How do we go back; while moving forward?
How is this done?
I was not quite sure, but I learned it takes an act of obedience, trust, commitment, and walking by faith.
If God asked you to do the unthinkable, by going back from whence you came, knowing that the past of horror lies there, would you, could you do it? And what would be your attitude?
I was in this place recently when I was asked the question, “If God says for me to go back with my ex-husband what would I say, what would be my answer?”
Wow! That is a day that will forever play in my mind because it changed me and the way I perceive things, or how I look for things from God. In Isaiah 55:9 “His thought and ways are higher than mines” so it should not be surprising the way He works. I am waiting on a promise from God wherein I am focusing on getting something new and wonderful as well as moving forward with anticipation and excitement of receiving this promise, and hear comes a curve ball from God to me through the mouth of His messenger.
A day to remember
This day started off very calm, nice and happy, but by mid-day my world was turned upside down by one question, this question was a loaded one because it held so much bad connotation for me, the simple thought of going back to my ex was truly a bitter pill to swallow. The question caught me off guard and threw my system completely off balance, and there was a sudden eruption of fear stemming from the idea of loss.
Power of the mind
When I heard that question it was like someone had just turned on the pressure of a powerful power washer hose with heavy water gushing out on me and I could not maintain my balance, I kept falling because the pressure was more than I could endure, it was very painful and it was hurting my body.
I think what got to me was the thought that I was not going to be getting what I was expecting and I was to be made to suffer all over again, it was like God withdrew his hand of promise and I felt like I was being punished. I was expecting things one way which was something new, fresh, wonderful, and a new beginning but instead I am now faced with the possibility of confronting the past again up close and personal, and being forced to go back to living a life of turmoil.
The thought of going backwards was so unbearable, I could not see past it, so I lapsed into a tailspin of anxiety and fear which gripped me something fierce, and I began to question in my mind how God could put me back into this situation knowing all that I went through, and being blinded by these thoughts I could not see his plan, promises nor growth in this.
I felt like I would be subject to a life of doom and the war and turmoil erupted big time, but while in the midst of this conflict I had to think of who God is because I know He’s not a God who should lie nor would He put me into harms way without having a way of escape, so I trusted that is way is best, although I could not understand the purpose or the why.
The intensity of fear was tremendously hurtful to my heart and soul, and I could not bring that fear under control to ease my pain until I submitted to the Lord, by answering the way of the Lord, “it is not my will, but thy will be done” but the answer did not come without a battle.
Flesh verses Spirit
If I was answering this question of flesh the answer would have been an emphatic, non-negotiable and resounding NO, but because I was of the Spirit I had to think accordingly, and there lies the battle that rose up within me. The battle of flesh verses the spirit, where do I really reside? That was the big question, and it needed a right now answer. I was lamenting over the pain of the past that I got completely stuck there and it almost tore me apart, the statement was made “it’s not that God is saying you are going back to your ex, but he want to hear your response” it could be a test. After that I had to get a grip and try to filter out my thoughts and fear and remember God’s words and promise, and put them into the proper perspective. I had to ask myself what it is that I know about God, In order to answer this question.
I know God is a faithful God, he said “He will never leave me nor forsake me”, “I know the thoughts I have towards you and it is of good and not evil”, “Trust me with all your heart, Lean not unto your own understanding and He will direct my path”, “What child ask bread of his father and the father give him stone to eat, isn’t my love greater than your earthly father”, “Ask anything in my name believing and you will have whatsoever you ask”, “Be not unequally yoke with unbelievers” so I knew that if He’s asking of me this task then He has a plan of action that will result in my favor.
By believing God’s words, trusting in his love for me, I decided to follow his way because I knew in whom my future lies, and my decision would determine my destiny, so my answer was yes Lord, if that’s what you want me to do then so be it, and I meant it. How you react to adverse situation tells you of your level of faith and trust in God, and God test you by putting you into situation to show your commitment, faithfulness, and obedience to Him, and through the process He’ll elevate you in life, and in Him.
After making my decision a peace came over me and settled my soul, though the enemy tried to rock me in the worst way through my mind and thoughts. This experience brought such stress and anxiety to me that I had never experience in all my life, and trust me I have experience my fair amount of stress in life; this took me to a whole different dimension, to the point I felt like I was literally dying. “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me” (psalm 23:4). I remember if I want to continue this life with the Lord I cannot fear, knowing who God is pulled me to that secure place in Him, and it allowed me the freedom of being OK with my decision, and move out of the past.
The past is the past
I have since realized the underline root of my conflict and it was that I did not just answered the question that was placed before me, I went ahead of God and added more to the question. Had I stuck to the original question and put nothing else to it I would not have gotten so distracted and I would have been alright. It was not the question itself that caused such turmoil but it was that I added to it and reacted more towards the implication of the question. I took on me more than was required of me; I focused on me and not God, so in essence I put myself through that unnecessary turmoil, not God.
My mind is opened more to the miraculous way of the Lord and to walk in whatever his purpose is for me, because I know there is a master plan at work, so I have completely released the past.
I am continuing forward and if my Ex comes back so be it, I have a full assurance that the only familiar thing of the past that I’ll see will be my Ex’s external features. My Ex’s character will be changed, He’ll be a man of God and of honor, as with Jacob, God changed his character from a thief to a man of God, his name was changed to reflect his new character; from Jacob (thief) to Israel (one who wrestle with God).
The past can be new if you allow it to be the past, so let go of the past, it is what it was, and operate in the present looking forward to the future regardless of who or what is in your way: After all you can have a brand new ride with an old car.
What’s the lesson here?
It is God’s grace that brings about reconciliation and it’s usually a time of renewal and restoration.
The story of Jacob came to mind, looking at Jacob as (my EX) and Esau as (Me); I can understand some things a bit clearer. Jacob had done his twin brother wrong, stole his birthright and run out on him, they hadn’t seen each other in many, many years, but the time came when Jacob had to return to the scene of the crime and face his brother and the horrible wrong of his past. During this time of separation Esau’s heart was soften as he grew closer to God, and in doing so found himself in the love of God, and God prosper Esau, he was of great wealth and he was able to forgive and accept his brother, put the past behind him, and welcome home his brother with open arms, this brought total healing to both brothers as well as great blessings from God. Although reconciliation and restoration took place they did not live with each other or near each other because God had other plans for Jacob. We have to be forgiven by God, and then reconciled to God, and then with others. The goal of all this is to reach where we were intended to go, and live; and that is with the Lord when he comes back for His children.
As a Christian it’s not enough to say I forgive, it has to be illustrated and in my case I think God might be calling my ex back to him, and my ex needs to make atonement towards me; (because he robbed me of so much) as for me, God is pulling me closer to him, preparing me for work that I have to do in ministry, for me to be able to walk the road I don’t necessarily want to walk, but have to for the kingdom’s sake.
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