Tag Archives: past

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)

Emotional ramblings of a broken slinky

7 Jun

I’ve had a lot on my mind recently. To be honest, my emotions are on overload as I feel pulled in so many directions – all stretched out and unable to return to normal size. Like a sad, stretched-out, broken slinky. That’s how I feel inside.

And I wonder how this happened? How did I get to this stretched-out slinky state of mind?

It was a progression I guess. Very sneaky.

I look to my future, and see the move is coming quickly, more quickly than I had realized. It wasn’t real, it was too far off, and now BAM its right in front of my face! Yes, dare I say, the idea of change is starting to freak me out. Oh transitions. I am human, after all.

I look to my past, and I cannot help but feel haunted by my mistakes and poor choices – those ugly, selfish ones. You know what I’m talking about. We’ve all been there. Some days I feel as though I have let them go, and other days I cannot stop thinking about them. When will I be able to stop beating myself up over things that are done and over with? Why can’t I just learn from them and move on? I do not know. I wish I did because I am feeling the weight and, quite frankly, its still heavy as hell.

I look around where I am, and I wonder how I will ever live up to expectations. Even in the now, it is a struggle to keep up with everything on my plate. And to make things worse, I begin to compare myself to others who are able to accomplish so much more than I am, and feel like a loser – useless and incapable of even the small things.

And I realize there is common theme in all of this, which is placing too much value on what others think about me. Maybe it’s a girl thing, but acceptance is important – yes, a little a lot TOO important. It’s always been a struggle. It’s always been a sneaky little sucker.

But the fact remains. I just don’t like hurting people, I don’t like being the source of their pain or unhappiness, I don’t like letting them down, I don’t like disappointing them. Disapproval kinda makes me nauseous. And its not just me. The desire for acceptance is a driving force in many people’s lives. And when you care more about being accepted than doing the right thing, you’re bound to make some questionable decisions… and then try to justify them.

Why don’t I make more decisions based on honoring God?

I have been challenged recently in the area of character. That is, doing the right thing (according to God, not necessarily me or other people – that’s important) no matter the cost or the circumstances. That’s right, time to take a good hard look in the mirror and really decide if doing what is right is more important than being accepted or, well, anything else.

Sure, we all value character. We just value it more in others than in ourselves.

Don’t get it twisted.

Doing the right thing sucks sometimes a lot of times, but that is life. I know that character and responsibility are not exactly my finest qualities, but I wish they were a little higher on my strengths list.

If we really want to develop better character, we need to stop simply reacting to our circumstances and start responding based on honoring Him and doing the right thing no matter what. It is true that we grow the most through the hard times. Allow Him to use those times to mature and shape us even more into who He wants us to be. Perhaps God cares more about our character and who we are becoming than our comfort.

pep talk

14 Apr

Okay, if you know me or have been reading this blog for any amount of time, then you should know that I am a huge procrastinator – always have been and probably always will be. I have simply come to accept that I just work much better under pressure… or something.

But if procrastination has taught me anything, it’s that you have to live in the moment, because you can’t change what’s been done. The past happened. You wasted time, you “got distracted”, you procrastinated it all away… and now it’s now. And there’s nothing you can do about the time that has already passed you by. Maybe you start freaking out, realizing how little time is left. You’re reminded how valuable time is, because now it is mostly gone. But asking “why” is a waste of time. “Why didn’t you do it earlier?” “Why did you let this happen?” Well, it happened. And now it’s over.

From a logical perspective, it’s just stupid to beat yourself up over something you can’t change. I mean, that makes sense, right?

All you can do now is choose to change in the present. From right now, you can be productive, you can stop wasting time. You have to decide what you want from here on out, and act on it.

That is why having a goal is so important. To strive for something – to work for an end result – it helps to keep us motivated. Sometimes we lose sight of our goals, of our bigger purpose, and we get lost in the day-to-day details of life.

Take a step back to reevaluate and refocus. Throw yourself a pitty-party if you really need to, but after a few minutes, knock it off. Give yourself a pep talk. Remember what you’re really working for, and you’ll find your passion, drive and motivation.

Get back on the horse, and kick some dirt in procrastination’s face!

mirror talk

7 Jan

Words escape. And yet there is a need to write.

About what? The times when its just you and the mirror and the truth, or well, what you perceive to be the truth. These times, usually accompanied by tears, are the times when you actually become painfully honest with yourself. With God. With the floor. Or the pillow.

Big difference between giving up and accepting someone for who they are.

Everyone just wants someone to accept them for who they are. To accept them without the ulterior motives to change them into someone else. Someone they’re not.

But even if you find someone who accepts you, they have to do more than tolerate you, they have to love you. And not only do they have to accept and love you, but they have to do it forever. Exclusively.

Does this exist?

Sure it does. But not for everyone, right? Statistically speaking, very few people end up this way. So why are we shooting for such impossible goals? Maybe “shooting for” is a poor choice of words, since you really can’t DO anything to make someone accept and love you and only you forever. It’s a choice they make. And it’s a choice you make about them.

After a while, you get to a certain point, a certain age, where everyone has emotional baggage from past “failed” relationships. It only gets harder to break down walls of distrust and reopen healthy lines of communication. You are not who you were before that relational experience. Our experiences change us. We go through different seasons, some joyful and full of life, while others are filled with excruciating pain and despair. The highs and lows of life are nothing new, but that does not make them any less difficult to handle.

It seems there is not much that can be done. It seems to leave us in an awful and somewhat depressing situation. What to do?

The only thing I have found, is to learn.

Learn from the experience, the good and the bad, then it will be worth it in the end. Be aware that you are not who you were, but are now forever changed by your unique experiences. Whats done is done. It happened. Take what you can to benefit you in the future, and move on. Move forward.

Easily we are distracted and even paralyzed by our past. We forget to keep our eyes face-forward, on things where our actions still have meaning, where our paths have yet to be made visible. We cannot change what has been done, we can only change from this point on.

Memories can be wonderful and beautiful things, but they can also be heartbreaking and taunting. They say that time heals all wounds. Maybe this is true, but scars will remain. Some bigger and more noticeable than others.

And so we begin to think these scars will keep us from being accepted and loved by someone. These scars translate into value and worth, or lack there of. This is where we get in deep trouble. This is where the darkness begins to rear its ugly head and drown us in a sea of self-loathing, guilt, and perceived worthlessness. We begin to believe that we are worthless, that we have no value, that we are impossible to love.

But these are lies.

This is why it is SO important to find your identity in Christ and not in the next guy that comes along. God created us in His image, He did not make a mistake, He did not forget about you. He has already accepted you and loves you and will do so forever. There is nothing you can do to make Him love you less. There is a plan and a purpose for your life. You are not meaningless. You are precious.

If we choose to believe the truth about who we are, we can begin to see our unique situations and experiences as building blocks that are shaping us into who we will become. Into wiser and stronger versions of ourselves.

It takes a lot of hard work to become the person you want to be.

Don’t let the trials of life and relationships defeat you. Rise above and overcome. Nothing is impossible with Christ. He is all the power and strength you will ever need.

Hold on.