Everyone has a past. That past, good or bad, can shape you into the person you are to become—good or bad. Sometimes bad experiences from the past could cause us to make poor choices in our future, and then sometimes just the opposite is true. Sometimes it’s the bad events of the past that cause us to make good decisions for our future. The point is, you either learn from your past or you don’t.
How many times have you seen a family with a history of abuse that produces children who grow up to be abusive? And there are abused children who grow up and become advocates for other abused children to help stop the cycle.
When we receive Christ as our Savior, the Bible says we become “new.” The old us disappears. But does this mean we will never sin again? Unfortunately not. We live in a fallen world, and we face temptations and struggles every day. But the gift of Salvation allows those sins to be redeemed. Sometimes it takes a mistake to help understand exactly what the will of God is…
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2 ESV)
The last thing in the world I want to dwell on is the mistakes I made when I ended up addicted to Lortab. I can replay the series of events with the migraines, seizures, and sinus surgery in my head over and over. I can go back and think, “If only I’d done _____,” but that does no good. It happened, and praise God that time in my life is over. I certainly don’t believe that God caused me to go through all of the things I did for seven years, but I do believe he allowed me to gain a new perspective so I can understand him better—so I could have a close relationship with him.
The past often brings shame, fear, resentment…all of those emotions you want to bury. Admitting addiction was the most shameful thing I’ve ever had to do. It was also the most freeing thing I’ve ever done. Much to my surprise, other people were not shocked that I wasn’t perfect! (Imagine that!) And it was okay! It’s so much easier being exactly who you are… not some “made up” version of who you think people think you should be. (Did that make any sense?)
So learn from your past, but don’t let it define who you are…let it define who you are becoming.