I was thinking the other day about all the hurt and pain that people go through in a lifetime. I can remember experiencing hurt at an early age, and I just never seem to get used to it even in my forties. Life is just painful and miserable at times, and hurt can add up to bitterness and depression.
The more I thought about the subject, the more I realized that if I let my past hurts build upon each other, then my heart becomes closed to God. On the other hand, if I use my hurt to help others, then my heart remains open.
As my kids and I toured the halls of my parent’s high school this weekend, I couldn’t help but reflect back on my own experiences. They weren’t pretty. In fact, some of my choices made me sick to my stomach. The pain and hurt of friendships and boyfriends was over the top. I could sit and relive those moments in my head (and just make them into bigger situations) or I could use that pain to help others.
The last few weeks I have been leading a girls’ bible study for my Freshman daughter. Those pains and sorrows from high school have crept up in our discussions. Those bad choices are teaching valuable lessons to young girls. I can see God working not only through my words (actually His words), but enlightening those girls’ minds. It is amazing.
For many years, I have beaten myself silly reliving those bad choices and those moments that I turned my back on God and lived my life selfishly: pleasing only me. I could wallow in pity which in my world means eating and indulging in unhealthy habits OR I could rejoice for the lessons I have learned and for the gift of forgiveness that God grants me.
When I keep my hurts to myself, I am selfishly choosing to allow others to fall into those same pits in life. I am keeping a secret that could open someone else’s eyes to God. I am holding back valuable information that could change a life. How fair is that?
Galatians 6:6 One who is taught the word must share all good things with the one who teaches.
Sitting and reliving our depressing mistakes in life will only cause us misery and regret. The combination of those two can be deadly (and I mean literally deadly). They will slowly deplete our souls of any Light. Misery and Regret are two “friends” I try to stay clear of. They can reap chaos in my life and be a major influence of sin; sin that is so devastating that you will be sent to your knees in sorrow and depression. When we allow these two “friends” to become acquainted with our soul, we can sink deep into a life of darkness. One in which only God can lead us out of.
Isaiah 8:22 Then they will look to the earth, and behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish; and they will be driven away into darkness.
Darkness can take us to a place that produces nothing good. That powerful verse from the book of Romans specifically says:
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
If we sit in Darkness, then God cannot work within us. If we live in the Light, then God will be there to help us find good even in the worst circumstances. Never allow misery and regret to control your life. They will only feed your low self-esteem. They will continually remind you of the bad and NEVER the good.
God, on the other hand, will shine His Light in your life – but you must let Him in. You must let go of the “friendship” of Misery and Regret. Let God show you the good in your life. He loves each and everyone one of us so much. He is ready to show you all the time how much He loves you and wants you to join Him. He is ready to turn your heart today toward Him.
Stomp out Misery and Regret.
Push aside the past.
Let God lead you into the future with Him at your side.