The Past is the Past

As much as I hate to admit this, I’m the type of person that holds on to things. Sometimes it’s hard for me to let go. A lot has happened in my life that affects how I behave daily and sometimes I don’t even realize it. One thing I need to learn is the past is in the past.

And that’s where it needs to stay. I know that pretty much everyone has a few skeletons in their closet they just don’t know how to get rid of. We all have things that stay in the back of our minds. If you’re like me, sometimes you have no idea what to do or even how to go about letting them go.

Let’s get personal for a moment. Growing up, my parents divorced when I was just a year old. For years, my brother and I would go back and forth between our mother and father. In a way, my brother helped raise me. He protected me and took care of me when our father wouldn’t. You see, our father was a special kind of man. He didn’t really spend much time with us and it was hard for him to be involved in our lives.

As I grew up and started to realize more and more what had happened between our parents, I longed for a relationship with my father. It became all I wanted. As it unfolded, the older I got, the more we grew apart. We eventually ended up getting in some nasty fights and as a result of recent events, I have cut him out of my life completely. He’s missed entirely too much of my life. He wasn’t even there to walk me down the aisle as I started a new life with my husband.

When I became a Christian, I knew I needed to forgive my father and try to move on from everything that’s happened. But as most of you know, it’s easier said than done. I have tried time and time again to not only forget the past, but even to forgive my father. He has caused a great pain in my life and a crack in my heart that aches every day. Many times, I have gotten on my knees and asked God why my heart is so full of grief and anger.

Job 17:9 tells us “the righteous shall move onward and forward; those with pure hearts shall become stronger and stronger.” You see, God is love and that love comes with everlasting peace. He can bring it into our hearts and surround us with it. But we must be willing to let go of what’s harboring in our hearts. God doesn’t want us to suffer or have grief or anger in our hearts.

He wants us to cast our cares on Him because He cares about us. It says so in 1 Peter 5:7. Sometimes we forget that God can heal all things; even a broken heart. Nothing is too big or too small for Him. One of my favorite verses is John 14:27 which says, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it fear.”

He gives us peace; a peace this world could never offer. No matter what you may be holding onto; a divorce, loss of a loved one, a parent who isn’t there, a lost relationship. You need to let it go. You need to give it to God. Let Him wrap His love and peace around you. Set your heart free from all the hurt and anger.

You know, we are on this journey together, and I have made a commitment to go through everything together. And if God wants you to let go, He wants me to let go, too. So, to show you this is possible, I’m going to do something which is long overdue.

To my father, you didn’t spend enough time with me. You didn’t attend many of the football games I was cheering at. You didn’t get to know the person I was nor the person I’ve grown up to be. You didn’t care about anyone but yourself and your needs. You didn’t care about what I wanted to be when I grew up, but rather, what you wanted me to be. You never saw me preach in the pulpit or even appreciate the fact that my church was gracious enough to let an 18-year-old in the pulpit. You never saw the tears I’ve cried; and at the time I didn’t know why but now I know they were over you. You will never see the scars I carry on my heart because my entire life I’ve felt like I was never good enough for love because you never showed I was a good enough daughter.

To my father, I forgive you. I forgive you for it all. And even though you’ve never thought you were at fault, I still forgive you. You are a child of God. He loves you the same as He loves me. I pray you will let Him into your heart. I pray that one day we can reunite as father and daughter and be a part of each other’s lives. But until that day, I will step back and let God do the healing.

Do not be afraid to be at peace. It is a wonderful feeling. Let God come in and fill that void. Let Him come in and expand your heart and let it overflow with peace. People of this world will fail you. God never will. He will always be there to listen. Even in the midst of the darkness, let Him be your light. Say this prayer with me as you let go, and let God.

Dear Heavenly Father, this is something which I’ve needed for a long time. It’s been heavy on my heart and I know that it’s time to let go. It’s time for me to trust in You and know that You are my God. I release all the negative thoughts, all the hurt  and all the anger in my heart; I release it all to You. No longer do I want to carry this weight on my shoulders. No longer do I want to be filled with hate. Help me see Your goodness. Let Your peace and Your love overflow the cup of my heart. I believe that right now You are working in me and my heart to heal all the broken pieces. I believe in You, God. You are my refuge and rest. In Your precious name, Amen.

God bless you all.

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