“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
The past is a curious thing. Even though we have physically moved beyond it in years, we often live as if we are smack-dab in the middle of it. We still harbor some of the same emotions, habits, and knee jerk reactions that were cultivated into our beings as children. Sadly, we find ourselves responding from the same place of uncertainty, fear, shame, or defeat that characterized our upbringing—even though we proclaim to have been “born again” into new life. If we are honest with ourselves, our “new life” feels to be about 80% old ways.
My upbringing was challenging, to say the least. The emotional issues that each of my parents struggled with sent shock waves throughout our family. They were simply incapable of modeling healthy behaviors—emotional, physical, financial, or spiritual.
With a front row seat to such destructive brokenness day in and day out, I developed a prideful “know-it-all”, rise above attitude. I was rambunctious, resisted authority figures, and became, out of necessity, a survivalist. The one thing that seemed certain was that my past, if left unchallenged, had me on course for future destruction.
It wasn’t until I met and fell in love with Jesus (the one, true Know-it-All) as a teenager that I began, through His power and guidance, to unpack all the baggage that I had been carrying around since childhood. It took years before my suitcases were sorted through and I could begin to feel the resurrection power of a resurrected life—my own!
For me, the Bible’s second greatest account of a resurrection (after Christ’s, of course) is of Lazarus, Jesus’ dear friend. The detail of this story that has impacted my life the most is what Jesus said to Lazarus’ friends and family after He had raised him from the dead: “Take off his grave clothes and let him go” (John 11:44, NIV).
When you and I come to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, it’s as if He has called us out of our own tombs. But there we stand, in newness of life, still clothed in our past. It would have been ridiculous for Lazarus to try to go on living wrapped up in the graves clothes, yes? Yet you and I do this when we don’t intentionally seek healing and restoration from the hurtful experiences of our pasts.
Jesus tells us in John 10:10 (NKJV) that he has come “that [we] may have life, and that [we] may have it more abundantly.” Believe me, one cannot live abundantly wrapped up in bondage to the past. Your past may have made you who you are today, but it doesn’t have to dictate who you are tomorrow and on into the future.
If you’ve been struggling to live differently than you’ve been, then I think it’s high time for you to break up with your past. And while you’re at it, take off your grave clothes, woman!
Almighty, resurrecting God, would You help us, once and for all, to break up with our pasts by stepping out of our grave clothes? You hold our futures and You have promised us in Joel 2:25 that You “will repay [us] for the years the locusts have eaten—”. We want that abundant life that You came for us to live.
In the power of Your Name, Jesus, we pray,
Now It’s Your Turn
What grave clothes from your past do you still have stuck to you? Anger, unforgiveness, insecurity, poor self-health care, financial indebtedness? Like Lazarus, we often can’t get out of our grave clothes on our own. Seek godly counsel and the help of sincere friends who can assist you in the process of healing from your past and gaining healthy strategies for your future.
More from the Girlfriends
Overcoming Overeating (Harvest House Publishers) is one of Lisa Morrone’s six books in her “Restoring Your Temple” health resource collection. These books are available on Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, or wherever books are sold.
Lisa Morrone, PT is a physical therapist, professor, author of six books, radio guest and event speaker who encourages people to “Get Healthy for Heaven’s Sake.” Visit Lisa’s website for more information and to sign up to receive her informative “Monday Morning Health Tips”!