Have you ever loved someone who’s stuck in a rut?
From the outside looking in, you can see what’s going on. You may have even told them as much. You have prayed and cried and encouraged and listened…yet there they go, just like the Israelites. Only steps away from the promised land, but NO…one more trip around the same, dumb mountain.
Or maybe it’s YOU? You can’t seem to figure out why you are repeating the same patterns. You remove people from your life to avoid making the same mistakes. But, you end up surrounded with different people tripping over the same old log.
I’ve been the friend of that one. But, I’ve been that one, too…at least, until I began to recognize the origin of the problem.
It all goes back to an original set of choices. Perhaps, stemming from a misplaced hope. Sometimes, the root is an internal promise that has been long suppressed. Anyway you slice it, it comes down to taking a look into your past and correcting your course to the future.
Now, this comes at a premium cost…It’s the cost of looking back.
I have heard too many (including myself) declare defiantly, “Why do you always have to go and bring up the past? I don’t even think about things from back then!”
The more ‘religious’ turn of phrase would be, “It’s under the Blood of Jesus. I don’t see why we need to discuss it anymore.”
Yes, it’s a dead issue and yes, it’s under the blood…but just as if you’ve entered the Zombie Apocalypse, unless you take it’s head clean off, it will just keep getting up on it’s own, attempting to devour you whole.
No, your past mistakes don’t have to dictate your future…but they will do just that, if you do not take the desperately important step to turn around, face them, see them for what they are and CHANGE THE BEHAVIOR that brought you to that point. ONLY THEN will you be able to face your future and walk away from what was, into what should be.
It is vitally important to see your past to leave it. Not just see it…take a little time to pick it apart. Find that root of unforgiveness. Search out that original fracture in your heart that you constantly try to protect, by keeping your guard up, instead of exposing it to the healing light of the Holy Spirit.
I’ve spoken many times about my upbringing. I’ve talked about how I continued to bring drama into my life time and time again, no matter where in the world I was. It’s not about external geography. This is about navigating the geography of your heartbreaks…Bridging the divides of your soul. That’s what helps you to get beyond your past into your promised land.
I had to go all the way back into the choices that were made for me that created a sense of abandonment in me. They kept me from letting people leave my life on a good note. And they kept me clinging to people that I knew would not leave me, even though the only reason they stayed was because I was a willing host to their parasitic behavior. They were destroying my soul and keeping me from real love, lasting peace and healthy relationships.
Once I confronted the heartbreak, I was able to make a stand against my own foul behavior. I was able to repent to God for the messes I kept making again and again. I apologized, when I was able, to those whom I could find. And, I forgave myself for the time it took to get to this place of peace. (We are usually hardest on ourselves once we begin to see clearly.)
It was only then that I was able to lay all of it at the foot of the Cross of Christ, to be covered by the Blood of Jesus once and for all. And only then was I able to remove the predators and parasites from my life for good, to make room for people who could truly celebrate and encourage me and allow me to return the favor.
Now, I have to be completely honest. This liberty is a mixed bag. I rejoice in my own freedom. But, when I see people I love that find themselves in the same predicament, it’s frustrating and painful. It makes me really sad, because I know the cost they are about to pay. And I can’t pay it for them. I have to pray and stay out of the way. When they’re ready, I can help. Sometimes, I have to wait on the Lord to send someone who is not so close, to provide a different sense of perspective for them. But once they’ve taken the time to say those last goodbyes, I’ll still be there when they’re finally ready to face their future and move forward. That’s all a real friend can do.