Everybody hurts inside over something or someone. Life is hard (hence the joke " and nobody gets out alive") and its not to hard to understand why every person has things from their past that still hurt them today. Past loves gone wrong, past falls that leave you skittish about climbing back up on that metaphorical horse, past failed exams that leave you with a sense of failure. All of these types of events are part of the trials of life and are designed to test your strength. But God is there, and He wants to be your strength.
Photo from Microsoft Office Clip Art
I'm just like you. I have had things in my life that left me scared for quite some time. But I'm learning to hand my issues over to the Lord so He can help me through them.
The personal issue that helped teach me that God can be my strength was dealing with many emotional issues from a past relationship. I had dated a boy in high school who had started out very sweet and kind, but as time passed he began to become emotionally abusive towards me. He tried to control every aspect of my life, told me all these things that were "wrong" with me and how no one else would be willing to "put up with me" and all of my flaws. This kind of abuse really messes with your head, and its no wonder that I started to believe him after hearing nothing positive about myself for the better part of two years. When I realized how unhealthy the relationship had become (with the help of my amazing Mom), I knew that I deserved better that the way he was treating me and chose to move on. But moving on is easier said than done.
Breaking up with my Ex was of course a good decision, but the whole experience left me scared. Scared of anyone that tried to have a relationship with me, because I was worried they would trap me and I would end up hurt again. Any little thing that reminded me of my Ex was banished from my life (music, TV shows, video games, anything and everything) because it made me feel like my Ex was still watching me and controlling my life. It was emotionally taxing to try and deal with all of the trauma from the relationship, and extremely tiring to try and avoid so many little things in life. I mostly just suppressed the whole situation and pretended everything was fine. It worked for a few years, but part of me knew that I couldn't keep it up forever.
But then God brought Peter, my current boyfriend, into my life. It was as if He wanted to show me that enough time had passed and that He wanted me to be happy again. Peter was so sweet to me, and slowly convinced me that not all men lash out at their girlfriends with words and beat them down. Instead, he helped build me up and show me that I was good at things and that I was smarter than I thought. But soon the little things from my past relationship began to creep up and haunt me, the littlest thing would scare me and make me question everything. Peter pointed it out to me that my issues stemmed from my Ex, and that perhaps I would need God's help in dealing with them.
So I sat down and prayed. I prayed, I cried, and I just talked to God. I prayed for Him to be my strength to help deal with the past hurts that were keeping me from enjoying the present. And once I could cry no more and I was out of words to say, I just sat and listened. I listened for what the Lord had to say. "Why?" was the answer He gave me. The Lord was telling me to ask myself why I was letting some boy I had dated ruin my time with a man who truly cared about me. To ask why I was letting my past control my present and future. With that simple, one word question my soul seemed to lighten. God was telling me that my past did not need to trap me any longer. God was all the strength I needed to move on and enjoy the life that He had given me.
Ask yourself this: is there something from your past that is holding you back? If there is, take time to ask God for the strength to overcome it. We are His children, and He does not want us to suffer.
+ The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still. Ex 14:14