Tag Archives: identity

haunted?

26 Dec

Do you ever feel like you’re being haunted?

Not by ghosts or spooky-type-haunty-things, but by previous incidents, past experiences or people in your life that you wish you could forget or move on from? Memories that serve as constant reminders of the past, of how things were, that you cannot seem to escape? Have you ever felt like these “ghosts” are just freakin everywhere you turn??

Well, I don’t .

Just kidding. Its been happening to me all the time lately! Being “haunted” by the past… its like I can never truly escape it. Why can’t I stop thinking about these things? Pesky little ghosts.

Maybe your ghosts look like people, memories of someone who used to play a much larger role in your life. These ghosts may represent painful memories and/or broken relationships. You cannot seem to stop thinking about them, yet still these ghosts show up when you least expect them. Maybe they haunt you for years, sucking your thoughts back to a time you wish they would no longer recall. When these ghosts haunt you, they leave painful scars on your heart.

Maybe your ghosts look like past mistakes you’ve made, memories filled with regret and guilt. Have you ever been defined by your worst moment? You made a mistake, and eventually everyone found out. From that point on, they judged you and defined you by that one bad decision, by your worst moment, by your most painful memory.

Doesn’t that just feel awesome?

Some of you know exactly what I’m talking about. You try to move on from the past and “learn from your mistakes” but this ghost (your past) just keeps coming back… it just pops up out of nowhere and grabs you and starts dragging you down. You don’t know how to fight… well, how do you fight a ghost? A memory? You can never actually kill it anyway, for it is already dead, it is the past afterall. Yet, how are you supposed to make any progress moving forward when you are constantly reminded of and haunted by how things could have, or should have, been? Relentlessly haunted.

LEAVE ME ALONE ALREADY!

I do not want my thoughts to be consumed by these “ghosts” any longer! They are suffocating me. They are holding me hostage. I need some air. I need freedom from these ghosts.

But they seem to never go away, and the things or people they represent are never forgotten. These ghosts appear to never stop haunting you no matter how much time goes by or how much work you do to “fix” whatever situation after the fact (as if you could). You screwed up big time, everyone knows it, and now that is just who you are. That is your identity now.

Except it’s not.

Consider someone in the Bible who found himself in a similar situation:

One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, ‘Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?’ The man said, ‘Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?’ Then Moses was afraid and thought, ‘What I did must have become known.’ When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian…” – Exodus 2:11-15

Yeah that’s right, Moses killed a guy. He MURDERED someone. He thought he got away with it too, until he found out everyone and their mom knew about it. Not cool. He ran away and time passed until one day God told Moses that He wanted him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses was all “Excuuuse me? What? Uhh, no, I mean, I can’t… I’m like a murderer and a horrible person (in case You forgot) and I think You may have just mixed me up with someone else because I am no hero. I can’t do anything great because I am a major screw-up, just look at my past, look at what I’ve done –that’s who I am. You don’t want me. Seriously.”

But God was all like, “Listen here buddy, I know exactly who you are. Your future doesn’t have to be measured by your past mistakes. YOU are not defined by your past. I have something great planned for you. You do your part, and I’ll do mine.”

There is a phrase used a couple times throughout the book of Exodus that says: “This same Moses [fill-in-the-blank].” This same Moses who murdered the Egyptian, this same Moses who made a horrible mistake, this same Moses is the Moses that God is calling to do something great –to lead His people to freedom. God wanted to make it known that He did not define Moses the way other people did, or even the way Moses himself did. He wanted to define Moses’ life, his future, in a different way.

It’s kind of awesome.

I am the same Kadi that God wants to use and call to great things. YOU are the same [insert name here] that He wants to use and call to great things! No matter what you may have done in your past, He still has a plan for your life. He started at the beginning and is going to be faithful to complete it. He is going to do His part, He wants us to do ours.

“…He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” -Phil 1:6

When we allow ourselves to be defined by our worst moment, whether it is by others or by ourselves, we are paralyzed, stuck, unable to move into the future God wants to bring to our lives. He wants you to define your future in a different way.

