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Living in the past isn’t just a weight on the soul, it actually puts your present on pause so that, in a spiritual sense, you’re neither here nor there.

This is my fervent prayer today: O Lord, allow us to release ourselves from the prison of past pain.

There really is no warden, no actual iron bars. Just the notion that we can only go as far as this confined space because of things that have happened to us.

Just the imaginary lines that hem us in and hang us up.  We think:

  • If we’ve been hurt before, by anyone, perhaps no one can be trusted.
  • If we’ve tried to pursue a long-cherished dream, and it didn’t work out, maybe that was our only shot. No point in trying again.
  • If we’ve been told we’re too – fill in the blank – □ old □ young □ sick □ poor □ fat □ thin □ ethnic □ timid □ hyperactive □ quirky…we have nothing to contribute in life.

We limit ourselves with labels to the point that we no longer even try. But there’s no need to set down roots in a patch of poison ivy.

So let’s dig into this thing that happened to you. You must know in your heart that you didn’t deserve that. Whatever it was, it wasn’t your fault, so it’s okay to let it go.  It doesn’t belong to you. It belongs in the past, where it can’t hurt you anymore. It belongs to God, who is “close to the broken-hearted and … those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18. It belongs in the sea of forgetfulness, so drop it in and let it go.

Free up space for God’s grace to enliven your life and settle into your soul. Free yourself from the prison you’ve never felt at home in anyway. Release the pain of the past, open your heart to what’s possible, and you’ll find yourself. Free.

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