Five Ways to Make Peace with Your Past

Sunday, October 4, 2015

If you have visited my blog in the past few years and spent any time here, you know I have struggled with healing. I want to be whole. I have fought for it. I have prayed for it. Along the way, I have learned some valuable lessons. How do you make peace with your past when all you are are broken pieces? How to put yourself together when you can't hold it together? How do you heal and walk whole again? I am convinced I don't know all the answers. Healing is in a sense a mystery to me, but I have found some actions and attitudes that help...

Give God the broken pieces. Last year I wrote a post how to make peace with your past by giving God your broken pieces. At the beginning of healing that is about all you can do. Sometimes brokenness can be so severe you can't pull it together. You just need to hand it over to the One who knows you better than you know yourself.

Own your piece. I have to say that "owning your junk" is the hardest part of healing. As human beings we have an aversion to admitting that what we have done is less than perfect. Sometimes we justify it by rationalizing that we are only 10% or 30% at fault. Or sometimes our piece is so big {think 90%} we can't even begin to own it. The only way to be at peace though is to own your piece of the problem. Have you had a hard heart towards someone? Did you hurt them with your words or actions? Did you lie? Did you harbor jealousy? Whatever it is, own it! And owning it means that you confess it to the one you trespassed against. "Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed." {James 5:16} Apologize. Don't justify your actions. 

Let go of the pieces. Forgiveness is never easy, but it is the only way out. By letting go of another's hurtful actions we can be free. We can begin to heal. Send them to "Jesus Jail". Let God deal with their sin. He knows their hearts. He sees the big picture and knows what they need. Forgiveness is a process, but make it the goal no matter how long it takes. It goes against human nature to forgive, but it really is the only way of being released from the pain.

Accept the pieces given. For me, one of the most healing things I have done is to ACCEPT. Accept the pieces of my broken past. They are a part of my existence now. To fight to try to get rid of what has already happened only makes it worse. The more I wanted the past to change the worse the anguish. Not that it is easy to accept the pain. Once again it is a process, but accepting the pain for what it is makes the pain go away. I makes no sense, but it works.

Be grateful that one day the pieces will make a beautiful picture. All those broken pieces will make a bigger picture some day. Isn't that what mosaics are all about? Take the shards to create a stunning work of art. Hold out for the art. Wait for God to make beauty from ashes. In the meantime, thank Him for how He is working in your life. List the good that you already see coming out of the heartache. Even if you can't see the big picture yet, rest in the fact that God is not finished with the masterpiece that is your life.

Join me this month for 31 Days of Hope and Healing.

The Power of Brokenness

Saturday, October 3, 2015

A lone egg left in the nest after a season of raising babies.  It looked perfect.  A little dirty, but not a crack to be found.  Perfect.  Yet unfruitful.

While we hate hurt, plead for no pain in our lives, and avoid annoyances at all cost, the fact still remains.  Brokenness brings life.  No egg ever gave birth to a baby bird by being totally intact. So why do we try to walk away, push away, and flee from the very thing that can bring us life?  We fight it with all the strength we have.  The irony?  Facing it makes us stronger. Facing it brings freedom. Taking it straight on brings life. The more broken you are the bigger your potential to bless the world.  Ask the egg. The broken one that leads to chirping in the morning. A fluttering of wings heard nearby.  A splash of color in the sky. The whole egg? It can't boast of such magnificence. 

I used to think I wasn't broken. Came from a perfect family.  Perfect grades. Perfect behavior.  That was a lie.  Even Christ in His perfectness was broken.  You can't bring forth life without it. Christ followed those same rules. Broken to make us whole. Beaten to set us free. Scarred to grant us salvation. The magnitude is almost too much to comprehend. There is no way of getting around it.  Facing brokenness brings freedom and blessing. 

I learned a long time ago life without cracks is a farce.  These days I am more broken than whole, but I am not fretting...knowing that God will use it somehow to bring life.  He already has. He continues to. He will in the future. Someday the brokenness will take wings and fly.

Are you struggling with your own brokenness? One of the ways to have hope is to realize that no matter what happens to you God can bring blessings out of it. Your brokenness may bless yourself or another.

Are you hurting? Broken? Join me for 31 Days of Hope and Healing.


Friday, October 2, 2015

To The One Who Wounded,

You have no idea the pain you inflicted. The nights of sorrow spent. The doubts you raised in the heart. The loneliness that ensued. The anger you raised in your refusal to make it right. Now I search for healing...

I don't even know how to recover. I doubt  that I will survive. As a matter of fact, I am sure I have not. I am not who I once was. You won't recognize me if you meet up with me someday. Oh, sure, I will look the same on the outside.  It is the inside that is unrecognizable.

I have always been fascinated by how healing happens.  Is it the wrapping of a wound that heals it? But how do you wrap a heart that hemorrhages hurt? How to bandage a big, bloody mess?

But I do know...

The wounded can become warriors.

The hurt can become healers.

The devastated can develop love.

It's possible to heal because He walked up a hill.  We can be whole because of the holes in His hands and feet. We can live victorious because He was a victim.

By his wounds we are healed.  Isaiah 53:5

So when you see me again you won't know me, because I ran to the Wounded One to carry my sorrows. {Isaiah 53:4}  If you are looking for the victim you won't find her.  Search for the wounded...she won't show up.  Because she gave her hurt...her heart to Someone else.  The One who heals hearts when you give Him all the pieces.

It is my fervent prayer that one day you, too, will give Him your pieces, and I won't recognize you...the one with the healed heart.

Your sister in Christ,

Join me this month as I explore Hope and Healing.

