Unlocking the Past

suitcase no name

This isn’t the post I thought I was going to share today. But what can I say? God has been working on me. Maybe He’s working on you, too.

Dealing with the past can be hard. If you’re like me, you look back and blame yourself for…well…pretty much everything you can: the things you said and didn’t say, the timing of what you did and didn’t do. The list can go on and on.

But what if you and I stop looking back at the past as if it’s something dreadful to ponder, something painful that left us scarred and tattered, broken beyond repair and instead look to God? What if we hand over that old suitcase from our past, the one we’ve locked and buried in the back of our spiritual closet, and allow Him to unlock it?

It can be scary. I know. But what is even more frightening is living with the knowledge that the suitcase is still there, something we never dealt with, something we kept pushing to the back of the closet. It can hide in the shadows like some monster from our childhood, bringing nightmares and stealing our peace.

But what if, instead of being afraid or cringing with guilt when we see it, we realize that old piece of luggage can actually be a beautiful thing because of what it holds:

Experiences. Stories. Lessons.

They are the hidden gems tucked inside the suitcases of our past just waiting to be unpacked to help others.

Sure, the failures and disappointments are there – abandoned dreams still on hold, tear-stained journals, and faded, torn photographs. But those are the very things that make our stories believable, relatable.

We all have brokenness from our past.

But it’s up to us to decide what to do with it. We can either hand it all to God, surrendering its hold on us. Or we can let it control us from the shadows of our closet, leaving our spirits in a state of mustiness and stagnation, never learning, never growing; giving more weight to the past than the desire to move forward to the future God has for us.

(Deep breath here.) I officially surrendered my suitcase, my past, to God yesterday after years of ignoring it. And when I did, I realized it had quite a hold on me.

And today, well, today is a new day. And the lessons are pouring out as He holds me, steadying me…

I pray you feel Him steadying you, too.

“Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.” (Isaiah 41:10 MSG.)