We all have a past. No matter who we are, no matter where we were raised, we each have a story, a history that has been etched into the seams and shadows of our hearts.
We didn’t ask for the things we experienced as children. Whether it was a chaotic family life, our parents’ divorce, or financial struggles, whether it was the rejection and ridicule we experienced from our so-called friends at school, by the time we made it to adulthood, life had already begun to take its toll.
The problem is, the wounds we carry from our past into our adult lives don’t just fall by the wayside once we graduate from school. Our wounds affect and infect everything from our work, our relationships, our faith and our inner peace. We can’t outrun our wounds, we can’t ignore them, we can’t escape them.
We can heal them. We can find freedom from them. The abundant life God desires for you doesn’t include your wounds, or your burdens.
If you’ve ever felt hopeless that life could ever be different – it can! Here is an excerpt from my new book, Peace For a Lifetime, that shares why unlocking the past can hold the key to our healing.
Debra was forty-eight years old when she pursued therapy in order to deal with her addiction to alcohol. Our initial conversation revealed that Debra grew up in an alcoholic family. She was the oldest of four children.
Growing up, she watched daily as her father came home from work and began his evening ritual of pouring himself a few drinks before dinner. With each drink, his agitation increased. He would start with angry comments about the news. Then he would bicker with her mom, and yell at the kids to, “shut up so I can have some peace and quiet,” as Debra recalled. By suppertime, he was in a virtual rage. His bickering escalated into cursing and name-calling. Seemingly he was looking for something that would give him an excuse to explode.
Debra remembered a night when she was six years old that her dad stood up from the table and began to beat her mom violently. Debra immediately took the little ones to their room. When she came back to the dining room, she started pulling on her dad’s arm, desperately trying to get him off of her mom. He merely flung her off while he continued his vicious attack.
One night when Debra was fifteen years old, as another fight began, she stood in front of her mom with a knife and threatened to kill her dad if he ever touched her mom again. He never did.
To make matters worse, Debra was molested by a teacher when she was twelve years old. Though she told her parents, they didn’t believe her and refused to take any action that might embarrass the family.
Since then, Debra has always found herself in relationships where there is a lot of drama. Whether the drama is from her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend, his boss, or a nosy neighbor, there is always a fight to be had, and she is ready for battle. The relationships usually end when there are no more battles to wage.
The losses have been tremendous for Debra. She began to rely on alcohol many years ago as a way to deal with the pain of the break-ups. She feels so alone, and the sadness is overwhelming. She just wants to feel loved, to feel safe. Her current boyfriend truly does love her but can’t take Debra’s drama anymore.
When I asked what role faith played in her life, she responded she had a general belief in God. She related having a lot of anger toward Him, not understanding how a loving God could have allowed her to experience everything she did as a child. She also felt God had abandoned her just like her parents did when she told them of her molestation. Certainly she could not feel safe with someone else who was going to leave.
Though Debra survived her childhood, she did not escape the emotional residue that contaminated everything in her life, including her relationship with God.
Thankfully, this is not the end of the story for Debra. God had another plan for Debra’s life. A plan for healing, a plan for life, a plan for peace.
God has another plan for your life, too! He has not abandoned you. He has not forgotten your wounds or your pain. He longs to heal all that is broken in you. He longs to give you a new life and a new future.
I share simple, practical life steps in my book, Peace For a Lifetime, that can help you understand the life God desires for you. This material can help you create and experience an indestructible peace – not just for today, not just for tomorrow, you can experience peace…for a lifetime!
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