OVERCOMING THE PAST - BE AN OVERCOMER
True love for God means obeying his commands, and his commands don’t weigh us down as heavy burdens. You see, every child of God overcomes the world, for our faith is the victorious power that triumphs over the world.
1 John 5:3-4
The rear view mirror of our life holds many things. Looking into the rear view mirror of life can be motivating and awakening if there have been intentional steps taken on our journey! Sometimes the rear view mirror can be anxiety producing and cause us to put up protective barriers to keep ourselves mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually safe. These barriers seem to keep us safe from the traumatic experiences that have been neatly tucked away with no intention of uncovering. This can be a trap that keeps us from growth and the abundance that God wants for us.
Maybe you have experienced an event in your life that created scars that sometimes seem to be impossible to overcome. They also can leave us looking for questions of “why” did God allow this to happen to me?! When we get into this place sometimes we do not know what to do with our emotions. If we do not have the tools to process through the past we can have a tendency to just numb our emotions. There are many ways of numbing that we turn to such as spending, eating, sleeping, drinking, sex, drugs, medication, pornography, exercise, media, video games, cell phones, social websites…..need I go on?
Each of us has our own way of attempting to deny the feelings of discomfort in our life. Whether we had an abusive childhood, experienced the death of a loved one, have gone through a nasty divorce, or maybe we have had a teenager that has broken the law and is waiting for the court date. In each of these examples, there are multiple feelings that we do not know how to handle. This is when we have reach for those numbing agents to escape. In that process of escaping, we set ourselves up for failure by surrendering to a false sense of hope. Ultimately in this emotional crazy cycle we limit the ability to love effectively.
It’s important to know that we cannot selectively numb our emotions! We numb one and we numb them all. When life if uncomfortable and the remnants of past traumatic incidences get too close to the surface of reality, we have a tendency to numb out! What does this mean to you and I? This means that if we numb SADNESS and ANGER, we also numb JOY!
This first step to handling any of the past hurts is to acknowledge the reality of what happened. Looking at our past from the perspective of “you cannot change or heal what you don’t acknowledge”, will help the process of overcoming the past hurts. At times and depending on the trauma, it may be difficult to understand what needs to be changed or healed, that is why some outside help is important to set yourself in a healthy direction with decisions.
The past doesn’t define you but it does allow you to be molded into the person that Christ wants to use for His good present day. I can write this article, safe from the destruction that could have been, and in an awesome place in life because I have a purpose. There was a plan for my life even when I didn’t understand that plan. All of the years of searching for something greater paid off. That something greater for me has been understanding and embracing a relationship with God. He created me and He created you for a purpose greater than our human understanding. He is enough! I am enough!
Embrace your rear view mirror today and allow it to propel you into embracing what He created you for….You are enough!
Bryan Vignery is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor.
Bryan has a thriving private counseling practice in the Kansas City area and is a founder of The Intentional Journey and The Intentional Marriage workshop. These workshops center around directing people toward a more authentic relationship with Christ. Many Pastors refer individuals and couples to Bryan for counseling and they also seek guidance from him on multiple occasions. He has directly impacted thousands of people’s lives over the past 20+ years.
Women of Faith is a global ministry, specializing in the use of all forms of media & technology, as a conduit to connect people to people and exponentially grow friends and community globally and to create disciples 24/7, 365 days per year. This allows Women of Faith to reach more people and to have more impact in growing God’s Kingdom. Women of Faith is also committed to carrying the legacy of wisdom, story and authenticity, by providing various media, initiatives, resources, events, courses, studies, partnerships and programs. These are utilized in delivering spiritual strength, life leadership, real relationships and to encourage and equip women to experience a deeper relationship with Jesus. Women of Faith's Foundational Voice is Alita Reynolds.