Love Your Past

We all come from somewhere. In our past, we may have grown up in a healthy and well rounded family or a broken one. We may have grown up in the frozen tundra of Minnesota or the sunny beaches of California. Maybe you were an only child or were stuck right in the middle of 7 kids. Maybe you’ve made all the right choices in life or maybe you took quite a few “detours” along the way. Either way, we all have past decisions and childhood family life to thank for who we are today.

Oftentimes, I feel people become entrapped by past decisions they’ve made. They know that our past helps to mold who we are, but instead of seeing life through those circumstances, they see death and believe it turned them into a worse version of who they could have been. They let guilt and condemnation drag them down each and every day.

I have a friend whose life and past struggles encourage and inspire me. She grew up in a wonderful and loving family, did well in school, graduated from a school that prepared her for her career of choice and she was (still is) blessed in the skills she had for her career. She was able to land a job right out of a college and life moved on.

However, not long down the road, she hit a speed bump. She made a choice and got herself into a situation that for her profession, generally means career over. And unfortunately also means a fairly public unveiling of the poor choices that were made. I’ve seen others go through this and then quietly fade into the distance, move away and begin some other new career.

But not her. She definitely struggled with choosing to move forward, but with the support of great friends and an even better pastor, she pursued and worked hard to right her wrong and right her heart. I have to say, I have never been more proud of her. Not only did she overcome the battle, but she came out on the other side just gleaming. I mean, I think everyone can agree life would have been easier if those bad decisions hadn’t been made, however, I have to admit that working through it forced her to grow and she came out on the other side stronger, and better than ever. I’ve literally never been more proud of her and she is even greater at her job than she was before.

We each have this choice. I have it. I made some serious missteps along the way of getting to where I am now. I can either allow these past transgressions to forever taint my future, or I can accept the fact that I made poor decisions, but then glean the lessons that can be learned and use them to excel in life.

This is relevant to you whether you just recently made a poor decision or you’ve allowed a bad home life growing up to bog you down. Your past does NOT define who you have to be today. You should not feel condemned or forced to live with this red letter on your chest. You cast aside the shame and condemnation you feel and walk away stronger, better and wiser than you were before.

In this, you can come to LOVE your past. You don’t have to love every aspect, but you can love that everything you’ve been through created this strong, wonderful and loving mother that you are now. Embrace that both the good and bad made you who you are and shine!