You’re Not Your Past!

Dear Someone,

This letter is for you, you that’s stuck in one way, shape, or form with an ex or somebody or something from your past. You that is hiding from an ex forgetting that they are in your past, not your future. You that is hurting from having someone in your heart, but can’t have them in your arms. This letter is for you, you that is depressed because you are living in the past.

It may not be tonight and it may not be tomorrow, but your past will ruin every good thing in your future if you keep comparing your ex with the one that’s in your life right now. Your past will ruin every good thing in your future if you keep crying at night about the memory of your past. Your past will ruin every good thing in your future if you keep running to your ex for comfort rather than seeking comfort from God. Your past will ruin every good thing in your future if you keep regretting the past. Your past will ruin every good thing in your future if you keep behaving as your past self, and making decisions based on your current circumstances. Your past will ruin every good thing in your future if you keep looking at the closed doors behind you. Your past will ruin every good thing in your future if you have refused to heal from anything in your past.

I don’t have to understand your situation and how you feel right now to tell you this: It hurts to let go but most often, it hurts more to hold on. Let go and thank God for how love makes you feel at such a time as this. Thank your past for all the lessons, and move on. Thank those that left you to wonder if something was wrong with you and move on — you met them for a reason. You met them because God wanted to teach you a lesson. Thank your past lovers for the things they taught you. The one that left you is in your past and not in your future — your presence requires nothing more than you. Stop trying to rebuild what’s not meant to last more than they already did.

Your problems may have been causing people to laugh at you, and not with you, but thank them anyway — you are not an accident, you are a person of destiny! Your problems may have pushed you so hard, and choking the life out of you, but thank them anyway — they’re your best teachers! Your problems may have perplexed you and pushed you, but let them do you a favour, let them thrust you into God’s presence. Your problems may have lasted, but they are not everlasting — every problem has an expiration date. Your problems may have surprised you but they are not a surprise to God. You may be feeling weak and powerless right now, but don’t let your past determine your future — succeed when you should fail.

You that’s ashamed to go out of your hiding place, you that’s scared of starting a relationship or venture into anything meaningful because of your past, you whose image has been badly damaged and slowly becoming an outcast, you have put yourself through too much already. You’re not your past! People know your past but not your future so let them talk. It’s time to deliver yourself from that silent hell that your situation has kept you. It’s time to thank those that brought sunshine into your life. Thank those that got you to where you are now. Thank those that have been true to you from the start. Thank those that believed in you, loved you and helped you along your journey. Most importantly, thank your past self for never giving up, and for putting you where you are. Thank those that rejected you for that job and move on.

If God has forgiven you of your past, that’s all you need to move on in life. Make peace with your past and with yourself rather than being a prisoner of your past — that’s not where you belong. You cannot change what you have done and what has been done to you, but you can change yourself today, and make a better tomorrow. Let your past make you better, not bitter. What happened to you was just a lesson and not a life sentence and while you can’t erase it, you can cross it out knowing that no amount of guilt on your part or shaming someone who has done you wrong can change the past. Don’t let people use your past to invalidate your current time when they are not your God.

Should you be proud of your past mistakes or atrocities? YES and NO! NO, because there were people that probably got hurt because of your actions and poor judgement. NO, because you yourself were either physically or emotionally damaged by it. NO, because you are not who you used to be and you’re not where you are probably supposed to be as you read this letter. YES, because your past mistakes were all divine blessings and you should thank God for them. Through your blessed mess, mistakes and poor choices, if you are like me, you must have learned a lot by now. If you have, then apply that wisdom.

Leave the doubts of your yesterdays behind, they’re your past, not your future. Look where you’re going not where you came from. God appoints a time and season for every experience (see Ecclesiastes 3:1). He is bigger than your circumstances, and He doesn’t falter or waiver. So don’t allow the vicissitudes of your past to dictate your destiny. Instead, make time for those who matter most and cut free those who don’t matter at all. Negativity will only drag you down while positivity could make things happen.

Today is another day to let your faith win over your fears. I understand that the struggle, pain, frustration, hurt, brokenness, complication, and misery are real and available in abundance, but so is God’s grace. It is enough to meet all of those. Live your life for Him. Seek Him while He may still be found. Ephesians 2:8-9 (NLT) says, “God saved you by his special favour when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it”.

Until tomorrow, always remember that you are not your mistakes and that your future needs you, your past doesn’t. It doesn’t matter if your hands are tired, your feet weak and it’s hard for you to keep going, you can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep rereading the last one. Get over those that disappointed you, don’t let them steal your joy because people will always be people. Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be. Your problems may have had someone else’s name on them, but let all of your solutions have God’s name on them. Your enemy and your problems may have put you in a tight corner, but God is right there with you — He will hear your cry and answer when you keep praying, trusting and believing. Today, more than ever before, may His presence wrap you up and be your comfort. May you never allow the pain of your past dictate or rob you of your happiness. May you always find the strength to stay the course and on purpose.

Be encouraged,
Ali Papa.

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