Prison of the Past
It’s Christmas Eve. Mack and I will be heading off soon to spend some time with our loved ones. Christmas in the past has always been a favorite holiday and it’s always been a bit frantic – shopping, cooking, decorating, wrapping, Christmas Cards, and then enjoying the holiday after weeks of preparation. This year, I didn’t send Christmas Cards (for the first time ever), I didn’t really decorate for Christmas (because all my Christmas decorations are packed from moving a few months ago), and shopping was pretty minimal (we decided not to exchange gifts with everyone, but instead play a fun version of white elephant/dirty Santa). I did some baking – it’s one of my favorite things about the holiday because I love to share some treats with my loved ones….I’m especially looking forward to a piece of chocolate chip pecan pie later.
This year I have felt a sense of peace like I have never had before. But, the peace I have this year isn’t because we “minimized” Christmas, although it does seem less frantic and certainly more restful. I realize that this past year for me has really been about breaking free of the prison of the past. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize just how much it was keeping me in. This year was a year of growth – and growth often comes with growing pains – but publishing my book last December has helped me break free of the prison of the past.
Rick Warren says, “We are products of the past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it. God’s purpose is not limited by your past. He turned a murderer named Moses into a leader and a coward named Gideon into a courageous hero, and he can do amazing things with the rest of your life too.” (sic)
Breaking free of that prison of the past doesn’t mean you forget it – it just means that today you wake up and decide to move on anyway. I woke this morning from an awful nightmare. In my dream, I was somehow back living with my parents today, after years of being gone, and I couldn’t escape. My dad would tell me it was my choice to leave and I would try to leave but the doors were always locked when I tried to leave. I’m sure there is some interpretation in there that represents the feeling that I have, even today, that somehow my past follows me around and makes me unworthy of whatever God has planned for me.
We all have a past. We all have things that have happened in us, to us, or around us that hurt. No one escapes life without loss at some point. None of us are perfect, and shouldn’t pretend to be. We’ve all done or said things that we later regret. Perhaps it’s not guilt or shame that hold you back. Perhaps it’s anger at someone for some wrong done to you. Perhaps it’s resentment at God for a prayer request that He answered with, “No,” or “Not now.” I don’t know what you are holding on to, if anything, that you should let go of. Maybe nothing – and if that is the case, I’m happy for you and this message just wasn’t written for you today.
But if you are stuck in your own prison of the past, today, let it go. Break free of that prison and accept God’s purpose for you. Accept that God equipped you for what He has in mind and He has extended grace to us to make it possible to have eternal life. Each day is a gift – live it well today. Remember to say “Thank You” and don’t take it for granted that you will receive it again tomorrow.
Ria is a motivational speaker and certified executive coach with a passion for asking questions to empower others to make the right choices today to reach their goals tomorrow. Contact Ria for information on success coaching in 2016. To sign up for Ria’s complimentary leadership training series, CLICK HERE.