Yesterday was the last class for Making Peace with Your Past. I cannot recommend this workbook enough and I know God placed this class in my life at just the right time and for just the right reasons.
Every unit was full of good insight, but some resonated more than others. Early on, one of the units made me take a good, hard look at what I’d lost as a child. I was aware of everything that had happened to me and what I’d been through, but I didn’t really think of some of the other things.
For instance, the lack of attention or nurturing. The lack of authentic connection. The lack of feeling I was truly known and loved and accepted for who I was. Even “little” things like not feeling like we had enough food or enough clothes. Lack, lack and more lack.
Up until this study, I hadn’t been honest about all of those things and how they impacted me and influenced me even to this day.
But God is faithful. The Bible says that when we reach out to him he’s there. He moves in close. And that’s what he did. As I focused more on him and who he is and what he’s capable of I was in awe.
A man at our church said something last week that spoke to me. He said, “If you focus on your problems, you’re only ever going to have problems.” He went on to say that you instead have to focus on the character of God and the person of Christ.
I’ve learned that overcoming your past (or sin or hurt or whatever) is a mix of honestly and wholly digging into your past to face all of those fears and hurts AND, at the same time, focusing on God and what he’s done for you through Christ. It has to be both.
After doing that here’s my conclusion:
Much of my life has been centered around lack. I lacked much. I lacked many things that are lovely and necessary and needed for growth and maturity and identity. And when I spread those all out and look at them it can bring me to my knees. It’s overwhelming. It seems like too much to overcome.
It can bring me to a place where my view of God is distorted. I picture him breaking off a small piece of dry, moldy, wormy bread, shoving it on the end of a stick, and poking it through the bars at me, grudgingly.
I can look at the truth of his Word which tells me:
That through him I am more than a conqueror.
I can overflow with hope.
I can have abundant life.
I have access to a glorious inheritance, incomparably great power, mighty strength, glorious riches, glorious might, and great and precious promises.
I am a dearly loved child of a God who is rich in mercy.
Just to name a few.
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:17-21
In short, my God, the God who loves me and draws me close and longs to have a relationship with me lacks nothing. He isn’t constrained by anything. He doesn’t get stretched thin. He doesn’t grow weary. He can’t be exhausted. He isn’t weak or stingy. He is more than able – and willing – to clean and mend every wound. To pour into me what was lost. To restore all that was taken.
He lavishes his riches upon me and readily and lovingly so.
My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19