege, a peek into just how good my God is and how not even my worst hurts get to determine the limits of my future.
Though there’s no simple fix, there is healing as we face our hurts, take time with them and eventually, choose hope. There’s no forgetting what’s behind us, but there is a God on our side who promises He’s making all things new.
So…let healing have its season, allow grace to reach your soul and eventually, however slowly, healing will come.