I often find myself thinking about my past mistakes. Things I've said, things I've done, things I wish I could change but know I can't. They're not all bad things, but the moment I think about something good, it's immediately bogged down by past mistakes. I'm haunted by my actions that were out of character, remembering my thoughts and where my heart was. I can't seem to shake it. Why is it so hard to let it go?
Honestly, I'm not sure.
Sometimes I think it's a reminder of who I was and who I've become. I'm reminded of how God was changing my heart. I looked at people differently. I saw myself in an unhealthy way. I let what happened to me control my life. Although some of that hasn't entirely gone away, I know I'm a much different person, someone who had to go through growing pains to get to where I am now.
I've always believed that struggles produce something greater within us; it's just more difficult to comprehend when it comes to ourselves. So why do we try so hard to act like they're not there?
Well for starters, it's definitely a pride thing. We put up walls, build ourselves up, and try to act like we've got it all together, I mean the world tells us we should right? Any sign of weakness is just that: weakness. Its intolerable, unacceptable, and makes us look weak.
But if I've learned anything, pride only leads to disaster. It has this way of stirring something in our hearts that isn't good, something that doesn't come from God and puts the focus on ourselves rather than the damage our pride can have on our relationship with God and the people in our lives.
More importantly, our struggles allow us to live shamefully. We become ashamed of our weaknesses and our past, knowing how they haunt us. It causes us to perpetually relive our sins over and over and over again. We let our brokenness keep us in a state of brokenness, taking us away from the destiny God intended for us.
Forgiveness is a tough concept when it comes to ourselves. When we confess our sins and repent to God, we are forgiven but we don't feel forgiven. We feel like we have to prove ourselves to God because we don't feel like were enough. So we clean up our act, put on the good Christian front, and smile at every glance our way. But on the inside, we're struggling hard. We haven't forgiven ourselves and that's tormenting our ability to live freely.
I don't why it's so hard to let go. I think it's because we will always be wrestling with our sin and struggling to see the characteristics of God in ourselves, especially after we shame ourselves with our past and the things we've done.
But our God constantly reminds us that the past is the past and it doesn't have to be our future. We are called to lived unashamed, surrendering our weakness to God and watching his grace transform us into the destiny God has called us to. It's time for us to let go of our pride, humbly accept his forgiveness and grace, and live freely. Not carelessly, but care-free.
It's a process and one we should be patient with. It's not meant to come easy and we don't want to miss God's teachings in between. Our future is one we should be excited for, marveling at all the possibilities God has in store. While the future will bring challenges and difficulties, our past should not haunt our future; a future that brings thousands of possibilities with God, possibilities that include our ability to let go of our shame and embrace the gift of grace over and over and over again.