I am increasingly aware of a few stray pieces of 'unfinished business' in my life. One caught me unawares a few months ago. "I thought I had dealt with that..." Unfortunately it got very messy; it was very emotional.
These are things that have happened in the past that I need to deal with; draw a line under, and move on. I know deep down that these little bits and pieces bubble to the surface, restricting me from making significant progress in other areas of my life... they pop up and drag me down. There are quite a few!
I won't dwell on details, but these things do hurt; many of them hang around as bitterness over past actions by others. My Father in Heaven knows them all, but it is clearly down to me to deal with each of them. Deep down I want to rid myself of them because they gnaw away at me. They cloud my thoughts, make it difficult to think.
Why can't I let go? I know that I must learn to let go. I've tried making a fresh start, to break away - but that hasn't worked. And over the last week I've worked out why...
Let me explain - this is how I see it. Think of it like one of the Apollo space missions - the Saturn V needs to reach a particular momentum in order to launch the Command and Lunar Modules out into space. Escape velocity for Earth is quite a speed - a spacecraft needs to be going about 40,000 kph (25,000 mph) in order to successfully enter Earth's orbit. Fail to get up to speed and you are pulled back down to Earth. With a big bump. (stats courtesy of NASA!)
I've tried to break away from some of my 'hurts' in recent years but fail - I just get pulled back down to Earth with a bump. Back into the 'situation'.
Some have been telling me that I need more speed. What I've prayerfully deduced is that I'm just too heavy. I'm carrying excess baggage. These 'hurts', they slow me down. I still keep trying. Even though I hurt with repeated attempts; even though each time I have to make myself painfully vulnerable to do so. Which hurts me as well!
These 'hurts'. What sort of things are we talking about?
Well, here's a extract from my own internal monologue:
Doesn't he realise how much that hurt me? Let it go.
He made me feel worthless. Let it go.
What He did to that girl was so unfair. Let it go.
But how do I let go?
Our Corps touched on this in a recent House Fellowship, when we looked at the phrase "forgive and forget". The phrase is not found in the Bible, which surprised some of us.
However, there are many references to “forgiving one another” (Matthew 6:14; Ephesians 4:32). As for forgiving, it's down to us - you and I. Forgiveness has to be a decision of the will. God commands us to forgive, to free us from the ties of the past.
However, I can't truly forget; I cannot selectively "delete" events from my life history. Neither can God - but He chooses not to "remember" (Hebrews 8:12).
So when I forgive someone, I need to choose not to remember. I should act as if that incident had never occurred. I need to let go of the 'hurt'. Let go of the hope that the person might change; that the situation might improve.
Trouble is, Letting go often feels too much like giving up. But I need to do it.
Because I know God had something else for me to do. I can't take hold of it yet, my hands are still full with my 'hurts'. I need to let go; otherwise how can I receive something better?
Comments and prayers welcomed.