As I was backing up my Chevy Avalanche in the Winn-Dixie parking lot today, I held my breath, and moved really s-l-o-w-l-y, just like I do every single time I shift the gears to the "R" slot. I am terrified of backing into something, or worse, SOMEONE.
While I have never (praise the good Lord above) hit a person with my vehicle, I may or may not have backed into and over a few things in my day. Mangled bicycles, fenders, mailboxes, and smashed lawn sprinklers are my proof.
On this day in the parking lot, after another successful reverse maneuver, it really hit me how much time I have spent looking backwards, and I don't mean driving in my truck. No, it's those stupid, negative tapes from my past which most often plague me and I have to consciously push them away with prayer.
You see, I've made horrible mistakes in my life. In my mid-twenties, I made decisions that changed the lives of my family and countless other families. This small town has made sure to remind me how much I messed up, so I have had to fight extra hard to walk in the forgiveness and grace the Lord has granted me.
My past also includes wrongs done to me--abuse and family relationships that rival any soap opera storyline. Satan loves to remind me that I can never be more than a sum of these things.
But I know the rest of the story . . .
I know Who holds both my past and my future. God's word says my sins are as far from Him as the east is from the west. If I pick them back up, well, it's honestly just wasted time which could be spent in the grace that is already mine.
God's word also says He promises to be a shelter for those who seek Him when life gets hard, and one of the very best ways to quiet the voices of satan [lowercase intended] is to start listing all the ways God has protected me and preserved my life. For me and my family, they are countless! He has healed my hurting soul in ways I can't even put into words!
There truly is no better feeling in the world than knowing you are being used by God to accomplish His work for your short time here on earth. After all the mess I made of my past, I am beyond thankful that God still sees me worth enough to do so. He is pretty awesome that way.
I have now learned that looking at my past should only mean learning from the mistakes without missing the beautiful life right in front of me.
Fix your eyes on Jesus and the adventure ahead He has planned for ALL of us.
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