It’s impossible to change the past. Right? Time travel hasn’t been invented. You can’t go back and undo what has already been done. Right?
I used to look at my past with trepidation. My memories were filled with darkness and gloom. I couldn’t bear nostalgia—everything from before I gave my life to Christ seemed so impossibly ugly. There was the abuse I received. The abuse I gave out. I couldn’t stand looking at any year of my life before year 20, and that glorious moment when God could finally call me His own again.
All of it was so uncomfortably unpleasant to look at.
There was a point in my life, when I was 11 and 12, where I would have seizures because the secrets I held in my heart were so dark. At other times, I would have inexplicable fevers and sicknesses that lasted for months.
I didn’t hold grudges against those who abused me, but I did hold onto hurt. I wore the pain as a merit badge, as a reason why you and everyone else should love me.
I did receive some pity. But no one showed me love because of it. Least of all myself.
The level of self-hatred I’d sunk to should have been evidence enough that pity was no friend or ally.
And I lived way too much of my Christian walk like this.
Then in one moment, everything changed. Well, not all of it, but the change began. I could look at certain episodes of my past without any lingering heaviness or sadness. A light had turned on.
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” ~ John 8:12
God had His finger on these hurts. They were destroying my relationships, particularly those with my family. My past needed to be changed.
But I’m not all that skilled in many possible things. How was I going to do the impossible? How was I going to change the past?
Thankfully, God is skilled in doing the impossible.
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” ~ Matthew 19:26
God took me to a safe place and turned the light on.
He showed me the past from a greater height, in Him, where things look so different.
In that safe place, I was able to forgive. And I was also able to let go of the hurt. What once was an insurmountable mountain range became a level ground, a highway for the King of Kings.
I could finally look at these memories. While I looked, I declared that the forgiveness at the far end is better.
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” ~ Matthew 6:14
An incredible thing happened the day that I stepped into the safe place with God and took a good, hard look at my past. It all changed.
My past was brighter. I didn’t have the fears of the memories. I didn’t have the self-hatred. I forgave myself for any things I had done, and forgave others for the things they had done to me.
Then I allowed God to heal those places that hurt. I gave Him all my merit badges. And they were swallowed up in the flames of His love.
The circumstances of my past didn’t change, but the way I viewed them changed so much that there was no more darkness. Only His glorious light.
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. ~ 1 John 1:5-7
Do you have hurting places that need healing?