Isaiah 43:18-19 – (NIV) (ERV) “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past… because I am doing something new! Now you will grow like a new plant. Surely you know this is true. I will even make a road in the desert, and rivers will flow through that dry land.
I was listening to a podcast this morning. She was talking about the fact that “if your memories are bigger than your dreams, if you don’t let go of your past, you’re not going anywhere. Satan doesn’t want you to do whatever it is God put you on this earth to do.”*
She was mostly talking about shame. mistakes made and guilt, but also that it can be anything that keeps you from a future that God planned for you. God says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
While I was listening, I realized God was telling me that I was stagnant. I was stuck. I was just coasting by in my life. It’s been a little over a year since Leland changed addresses and moved to heaven. I was doing fairly well. I didn’t crawl into bed and stay there (Josh wouldn’t let me). I didn’t weep and wail as if I didn’t know where Leland was. I didn’t bemoan my circumstances.
What I was doing was dwelling on the good memories that we built together. I have a laptop hooked up to my big screen television. Sometimes I use it as my “vision board”. I show a screensaver of images of things I am believing God for (it’s like my magic refrigerator story).
I also had a few pictures of Leland. I thought it would be okay to look at them. I figure if God brings someone into my life (like He did Leland, love story here from my other blog), I wanted to remind myself not to compromise because I had the best (for me).
God said NO to me this morning. Unfortunately I was sitting there dwelling on his pictures as they went by. I was remembering when an image was taken and what we were doing. I was also beginning to get sad because I miss him so much. I was becoming stuck – stuck in the past.
What you put before your eyes, you will draw toward you, into your life. I was listing ways I missed him. I was growing more and more sorrowful. Instead of looking backwards, I needed to start listing (or looking at) some new things I want to do – goals, dreams. As the speaker said, “A person with no vision will always return to their past.”
It is not wrong to miss him. It is wrong to wallow in it. Just like it’s wrong to wallow in mistakes made in the past, it is wrong to allow my past memories to keep me from a future God has for me. It doesn’t mean what I had with Leland is tossed out. It doesn’t mean I didn’t love him madly. It does mean that he’s off having big fun in heaven. He left me. That part of my life is over.
Whatever is in your life that is holding you back, whatever memories keep haunting – LET IT GO. God has amazing plans for all of us. God has plans to prosper us. BUT. We can’t live in those plans if we are living in the past.
Some day I will be able to look at Leland’s pictures and not get sad. Until then, I need to set aside anything keeping me from going forward. We all do. God is not the God of stagnant. He is the God of plans for HOPE and a FUTURE.