I remember a couple of years ago when I was about to embark on a new and exciting season in my life.
Although I was happy to move forward in my journey, I couldn’t help but take notice of the gnawing thought in the back of my head. It was a feeling that felt all too familiar, but one I did not dare entertain for too long. I came to realize that the reason why I felt the way I did was that although I had so much to look forward to, my past was keeping me from moving forward.
I’d be lying if I said this was the first time my past kept me paralyzed from moving forward to fulfill God’s purpose for my life.
Whether it was doubt within my abilities or the comfortable feeling of being stagnant, all I was doing was immobilizing myself, letting my feet stay stuck in the stickiness of who I used to be instead of relying on God to move me out of the mess.
I can recount so many instances of God trying to move me forward and I kept peering over my shoulder as I was walking away from my past.
One instance, in particular, was when I prayed for God to remove people from my life who weren’t genuinely for me.
Boy, did God show up!
He removed almost all the relationships in my life and I became depressed. I eventually figured out that the relationships I lost were actually very toxic. I was thankful I no longer had to deal with those whose hearts weren’t truly invested in the relationships I cherished and valued because it taught me to break through my cycle of codependency.
God was telling me to let go of people that were actually hurting me rather than helping me. However, this was much easier said than done.
I remember the feeling of loneliness that took over when I realized how bare my friend’s list seemed. There was a part of me that kept holding on to the good memories instead of focusing on the ones that God saw as red flags.
Although it hurt for a while, I walked with the Lord and prayed for new friends to replace the ones I had lost, friends that would help me walk in my purpose as a child of the Lord.
If I had been disobedient and went back to the ones that God tried to shield me from, I wouldn’t have the Godly, healthy relationships I have now. I have true friendships where people help me walk in my purpose and encourage me to be the best me I can, while I do the same for them. I know God’s ultimate plan for my life was to keep me grounded in my faith in Him, and I couldn’t do that if I couldn’t move forward.
When letting go of the past, I often think of the story in Genesis 19, where Lot and his family are warned by two angels to escape from Sodom and Gomorrah because God was going to destroy the city.
In verse 17, the angels specifically commanded Lot and his family to run, aim for refuge in the mountains in a small city, and to not look back or stop anywhere within the valley. Otherwise, they would be swept up in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah as well.
In verse 25, we read how looking back led to the demise of Lot’s wife,
“Then the Lord rained down fire and burning sulfur from the sky on Sodom and Gomorrah. He utterly destroyed them, along with the other cities and villages of the plain, wiping out all the people and every bit of vegetation. But Lot’s wife looked back as she was following behind him, and she turned into a pillar of salt.”
Genesis 19:24-26 NLT
How often have you felt God telling you to let go of your past and keep your eyes forward?
Have you let yourself stay stuck in the stickiness of your past?
When we walk in disobedience due to getting hung up on what’s behind us, our destiny becomes stuck. But when we break apart from our past and trust God’s guidance, He fulfills His great purpose within us!
In Isaiah 43:19, God says,
“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”
The value of your life is weighted on the purpose God has in store for you ahead. Stay focused and move forward, dear friend! God promises an abundant journey onward, not in our past.
I pray you are reminded of how the pathway in front of you will lead you to God’s true purpose for your life. I pray you that you find peace with your past and see God’s treasure in front of you as you walk in his obedience and not in the choices of the flesh. In Jesus’s name, Amen!
Graciella Colmenares Krycer