Don’t Let Pain Make You Hate…

IMG_4713.JPGI had this thought come to me in the middle of the night. It really spoke to me. Maybe it will to someone out there too. It’s easy to take our hurts and use them to hate someone or even our lives or ourselves. Hurt has a way of hardening our hearts and by extension our thoughts. That leads to a hardening of our emotions. Proverbs 4:23- “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
Our heart is our source of everything else we do. If we allow hurts to harden it, our lives will become a product of that. A life where we push people away, we condemn others before we even get to know them, we allow what’s happened to us dictate the rest of our lives. I don’t know about you but I’m done allowing my past dictate my future. Unless it’s to use it to make it amazing. But how can we make sure we are not allowing hurts make us hate. Make us defensive all the time. Make us unwilling to take chances and allow hope into our lives again. I know for me it’s still difficult to do. Sure I make jokes about it like, “I don’t even bother making plans anymore. Life will just do what it wants anyways.” And I laugh after trying to hide the true pain behind those words. And though there is some truth to those words, it doesn’t mean I need to live my life that way. A life of never making plans, of never going after what I want, a life lived already defeated. That’s not living, that’s just existing.
When I finally decided to move on from my own devastating loss. A loss that caused me in an instant to lose a man I loved, two kids I loved,
an identity I loved, and more. I had to, after considerable grieving, decide how to allow all the pain and devastation effect my life. Would I take the easy way of just shutting myself off? Just go numb so I didn’t have to feel this kind of pain ever again? Or would I take the difficult steps of learning from this experience, and growing in it. Then allow myself to one day be open to the possibility of hope again. As much as I wanted to do the first choice, just go numb. I knew that was not really what I wanted for my life. And if you’re honest with yourself, it’s not what you truly want either. So how can we get to choice number two and live that out?
Well first thing is we need to accept our past. Accept that it happened to us, that it has changed us, and that it can’t be undone. No amount of wishing it didn’t happen can change our past. We have to get to a place where we stop wishing our past away. That’s very difficult for me I’ll admit. Even almost two years later, and I can find my self daydreaming the past away. But it’s that past that makes us who we are. Who we are meant to be. Wishing it away is like wishing ourselves away too. I couldn’t do this step on my own. Neither can you. I had to go to God first with all my pain and anger. Then I had to seek help from someone here on earth. Someone who would help me work through all that hurt and pain. It’s a process I’m still going through. You will need to do the same in order to truly be able to embrace your past and no longer wish it away.
Second we have to allow ourselves time to heal. After we accept that the past won’t change, that it can’t be fixed. (Sure relationships can be mended but what happened still has to be dealt with.) We have to make the decision to heal. To no longer allow the past to hurt us. This process, at least for me, is a long one. It’s a journey really. If you’re anything like me you have a long list of hurts. Things from your childhood, abuse, rejection, failures, and more. Healing from things like this takes a determination. It takes saying everyday, “I will no longer let my past hurt me. Hurt the present me or future me.” Then it’s digging down deep to make sure it doesn’t. I have only begun to start accomplishing this at almost 42 years of age. But see one thing I’ve learned is, and I hope to pass it on to others before they make the same mistakes stakes I did. The longer you wait to heal from your past, the more you will have to heal from in the future. Not properly dealing with my past caused me a lot of pain, loss, and regret. I don’t want that for you. So how do we accomplish this? With God. It’s the only way I have been able to begin to heal. Finally realizing I can’t do it without God has changed my life. Finally relinquishing my false sense of control freed me up in a big way. I decided to let God be the first person I trust again. I decided to get into His word everyday, allowing His love for me wash over me daily. To believe His promise in Jeremiah 29:11. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” To believe that He cares. 1 Peter 5:7 “Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” Genesis 28:15 “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” That He wants me to heal. Wants you to heal. Psalm 107:19-21 “Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.”
Really learning Who God is and what He wants for me, is allowing me to begin to heal. To know, understand, and accept that God created me to live life abundantly. In fact He sacrificed His son for it. John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” That’s Jesus talking. God sent His only son to die just to prove how much we are loved, and to give us a life lived beyond our human abilities. That’s what allowing Him to heal us does. It opens us up to the abundant life He so desperately wants to give us. To give you. Let’s decide today to start allowing Him to.

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