i'm finding that the things most worth sharing about the life of a Christian come forth from the lessons learned through our struggles. We all have battles, regardless of our maturity or faith. We all experience ups and downs. Regardless of whether our battles and issues have anything to do with anyone else, we can learn a lot about our own hearts from those issues. It does us no good to examine others and ignore what is going on in our own hearts. That being said, I want to share my most recent insight with you, not only to be transparent about my struggles but also to form a "journal" of sorts that I can also refer to when I feel I've lost sight of what I have learned.
I am at a point in my own life where I have started fresh, so to speak, i looked forward to this so much that I couldn't wait to leave Louisiana. I suppose I thought that leaving would free me of those who hurt me and / or attempted to control or manipulate me. This was by no means our reason for moving since we prayed endlessly over this decision. Things in our life were "comfortable" even as difficult as some of our relationships with various family members were. It wasn't an easy decision by any means and was one I was unwilling to make without God's assurance. Even now, i am sure He wanted us to come here as I wait on things to unfold.
Yet I find myself looking back. Looking back can be a good thing, but it can also keep us from moving on. The things we tend to look back at can be good, bad or a mix of both. Memories, like any other series of thoughts, can be quite powerful. They can motivate us or they can cripple us. They can make us feel warm and fuzzy or they can cause us to become bitter and angry. For that reason, it's crucial that we keep a check on what's happening in our minds, even when our actions seem to be following God.
Good memories can easily keep us from moving on, although most people think that this never serves us a disservice. But they most certainly can if we allow those fond thoughts to prevent us from adapting to change. We can get so caught-up in the good parts of our past that we cripple ourselves by refusing to see what the future holds. Let's face it, God does some beautiful things in our lives using change of some form or another. We, as Christians, were not called to a lifestyle that caters to our "comfort" levels.
Bad memories are usually those things that left us wounded during a particular point in life. These are among the majority for me. I know that thinking about them will make me miserable but I do it anyway because I somehow think that playing it over and over will teach me something. Silly, huh? You would think I've learned by now. I don't like what it does to my heart to think about it but my stubbornness stops me from doing what I know is right at times. It's scary to think about how quickly we become bitter and full of unforgiveness when we refuse to move on.
The whole time I've been looking back, I have also spent regular time in scripture, devotionals, worship and prayer. But that time, as much as one might think, didn't keep my heart from going south - literally! It did, however, help me to identify it much sooner than I have been able to in the past. It led me to self-examination against who Jesus calls believers to be. It's really hard to seek God without seeing ourselves as we are. And as I stared at the bitterness and anger that I began to develop, I could do nothing but repent and ask God to change my heart once again. I love how He never gives up.
You see, it's so easy for us to lose sight of what we've been taught. It's so easy to revert to our own old ways. But the Christian walk isn't easy at all. We are called to keep moving on.