If I can keep it real, moving forward is one of the hardest things for me. Not just getting up and deciding to move on with life, but moving on in my mind. Once a mistake happens, I contemplate and stay stuck on the things I wished I could have changed. At times, I wished I can have a time machine to go back in time, to change a circumstance so the outcome would be different. Sounds silly, but those thoughts actually go through my head. Recently, someone very dear to me walked out my life. It was painful, of course, as it might be for anyone. But I constantly thought if I would have done something differently, that maybe, just maybe, that would not have happened. I let myself live in guilt - it became my residence. Hoping and wishing I can somewhat change the past to bring that person back into my life. Like if I have the ability to take charge and change things.
I do know that we can’t change the past, but we can definitely change our mindset. We can change how we view the situation and how we view ourselves. At one point, I made the decision to stay stuck on the past, continue to beat myself up for it, and to not move forward from the state of pain.
“Love and appreciate your memories, learn from them, but do not live in them. It is okay to visit them every once in awhile, but we must not let the past be all that we have. The present and future are far too important to let slip by, and our memories are but a picture that we can never call home.” -T.B. Laberge
We sometimes can’t change our circumstance or what has occurred to us in the past, but it’s a point of making a decision to move forward. Are you going to stay there, in the past or are you going to decide to live with grace and move forward? God isn’t stuck on your past and neither should you. Let it help you grow and shape you, but don’t let it be a place where you decide to live.
There’s a perfect example in the Bible, where it’s deadly to look back and I’m not speaking metaphorically, but literally she died because she decided to take a look back.
In Genesis 19, to sum up the story- Lot found favor with God and God was about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot was instructed to get out of there, so he would be safe and well, alive. Lot took his family and left the town. There was specific instruction to not look back and Lot’s wife did the opposite.
Genesis 19:26 “But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.”
Sometimes we stare into rear-view mirrors, looking at what we have left behind, when God has called us to look ahead. It can be deadly when we continually look back and forget the plans and purpose that God lays before us.
The process hasn’t been the smoothest for me. But I have learned this, that what is for me - is for me. If that person was meant to be in my life, that person will be there or eventually be there. Maybe you continue to look back because a mistake you made, a door that was closed, or a circumstance that you wished have looked differently. Believe whatever God has for you, is for you and what's not for you, simply means He has better for you. He’s a good father who wants to give us more than we can imagine! Don’t look back and hope you can change your circumstance, be assured God has the best for you!
Continue to fight through it and know that looking back isn’t going to benefit you. Learn from the mistakes, live with grace upon grace that we so freely receive; move forward towards the things God has called you to. There’s so much ahead of you and you can’t change the past, but you let it help you to become a better person. Stop beating yourself over something you can’t change, but rather put your effort into growing into who God wants you to become.
For my own situation, I’ve hoped that this person will one day come back into my life. But I realized, that isn’t likely to happen and I’m okay with that because I choose to let it go and decided to move forward. It isn’t easy, but it’s worth it because I know I can’t step into the new things God desires for my life, if I’m choosing to stay stuck in the past. It isn’t an easy process, as I’ve mentioned, but I’m continuing to fight against my guilt, my thoughts, and making a choice to move on- that’s the thing- life is about the choices we make.
Are you going to choose to decide to live in the past or make the decision to move forward? I’m choosing today and every day to live in the present, be hopeful for my days ahead, and step into whatever God has for me. Trusting that what is for me, won’t bypass me!
I refuse to continue to look back and let myself be held back from the future God has set for me. I pray that you refuse to look back as well and to desire to see the wonderful things God is doing in your life right now!