A familiar, but “older” song came on the radio while driving to work this morning. Immediately, I sensed something inside of me connect with that song in a very strong way. A burst of joy shot through me before I even realized what song was playing.
A few moments later, I realized why.
It was that song.
You, know, that song.
The song that conjured up a lot of memories. The song that was popular back during a very significant time of my life. The song that allowed me to close my eyes and see exactly where I was, what I was doing, who I was with, and what was going on in my life just by hearing the first few notes.
It was the song I’d been listening to a lot right before and during a time when I suffered one of the most unexpected and difficult traumas of my life. It was the song that I for so long hated, because of what it caused me to remember.
I couldn’t listen to that song for at least 2 years.
I use to run from it the moment I heard the first note. I couldn’t bear to face what it represented. It took me back to a time I didn’t want to remember. I would shut off the radio. I would walk out of the room. I would sometimes sit in the corner and find myself again mad, and angry, and asking why I went through the things I did.
It would make me question myself and start to doubt my own value.
It was that song.
Do you have any situations like that in your life? Are there difficult situations in your past that still carry so much pain, that the mere memories make you want to run and hide? Possibly you find it is easier to simply avoid the hurt, which, in turn, allows you to avoid anything that would cause you to remember.
Maybe you believe you’ve moved on from that hurtful time, but have decided you simply need to protect yourself. Why not avoid anything that might cause you to go back there?
God doesn’t want you to live there.
He. Really. Doesn’t.
God doesn’t want those hurts to be your life.
I can recall the day I decided to take control of my past trauma and no longer let it control me. Instead of running from something when it reminded me of the hurt, I chose to face it head on and call it out for what it was.
2 Timothy 1:7 says: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
The situation I suffered was mentally crushing. There was a time I never thought I would rise out of the ashes and see beauty again, and you know what? That is exactly where the enemy wanted me to be. He wanted me to wallow in that hurt; because as long as I was wallowing, I could not emerge to be who God created me to be.
The same goes for you. God created you for a purpose. As long as there is sin in the world, we will face obstacles, but instead of letting the obstacles determine our path, we can allow God to use those to bring Him glory.
I am not going to tell you the “trauma” I suffered because it is very personal, but I can say it was mentally, emotionally, and even physically debilitating. It was the enemy’s tool to try and get me off track and I decided I wasn’t going there. The other reason I am not going to tell you what I suffered, is because, in the end, its not what I suffered that matters. It’s how the enemy used it to try and get me out for the count. What the enemy used on me will be different than what is used on you.
What “trauma” in your life (big or small) is the enemy trying to use to get you off God’s track? Decide today you’re not taking that ticket. Here’s how I got off that train and back on God’s.
Every time I would encounter something that would cause my mind to revert back to that very hurtful time, I started casting it out in the name of Jesus. I realized that God did not own those situations and memories because God would never want me to live in them. I was adamant. The enemy could not have control of my life. And then I would reclaim them. I would reclaim that location. I would reclaim that situation. I would reclaim that song: reclaim it all for God, ask Him to use it for His glory, and show me how I was to be a part of it.
It was a hard process. Hard doesn’t even fully describe what it took to stand firm and not retreat. It is so much easier to hide from the hurt, or hide it away. But that is not what God wants.
Today that song came on the radio and my heart leapt for joy. It was a reminder to me that with God we truly can overcome anything that is cast in our path, whether it is done to us or whether we allow it to happen based on our own decision.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
Does the enemy have any of those areas in your life? Your mind? How you love others? What is powering you? What is causing you to be fearful?
Today, I encourage you to face those hurtful memories and cast away the chains. God doesn’t want you to live there. He has made you for so much more. Understand it can be a long process, but God is with you every step of the way. There are others. I am here for you too.
As we head into the holiday season, I pray that past hurts can’t keep you from experiencing God’s true joy. As we approach a new year, I pray that mistakes in 2013 won’t keep you from trusting all God has in store for the months to come. And finally I pray that you can reclaim what the enemy tried to destroy, and do it through the saving and powerful name of Jesus Christ. Hurtful, past situations may change the way our future course appears. Life truly may never be the same. But freedom from the past and a glorious future are both possible.
“So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten,
The crawling locust,
The consuming locust,
And the chewing locust,
My great army which I sent among you.
You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
And praise the name of the Lord your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
And My people shall never be put to shame.”
Restoration is possible.
Freedom in Christ is attainable.
And through it all, remember to praise the name of the LORD your God.
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