Getting Past Your Past

Shame

“For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.” 

2 Corinthians 7:10, NLT

“You will have mercy on us again; 
 You will conquer our sins.
 You will throw away all our sins
 into the deepest part of the sea.”  

Micah 7:19, NCV

My own past has been particularly brutal and ugly.  I have done quite a few evil things in my lifetime which I am ashamed of.  Regret and sorrow over my sins frequently troubles me.  And I have to come back to seeing my sins covered by His blood. See https://brokenbelievers.com/my-story/

“Properly remembering our past sins with shame will deter us from repeating them and help us receive God’s saving grace.  When we recall our failures through the lens of Christ’s mercy, God produces in us ongoing repentance and deepening humility.” 

–Robert D. Jones

I have walked in self-hatred for many years.  I know all about loathing, fear and paranoia over my evilness.  These things have handicapped me spiritually, and hating yourself is a terrible way to live.  My struggles with guilt and regret have deepened my sense of despair and depression.  I find that I am ashamed of my shame.

I have included in this post the lyrics to Bob Bennett’s song “Lord of the Past”.  He is a gifted song writer, and an exceptional guitar player.  (I can’t find it on Youtube.com).  If you’re like me, you will find that you resonate with those who have been assaulted by the past. We now speak a common language, and we understand each other. 

LORD OF THE PAST
Bob Bennett
© 1989 Matters Of The Heart Music (ASCAP)  

Every harsh word spoken
Every promise ever broken to me
Total recall of data in the memory
Every tear that has washed my face
Every moment of disgrace that I have known
Every time I’ve ever felt alone

  Lord of the here and now
Lord of the come what may
I want to believe somehow
That you can heal these wounds of yesterday
(You can redeem these things so far away)
So now I’m asking you
To do what you want to do
Be the Lord of the Past
(Be the Lord of my Past)
Oh how I want you to
Be the Lord of the Past

All the chances I let slip by
All the dreams that I let die in vain
Afraid of failure and afraid of pain
Every tear that has washed my face
Every moment of disgrace that I have known
Every time I’ve ever felt alone

Well I picked up all these pieces
And I built a strong deception
And I locked myself inside of it
For my own protection
And I sit alone inside myself
And curse my company
For this thing that has kept me alive for so long
Is now killing me.
And as sure as the sin rose this morning,
The man in the moon hides his face tonight.
And I lay myself down on my bed
And I pray this prayer inside my head

  Lord of the here and now
Lord of the come what may
I want to believe somehow
That you can heal these wounds of yesterday
So now I’m asking you
To do what you want to do
Be the Lord of my Past
You can do anything
Be the Lord of the Past
I know that you can find a way
To heal every yesterday of my life
Be the Lord of the Past.

aabryscript

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Peanut Butter, Hot Lunch and Dreams

Warning: Rambling post, very tedious. Don’t operate heavy equipment for two hours after reading this post.

I grew up in a big, brick house in Northern Wisconsin. Our beautiful home hid our desperate poverty, and it was quite difficult. My father and mother scraped by enough each week to feed and clothe us. But just barely.  Mom would take some elbow macaroni, and mix it with stewed tomatoes (from a dwindling supply she tried to manage.)

I was oblivious to our precarious situation.  I carried a plain peanut butter sandwich to school for years, but I had a simple dream of getting “hot lunch.” I was tired of peanut butter, as I watched all the other kids eat pizza, hamburgers and (my fav. mashed potatoes with a pat of butter.) I ate PB for several years.  You could stucco a house with what I ate.

I wasn’t really settled in my heart or thinking.  I developed into a bipolar childhood that had quite a bit of depression, and a load of impulsivity.  I was an impossible child, and I  was out-of-control. I was either terribly manic or profoundly depressed.  My Mom and Dad simply didn’t know or grasp my mental illness and how it was effecting me.

A repeated nightmare worked its claws into my thinking. I would wake up sobbing, almost inconsolable. I had this dream several times in my teens, and can still 40 years later taste the panic. In this dream, I would be lifted up and laid on a slow conveyor belt.  I would be on my back, and I would see over my feet a giant roller.  This roller had big nobs on it and it was rolling over what the conveyor belt brought to it.  In this dream I was paralyzed, unable to escape this giant crushing roller.  I kept fighting, and trying to escape.  But, I was completely frozen.

I would waken just as my feet met the roller.  The fear I had was as intense as any I ever had.  (Except when I had to go down to the basement, but that was more reasonable.)  I would repeat this dream several times, and it was always the same.  I haven’t had this dream for 30 years or more, but it still has a potency and fear to make me edgy.

Over the many years I have thought about this.  I certainly don’t want to mysticize it, or try to force an interpretation out of it.  But it has struck me as a metaphor of my life to some degree.  In this dream I was moving toward an inevitable crushing.  The paralyzing panic was a fair description of where I was at spiritually.

This explanation may sound childish and simplistic.  But it is so workable, and brings a certain comprehension to these terrible moments of fear. And our dreams, well, they are funny things.  All of us, somehow, and in some strange fashion are treated to a surrealistic and fantastical mini-story as we sleep. But what does it mean?

Much of the time, upon awakening, we try to piece together both the chronology and the meaning of what we had just dreamed.  It’s hard to do, most of the time it justs slips away.  Yet, our inner heart always wonders if that particular dream was “good, bad or ugly.”  There are rare times when we can grab on a sequence of events, and relay it to a close friend.

Some things will never be revealed in this lifetime.  But I believe there are certain things in our dreams that the Holy Spirit chooses to bring to light.  We are never sanctioned to seek the meaning of our dreams, but only the Lord Himself.  We should never lean on our understanding, but on our Father and His Word.

P.S. I realize in writing this, I don’t like peanut butter at all.

bry-signat (1)

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Memories Haunt in the Light

jesus-light-of-the-world

For many who have struggled with depression, as I have, often suffer from an underlying brokenness that stems from past tragedies that we can’t seem to completely forget. We try to understand why and pray for forgetfulness that never seems to come. But even so, when we know Jesus as our Savior the Light is never extinguished.

Flourish-61

Memories Haunt in the Light

I stand upon the solid Rock
I’ve found my firm foundation
Living each day in the Light
Being sure of my salvation

I know His words of grace are true
‘Cause I feel them deep in my heart
I rise each day, out into the world
And that’s when the memories start

The sky is blue, the sun is bright
A chill wind stings my face
I should be happy and light, but cold
Triggers thoughts I seem to chase

Like Paul with his thorn, I pray the Lord
Would remove the pain today
“My grace is sufficient,” He replies
As over and over I cry and pray

But what if grace is not enough
As this memory haunts the light
This is when I must trust and believe
To escape the darkness of night

He uses this memory of pain
To teach me compassion and grace
For the bruised and the broken
Haunted by memories of disgrace

He’s made me merciful and kind
This lesson is not meant to destroy
But some days I’d rather be less caring
And remember only love and joy

My Rock remains firm beneath me
In spite of my doubt and fury
His grace will suffice, I rest in His Light
One day this memory He’ll bury

aasignLinda