31 Days Around the Web

Thursday, October 1, 2015

{Affiliate links used.}

Are you familiar with 31 Days? Every October bloggers from around the web take on the challenge to write on one topic for 31 days straight. I haven't participated every year, but this year I decided to write about a topic near and dear to my heart...emotional healing and surviving the grief of relational angst. Check out the link below to see what I will be writing about.

31 Days of Hope and Healing

There are several great topics this October that bloggers are writing about. Here is a look at some that have caught my eye.

31 Prayers for Our Homes (Candace will be doing a book study on Radical Hospitality. I read the book in September and LOVED it. Well-worth the read and will change how you see community.

31 days of Juicing for Health

Sara over at The Holy Mess will be writing about depression and anxiety.  As a sufferer of both I am looking forward to what she has to say! You can find her posts here at The Hope Toolbox. She is also offering a printable kit to go along with her 31 days series. It includes some Scripture cards, a gratitude list, a hope list and a few other goodies. Please see this link for more information about Sara's series and the printable kit.

31 Days to Annihilate Sugar - I need to be doing this!

31 Days to Deeper Bible Study

Braving the Broken

31 Days to Fearless

That's just a quick look at a few of the topics. You can go to Write 31 Days to see what else is being offered.

31 Days of Hope and Healing

I am so glad you joined me today! For the next thirty-one days I will be writing on the topic of hope and healing. Why? Because I have been in such desperate need of it myself! For me, I have needed emotional healing from damaged relationships. It has been a long journey. A painful one. Yet, one that has led me closer to Christ. One that has made me stronger. One that has made me more tender towards others.

Who should take the time to read this series? See if you fall into any of these categories...
You need to forgive someone in your past. 
You struggle with whether God really loves you. 
Dealing with people is hard for you. 
You tend to be a doormat around others. 
You have severely wounded another with your words or actions. 
You feel "damaged" by your past. 
You wish that your broken relationships were whole again. 
You want to help others on their journey towards healing. 
There is bitterness in your heart. 

Any of these fit you? If they do please stop by often this month to read. Below is the list {with their links} of topics I will be covering. Please note that the links won't be live until the day of posting. It is my prayer that God will use some of this information to help you on the road to healing.

1- Introduction
2- Unrecognizable
3- The Power of Brokenness
4- Five Ways to Make Peace with your Past
5- Slow Down to Heal
6- Dealing with Relational Angst
7- Forgiveness and Reconciliation
8- Bible Studies for Healing
9- Writing your own Psalm 136
10- Dealing with Church Hurt
11- A Book List for Healing
12- Verses of Hope
13- Characteristics of Safe People
14- Using a journaling Bible to Heal
15- SALT for your Relationships
16- When People are Kittens
17- Journeys of Healing
18- How to Fall Apart with Jesus
19- Healing the Scars of Emotional Abuse
20- The Healing Power of Gratitude
21- Making an Apology Count
22- The Fruit of Bitterness
23- Healing by Helping
24- Five Ways to Deal with Anxiety and Depression
25- Dealing with Rejection
26- The Difference between Peacemaking and Peacekeeping
27- Finding Your Voice
28- Verses to Pray for Emotional Healing
29-  Quotes on Pain and Emotional Healing
30- How to Heal Others
31- The Benefits of Walking Wounded

Praying the Scriptures All Year Long

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I wanted to let my blog readers know of a resource that is free and that I have used in my personal prayer time this year. Candace over at His Mercy is New has created a file of Scriptures to pray each day for the whole entire year! Each month has a different theme. Here's a list of the themes:

  • January - "A New Year"
  • February - "Praying for Our Husbands"
  • March - "Lead Us to the Cross"
  • April - "When You Need Hope"
  • May - "The Women and Girls in Our Lives"
  • June - "Our Dads, Husbands, and Sons
  • July - "Praying for Your Enemies" {I compiled the verses for this month for Candace. You can read more about them here.}
  • August - "Our Pastors"
  • September - "Our Teachers and Leaders"
  • October - "Our Homes"
  • November - "Thanksgiving"
  • December - "Jesus as Joy"

So If you are interested in getting this free printable please go check out this page, One Year of Praying God's Word.  You will be blessed!!

When You Wrestle with God

Monday, September 28, 2015

He's a deceiver who wrestles the unknown man until the day dawns...until the man finally says, "Let me go". But he doesn't release him. "I will no let you go unless you bless me." And Jacob the deceiver becomes Israel, the one who struggles with God. The one who won't let go until he is blessed. -Genesis 32:22-32

How many times I have wanted to give up! I don't want the fight anymore. To stay and struggle is hard. But God knows that the blessing comes after the battle...after we see the battle through to the end.

Have you ever noticed how long the struggles are in God's Word? I sometimes glaze over as I read the Scriptures not thinking of how long the battle has been for those familiar characters I have known since childhood...

Abraham waited 25 years for his promised son.
It was twenty years before Jacob and Esau reunited.
Joseph didn't see his family for more than twenty years.
Moses was eighty before God called him.
David had to elude Saul for at least eight years.

Sometimes the battle is long. It seems like it will never end. Whatever happens though, God wants us to hold on. Hold onto Him until the blessing comes. Don't give up. Because His goal in the struggle is to bless us whether it is here on this side of heaven or after. Wrestle it through with Him.

And how does He bless us? He gives us a new identity. Like He did with Jacob, He changes who we are. I have seen this in my own life. My struggles with anxiety, depression, and relational angst have changed me. I am not the person I used to be. He has blessed me by strengthening my faith in my anxious state, giving me joy as I struggle with depression, and transforming my character when in conflict with others.

He will do the same for you. Just don't let go. Struggle it through until the blessing comes. Don't let go until He changes you.