Your Past… A gift or a curse?

9 Jul

My past! For many years it is has been a place of shame, secrets and regret. I place I never wanted to go back to and many times wish had never happened. It is a place where I was so afraid that if people ever knew about it, they would look at me so differently. It was definitely a curse; until just recently when I found myself in a situation where my past, once a place of darkness, was used to bring light.

This situation made me really sit back and “reevaluate” my past. Times in my life that I never thought could have any good in them, or areas that were so full of pain, are now being used to help others and heal me. These areas that I never wanted ANYONE to find out about, are now what God has me leading with rather than sitting in silence.

My past is a gift.  I sit here and I can say that I am actually thankful for it. It has not only been the tool God has used for me to reach out to others who are hurting and feel alone, but it is a reminder of how BIG my God is and without Him, how small I am. A past that once defined how I felt about myself is now a means to relate to others without judgement and with humility.

I love the Bible for one simple reason… It is full of pasts, and like mine, not very good ones. It is a book full of stories about people who made poor choices, who were selfish, who disobeyed God and put themselves first. It is written about idolators, prostitutes and murders and God said, PRINT IT. He did that because he knew my sins even before I ever made them and knew that I needed to see that he does so much with a past like mine.

The problem is that so many of us, are so afraid of what others might think of us if they knew the truth about who we really are or were. I would pick and choose what “sins” or mistakes to share with others. We remain silent and hope it never comes out, when all the time, God wants it to come out. He wants us to share the filth and pain so others can see how great He is and how He changed us from what we were to who we are.

I now wonder how many opportunities I have passed up to help someone is a dark time because I was worried about what they might think of me. God does give our past and pain,  purpose. It is a gift but we have to be willing to open it. That is the hardest first step to make. Remaining silent, or keeping that gift in the box is never going to do any good. It just sits there and can’t be put to use the way it was intended. It is like buying a computer but never taking it out of the box, turning it on and using all it offers. The same goes for those things in our past that we hate most.

Your past can be the enemy’s greatest weapon OR God’s greatest tool. You are the one who makes the decision whose hands it falls into!

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7 Responses to “Your Past… A gift or a curse?”

  1. Liza July 9, 2012 at 3:37 am #

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I have been thinking/praying a lot about this myself in similar circumstances. Are you familiar with Christine Caine by any chance?

    • Summer Elliott July 9, 2012 at 10:57 pm #

      Hi Liza, No I havent… is she is a christian speaker?

      • Liza July 10, 2012 at 2:32 am #

        Yep! Pastor Chris came from Australia to speak at a women’s conference, got to hear her preach at my church a few months ago. Didn’t go to the conference but heard her preach. Amazing woman of God! 🙂
        http://www.equipandempower.org/
        I also recommend the book The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson. He’s a pastor here in DC at one of the churches, pretty awesome book to help you pray about your dreams.

      • Summer Elliott July 18, 2012 at 12:34 am #

        That is great. I will check it out. 🙂

  2. MomBrose@TripleBlessing July 9, 2012 at 4:02 am #

    Love this! God will never waste our pain; that much I know. 🙂 Our retreat speaker (with a testimony like you wouldn’t believe) said that what we go through is often FOR someone else. Love you girl!

  3. Twila July 9, 2012 at 6:28 am #

    Dear Summer,
    This story is so beautiful and heartfelt that it made me cry. You are such an extraordinary gift to so many people. I consider it a privilege to watch your evolution as you become more Christlike every day. God has given you a precious and beautiful family and I know that He has even more wonderful things ahead for you. You are taking those painful experiences and memories and using them for the glory of God. Know that He is looking down at you as He smiles and says “well done, my good and faithful servant.” I love you!

    • Summer Elliott July 9, 2012 at 10:58 pm #

      And you made me cry. I love you so much and I am so honored to be in your family!

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