Thought #9: Leave the Past Behind You


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. 


Shredding away my past…

Although it’s fall, I spent the week spring-cleaning…

Yesterday, I spent the morning shredding 4 years worth of insurance statements. Since my seizures have disappeared, I’ve been on the search for new insurance and decided it was time to get rid of all paperwork for claims that have been closed. I really did not expect to take a journey back in time while I was shredding! 

As I picked up pages to put in the shredder, I caught words here and there…ambulance, emergency, x-ray, fracture, prescription, …and they did not bring back good memories. Dates tied random words to the place and situation in which the seizures occurred. For seven years my memory was really fuzzy from the seizures and medications, but yesterday, my memory was crystal clear. Several of my seizures happened in public places like Wal-Mart, The Glazing Pot, and Gray Court Pharmacy. You’d have thought Wal-Mart was on fire when I had them there. All because of a seizure, I got two fire trucks, and police car, and an ambulance.  I had one in Park City, Utah while we were on vacation, so of course sirens screamed all the way to the hotel, where lots of people took notice. Trevor and I were alone in the hotel room and he handled it all! One of my seizures happened at home while I was alone with Miranda and Marlee. They were in the bath at the time, and Miranda found me about twenty minutes later with our Great Danes hovering over me. There was a puddle of blood about two feet wide under my head from breaking my nose. It’s truly a blessing I don’t actually remember the seizure and seeing people react to them; I want no memory of my children’s faces in the aftermath. But I do remember the events after I regained consciousness, which usually took about an hour. They are NOT good memories. 

I let seizures define me for seven years. I felt like a victim. I let the depression that went with each seizure build on the one before, driving me further and further into the hole of isolation I’d dug for myself. That was not God’s plan. He wanted me to turn to Him. He wanted me to see His strength in my weakness. 

I finished shredding all four years worth of statements (three garbage bags full). Four miserable years of my past represented in those garbage bags, shredded beyond recognition. No more reminders and a new insurance plan in the works. 
My past is past. It is gone. I cannot and will not go back. I wish I’d realized sooner that it was only God who could heal me and maybe I wouldn’t have turned to so many other ways to “fix” myself. But now, God has wiped it away, as far as the east is from the west, and He didn’t even have to use a shredder! He just wanted me to turn to Him. 
From my heart,