Have you ever wondered why this year isn't any different than last year? Or the year before? You may believe it has to do with your circumstances or your job or the people in your life. But the odds are you are living in the past each and everyday.
God tells us in Isaiah 65:16 "For the past troubles will be forgotten and hidden from my eyes." So if God can forget the past, why can't we? The reason it is so hard can be many - we believe that we were just born this way, other people keep us there by their judgements and expectations, maybe we believe this is "just who we are." But we can't move forward into the great life that God wants us to have if we continue to live in the past.
In my 20's, I can't think of hardly anything that I did that was good. Oh, I was a good person, but I was making mistake after mistake after mistake. I was trying so hard to be what everyone else wanted me to be that I lost myself. At the age of 30, I found myself a single mom, making $10,000 a year and $200,000 in debt. That was about as low as I was willing to go. I had a major aha moment. I realized I could keep making mistakes and keep living for other people or I could forget the past and become the person that God put me here to become. And that is what I did! I started over at the age of 30. And everyday of my journey, I have had to remind myself of Isaiah 65:16. I've had to remind myself that God has forgiven and forgotten my past. I will learn from my past, but it will never define me.
I know where you have been. Odds are I have been there too (or something similar). And I am here to tell you that the past is the past. You are not your past and do not ever let a decision you made in your past define the awesome future God has for you. Whether you are struggling with an addiction, are a single parent, are up to your eyeballs in debt, or simply haven't been the kind, Christian person you know God wants you to be - no matter what your past is, leave it. Learn from it what needs to be learned and leave it at the feet of God. The past is the past.