It happened to me just the other day. I was doing something random, I can’t even remember what it was. But it triggered this feeling inside of me, and the feeling brought me deep pain. If you’re around other people, sometimes it can be difficult to know how to know how to react, and if you haven’t had much practice, it can make whoever’s around feel awkward. In one of my past articles, I talked about regret, and that I was trying to figure out how to get around it, when it felt like so much in my life had gone wrong. It still kind of feels like that, but I’m relying on God more to take it away. I understand now that it’s not something you get around, it something you get through. Not dealing with it will only make it harder in the end. So now I’m at the second stage of recovery, trying to figure out how to make sure the past doesn’t repeat itself by going over small details. I hold onto the verse in the Bible that talks about God giving back to you what was stolen. It says, “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” (1 Peter 5:10) We have all been given that promise, as Christians, to the glory of God. But lately I’ve been feeling like I’m holding on too tightly to some things and people, and it’s been a struggle to let go.

      I’ve been told time and time again, about the importance of seasons. With every season, something changes. Unless you live in California like me, where it’s one big season with slight changes. Fall is the time of enjoyment. Winter is the time of waiting, and sometimes mourning. Spring is the time of growth. Summer is the time of hard work. In every season, God provides a way for you to make it through. He never tells us what will last forever so that we trust him with every part of our lives. Lately, I’ve been feeling very nostalgic and flummoxed, trying to prove something to myself that I didn’t need to prove. Trying to save something that may not want to be saved. And when I backtrack, all I feel is sadness over the things I didn’t see, and the things I never thought were possible. But usually I’m a optimist, so I’ve been praying that God would clear my vision to look towards the future. Home, and all the people that used to represent it seem so far away, unable to rescue my mind from the prison it’s created within itself. If there was ever a time for me to grow in faith, it would be now. My faith is no longer in myself to find a solution to all my problems, my faith is in the surrender. That HE would see my sacrifice, and honor it. As Christians, our hope will be beaten down at times, but our ability to let go and live in the moment will give us relief.

     In the recent days that have gone by, I’ve resolved to stop trying to fix situations. Why should I continue to put myself down when the Holy Spirit has already acted as the spirit of correction, AND I’ve already been forgiven by God? Still, I’m weighed down by the opinions of others. So I’ve started a sort of ritual. Every time I feel my mistakes coming back to haunt me, I think of one good thing I’ve done instead. I start thinking about all my successes; all the things I though were impossible for me to do. This steadies me and builds my self-esteem. Statistics show that almost half the population of people in the world struggle with low self-esteem. The main causes can be weight gain, abuse, addiction, or familial problems. Low self-esteem happens when we let the past hold us back, and we allow circumstances to compromise our faith.

      In one of my favorite movies, (Insurgent, which is actually part of a series), there’s a part where the main character is going through a similar situation. The main character is Tris Prior, a young adult who lives in a dystopian world She is trying to figure out who she is, while also fighting off the people trying to stop her. She is bogged down by perpetual guilt that includes shooting and killing one of her only friends (who was controlled by the enemy) in self defense. She is haunted by nightmares and flashbacks but refuses to let anyone know about it. Finally, it comes time for Tris to be honest about what she’s done, and as you can imagine, she’s stricken with heartache. She can’t let it go, and is skeptic that the people she cares about will ever even consider forgiving her. She thinks that all the people in her close circle aren’t safe with her. But her family and friends are eventually understanding about the situation, teaching her how to take the first steps in healing. There’s a lot that Tris goes through that I can relate to. Most of us want to be able to move on from relationships and losses that keep us rooted in place, but the “how” part is a mystery to be solved. Just like Tris, I believe that I and anyone else feeling burdened can rise above the negativity that seems unavoidable. Whether it’s starting a ritual of positive thoughts combined with bible verses, or reaching out to people to resolve any contentions. As it gets closer to the Christmas season, I’m thinking more about this and how I will choose to move forward in the future. It may be a long road to recovery, but Isaiah 43:18-19 says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” This means that no matter what tries to haunt you, God will always be bringing newer and better things into your life. Or even better, taking what was broken and making better than it was. You will never have to worry about the past keeping you from reaching your destiny, and for me, that’s the greatest encouragement I could ever receive.