Three Ways to Reframe Your Past

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

My "used-to-be"...the past I don't want to remember, the experiences that haunt me, the wounds that occasionally still weep from my innermost being. My "used-to-be" still follows behind me. I can't detach myself from it. It is a part of who I am.

We all have a "used-to-be"...a past that burdens us. It may be a divorce. The words you can never stuff back in your mouth. The death of a loved one. The loss of a relationship. The hurt you dished up and served to one you loved. Whatever the burden, your new normal seems heavy because you can never get back your "used-to-be". What is done is done. What occurred stands in your past and there is nothing you can do to change it.

So maybe your "used-to-be" needs to be made into a "meant-to-be"...Several months ago I was talking with a friend when the words slipped out of my mouth, "Maybe it isn't my "used-to-be". Maybe all along it was meant to be." While I wouldn't have volunteered for it in a million years I came to the conclusion that what had happened had purpose. God had stripped me of my normal to give me a new one. Granted it, I was having a hard time adjusting to it simply because grief takes time to process. When processing the pain we can't see the purpose of it. We can't see how it was meant to be, how God worked out the details to bring about something new in our lives. God's idea of our lives tends to contradict our vision for ourselves, because His vision is bigger. Our version of our "meant-to-be" is too minuscule.

So how can you process the pain and come to find how your past has purpose? How can you reframe the pain and see the beauty in the picture God is creating in your life? Here a a few tips:

See how the pieces fit together. One of my biggest "a-ha" moments came when I realized that what happened in the past wouldn't have unless every detail was in place. God allowed those details to come about.  He allowed the details to happen and then began using them for my good and His glory. He is an expert in making what "was" into what it should be.

Praise Him for the positive pieces of the puzzle. There has been positive come out of my grief. I am in a safe place now. I have grown a backbone and stand up for myself more. I have learned about grace and how incredibly hard it is to give to the one who hurt me. I have learned that on this side of heaven perfection in life can't be attained. God has even taken the pain and produced peace in my life. There are so many benefits to my "used-to-be". How about yours?

Accept the ugly pieces. Even the ugly parts of life can create a beautiful big picture. Joseph sold in to slavery so that he could save lives. Job's losses become a timeless testimony to how to deal with incredible loss. Lazarus dying so his friends and family could catch a glimpse of God's glory. Christ dying on a cross so we could be saved. Sometimes the ugly brings about beauty. When you stop fighting your new reality peace and healing can come. Accept what was in order to embrace what is.

So what about your "used-to-be"? Can you find purpose in it? Can you see God at work? Can you learn to accept that it is meant to be because God will eventually use it to bring about good in your life?

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