35. How does the past live in the present?

Do you recoil from past memories or do you smile when you think or see memories from the past? How was it for you? Do you shudder - or smile and even brag about the sillyness of your young self? Most of us have a mixture of both.

We all are a mixed bag of our past memories living in the present life we now have. The challenge all of us have is how we allow our past to live through us into the present reality.

You have the power to bring it forward to your life today or to leave it in the past. Your past can enrich your present, bringing it wisdom by your life experiences. It can bring forth blame and bitterness. It's about choice again.

Been there. Through past violent assaults I recoiled each and every time when I had to remain still in the same particular position for any reason (and there were many positions). It took years of recovery to understand the vivid images I saw. I had huge difficulty in being able to differentiate between what was then and what is now. Have you been there or are you there now?

During those years I learned it was a mixture of great shame and fear that I recoiled from. I knew in my mind I was able to receive healing as God's grace could heal me. Emotionally it took awhile to get there. It was hard to fix my eyes on Him and to rely on His grace when the instant reaction was to recoil in fear and even strike back at the unseen enemy.

Christine Kaine, in Ahead of the Nations, wrote "God's grace can heal your shame." In humility and leaning fully on His mercy enabled me to take steps forward in my personal healing. Regarding shame I leaned on Micah 6:8 "... what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God?" But to do justly ... What I understood and chose to learn by is the following. I was asked to be honest and clear of what was happening to me, explain or remove myself and to see people around me with humility instead of treating them as enemy. What about you? How often have you treated others based on your past experiences?

Proverbs 15 are words I lean on often when I seek words of wisdom through the Bible. Proverbs 15:2-3 "The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness. The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good." Let's discuss you. Using your past experiences and allowing them to add onto your knowledge is what the Lord is asking you to do. His desire is to increase your wisdom to learn vital lesson of life. What does this mean to you?

It is not easy to take on and conquer the pain of the past and turn it to beauty. It is possible through the Maker! The Bible states It is more than possible in Isaiah 61:3 "...To give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness... ." Beauty for ashes ... how can you make beauty out of your experiences in the past? By experiencing growth in your spirit through the Lord! He is the one who promised to give you a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness!

Recovery is by no means easy to do. Allowing beauty to flow through the ashes of your past requires focused determination. It is the resiliency, the warrior spirit in you that needs to flow through your past to bring the beauty for ashes! Be blessed, for you can overcome!

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