I have a confession… I’m a failure, a huge one. This is one area that I have struggled with and that has tried to keep e stuck in my life. I have more past failures than I ever thought would be possible. And, sometimes when you fail you can’t just magically make it better.
Moving forward from a past that you wish you could change can seem like an unreachable dream.
When you are caught in the middle of a life changing problem, whether it is financial, relational, work, or anything else, it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Each day is long and you want it to end, yet at the same time, you dread the night coming. Hard things are even harder at night.
Life seems to stand still.
You don’t care about paying the bills or eating or fitness or work or anything else. Your problem consumes you. Your life becomes and revolves around your problem.
It upsets you to see people just enjoying their lives like everything is ok because your world is crumbling all around you.
Yup, I’ve been there, in the place where you push all friends and family away. Where you are alone and all you want is to not be alone anymore, but you can’t bring yourself to allow anyone in. And it feels like it will never get better.
It does get better.
And if you are stuck in the middle of it right now, it will get better. I know hearing the words won’t make you feel any better. But just know that it does. If you are stuck in the middle of a big life issue right now, or a failure, I want to encourage you to keep living life. Don’t let your problem or your failure consume every part of your life.
Eat. Sleep. Pay your bills. Play with your kids. Look people in the eyes (for a while I was so ashamed of myself and my failures that I walked through the store with my head down hoping no one would see me). I know these things are easier said than done because I have been there.
And most importantly, pray. Repent of what you need to repent of. Ask forgiveness where needed and give it where it is due. Learn from your mistakes. Correct your behavior. And then, keep living.
Consequences of wrong behavior might still exist in your life, and unfortunately, sometimes there is nothing you can do about that. But, accept what you need to accept in life and keep living.
Past failures don’t make you a failure.
Things from your past, whether you caused them or were a victim of them, don’t need to control your future. You have the ability to choose if you will live in the past or if you will leave it behind and allow your future to be different.
It might not feel like it, but it’s your choice. You can consume yourself with what happened in the past, or, you can decide to move forward.
Thinking on and reliving your past mistakes and failures over and over will never help you to improve. You will not start to take steps to improve until you start focusing on the new day and the future and not the past.
Let me share something that helped me. When I was stuck in a bad place my pastor started doing a series on the genealogy of Jesus. And, I was amazed! You would not believe all the people that were huge failures (liars, adulterers, outcasts, a prostitute, a murder) and had messed up their lives and God still put them in the line that led to Jesus.
The pastor basically said, “You might have done tons wrong in your life. You might have a million things that you wish you could change, but your life isn’t over. You are still here.”
You are still here
That really hit me. “You are still here”. I believe that God has a plan for our lives, Jeremiah 29:11 says, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” If God was done with me and couldn’t use me, if I failed so bad that I was unfixable, I wouldn’t still be here.
My life was not over and if you are stuck in something bad right now, your life is not over either. I am still living and while I am living I can use my time to make a difference. You can choose this day to start making better choices. You can choose today to not live in your past. And, you can choose today to get out of the hole you are in and start to make some differences for yourself.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says “Praise be to God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive for God.” This verse has brought me so much comfort over the past several years. God has shown me so much mercy and comforted me in times when no one else would. And, I believe that He will do the same for anyone and that we can pass along the comfort that we have received.
In her book, “Lies Women Believe”, Nancy Leigh DeMoss writes, “We want God to fix all our problems. God says instead, ‘I have a purpose for your problems. I want to use your problems to change you and to reveal my grace and power to the world.’ That is the Truth – and the Truth will set you free.” God might not swoop in and fix all of our past failures, but He can use them to make us better and to help others, if we let Him.
You don’t have to stay stuck in this place
If you are struggling right now in this area, turn to God. If you don’t have a personal relationship with God and have questions, I am in no way an expert, but I would be happy to help in any way I can.
Don’t let your past failures keep you stuck in life. You are still here and you can move forward.
If you want to see more of how to overcome things that keep you stuck in life, check out the series here.