As I was recording a video to talk about the lesson I would tell my younger self (click here for it) I was brought back into the world of bad dates and bad men. I used to keep a journal for most of my teenage years and into adulthood, and it was there that I was reminded of all all my mistakes and how I brought those mistakes into my adult hood.
I can recall one of the first journals I got, it was a gift from a woman at church and she told me that I should write down all my prayers in it. The crazy thing is that I used the journal for my soundboard to let out all of my feelings. I would not have considered them prayers them, but now I know that prayers are simply freely talking to God about all the things that are going on in your life (see my blog here) and that it does not have to be some ritual that we go through.
Before I get too side tracked I have to say that I am thankful for those journals, recalling my past mistakes, looking back and seeing the lessons that God was trying to teach me in those moments. The relationships and people that He was trying to pull away that I for some reason was bent on keeping in my life.
During that time, the only thing that I thought mattered was the then and there. I was always in some turmoil about some guy that did not like me or some situation that I was going through that I did not understand. Life always seemed unfair and things were always against me. As well as all the other whiny stuff that we seem to tell ourselves.
As I grew older and even until today, things are still unfair and some things in life are still against me, but in between that time and now there were plenty of good things that have happened that has made me a better person. I now I have come to learn that this is life.
What I learned more than anything is that the seasons we are in, at this specific time really does not last forever. Just like the bad seasons during those times and the bad relationships in which I thought my heart would never mend, I got over it. Not only did I get over but I also saw the reason for it.
I think that we all must realize that God has a reason for doing what He does. For putting us through trails, tribulations, hardships, heartbreaks, and all the rest of it. And although we may not understand it we have to trust that things will get better and once they do we will get better because of it.
I can recall thinking about at least 5 or 6 dating experiences and/ or relationships I should have never been in. Or ones that I stayed in for way too long. I could probably think of more than that. I can think about how God tried to pull me out and me fighting every step of the way, saying to myself that I know better and that God was wrong for trying to pull this person away.
As always in retrospect I realize that I was wrong and God was right. And I think about the years that I wasted on people, relationships, things, jobs, situations that cost so much of my time and so much energy. Ones that I thought were the only things that matter when in fact God was trying to call me into a better future.
The whole point that I am trying to get at in this post is that we all have a past, but the past does not define us. And although we should not live in the past, it is better sometimes to remember the past so that we can recall how far God has brought us and so that we know we should never visit that area again. We should also remember that whatever season we are in, no matter how hard it may be that it is just a season and it does not last forever. There is a reason for it and perhaps there is something we need to learn from it. So instead of despising it and cursing God for it, have a relationship with Him and find the reason for it. Does that make sense?
I would even go so far as to say that no matter what you have done in the past remember that it is not your present nor is it your future, so do not let it define you. I can only imagine the type of name and harlots I would be if everyone in the world knew about my past. But it is important that I remember that I do not live there any more even if the people that I knew back then still think that I do.
I have learned to see myself like God sees me despite past mistakes and despite people tying to remind me of who I used to be. But the good thing about a really jacked up person with a really shaky past is that God likes to use them not to glorify them but to glorify Himself. So everyone can see how jacked up you were and now your not, and therefore everyone will know that it has to be God that fixed you. And this what we call, ladies and gentleman, a testimony.