There will never be anyone like you. The only person that can be the best version of yourself is you. God wants to bring the very best to your life. Do not allow yourself to be defined by your past, by your broken relationships, by your mistakes, by what others have judged you for or labeled you as. Sometimes we know God wants to give us a second chance, but we don’t give ourselves a second chance. Sometimes we need to learn how to forgive ourselves.

So, I am giving my ghosts to Him. I cannot change my past. I cannot fix what someone else broke in my life. I have to let it go. I want to grab hold of the future that God is calling me to. The greatness He has in store for me. My identity is found in HIM, not in what I’ve done (whether good or bad). I want to allow God to use the pain of my past for something beautiful, as only He can. He will provide rest and relief from these ghosts.

Peace out, ghosties!

(props to Mosaic for inspiring this post)

mind games

6 Jun

People can have very skewed perceptions of themselves.

Myself included at times, but, how would I know? I’m just saying, you think you are a certain kind of person, you think you act a certain way and do certain things for certain reasons, but maybe that’s just the person you THINK you are (or maybe want to be) and not who you actually are.

When things happen that we do not understand, it is only natural that we ponder them and perhaps even over-analyze all the reasons why. We try to justify why they treated us that way or why we feel the way we do about the situation, just to give it a name, to get it out and figured out so we can learn from it and either fix it or move on and do things differently next time. But what if all our reasonings were wrong? What if we are basing everything on justifications that were never true? If we don’t know the truth, how can we react in the best way for ourselves?

So maybe you think you are doing the right thing, but you’re not. That happens all the time. Maybe its because we only hear what we want to hear, and we are selfish human beings who do what we want, to get what we want when we want it. Maybe we think we are the kind of person who takes the high road, but we don’t . Maybe we are just all talk. Maybe we deceive ourselves.

Its interesting how every decision you make can affect those around you. Some just a little, but some a lot. And every decision you make affects how those around you perceive you. Your actions speak louder than words. But people interpret your actions in different ways. Can you ever win? Sometimes it seems like no matter what you decide, and no matter what you actually do, somebody gets hurt. And maybe that’s not your fault, but maybe it is.

Its frustrating to try to please everyone. Which I guess is why pleasing everyone should not be your goal. I know they say you should just be true to yourself, because you are the only one you have to answer to every day. But it’s a dangerous line to walk. On one side, you do what you want, you don’t care who gets hurt, you focus on yourself and your selfish desires and once you attain them you forget about everyone else except those who immediately affect YOUR happiness. On the other side, you’re a people-pleaser who gets walked all over and makes decisions based on what makes other people happy instead of yourself, and you end up miserable because you’re not ever doing what YOU want. Surely there is a balance…. people try to balance as they walk the line between the two. But peoples lines are placed in different places – the lines don’t all match up exactly. And some people just aren’t good at walking a line, and they slip to one side or the other, even though they talk all about how awesome the line they are supposedly walking is.

Sorry if this doesn’t make sense. There is a lot of mumbo-jumbo spilling out of my brain. I guess part of what I’m saying is that yeah, nobody is perfect, but maybe we should quit fooling ourselves into believing we are someone that we aren’t. Sometimes it’s hard to be brutally honest with yourself. To quit feeding yourself lies. To find the truth and embrace it.

I find great comfort in knowing that God knows me better than I know myself. If only I listened more often to the things that He tells me about myself – the Truth that He has to offer about who I am in Him, my identity in Christ – rather than my own lies and self-deceiving perceptions.

I think sometimes we are scared to face the truth about ourselves because we think we won’t like what we see. The broken mess we have made of our life. But God has overcome all the darkness and shame to bring us light and hope and freedom.

I don’t pretend to understand it. I just know there is a better way to live, and I want it. Trade my guilt and confusion and selfishness for hope and peace and true love.

Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. (Isaiah 55:1-3a)