UNbroken: How to not let your past define you

There was a quote I stumbled across in the feed of instagram.  Not just the quote hit me, but the image was of a girl in the midst of a run.  You could tell she was on the move somewhere.  In a strange sort of way, you were drawn into the picture as you wanted to know where she was headed...   She was clearly headed somewhere. . . 
The quote read: UNBROKEN:  She does not let her past define her

Now, I wouldn't necessarily let my mind wonder off into the depths of analyzing where I am going by just the image but this time it got me thinking based off the quote with the word UNBROKEN.  

I started thinking more about life and where I was in terms of letting the past define me and the places of brokenness from my past that were still impacting me or not.  

Spring has settled in but if you take a moment to think about the way people make resolutions each year after year, what is it they have in common?  Typically, its something they want to change, move forward on, get better at, or take up a new activity/life-style, right?  How many people actually think "I want to let go of ____ so it doesnt paralyze me from moving forward or hinder my growth and success in the future of being the best potential ME there is"  
Not many, right? 

Now that resolutions have set in to stay(or perhaps not stay) if you were to consider a quote like this along side of those resolutions, would you stop long enough to ponder other questions?  

What is truly different about your life (NOW) in the way you wanted to seek after thing in 2015? Have you kept after your resolutions?  Why or why not? What are you doing to be a healthier version of YOU this year? Have you addressed the possibility that it's not a habit you need to break, a diet you need to change, or an activity to pick up?
* Perhaps part of the resolutions we need to continue to reexamine have nothing to do with the new diet, living plan or way of life to follow. 
* Perhaps resolutions need to be about confronting the past and actually looking at today for what you can bring to the table and learn from the past, while moving forward.  

But you might be asking: "how does one even step into the future if they are broken?" 

I think, the hardest part of making any changes in life, whether its Jan 1st, May 1st, or November 1st is being able to step freely into the future without letting your past impact you and take the residence of a burden and extra weight in your life. How is that even possible when we have no idea our past is impacting us???

Here's where the questions get personal (give yourself time to actually think these through) 

What is in the past you just can't let go of?  
- Are there things hindering you from walking into fullness of your potential?  A relationship that was broken, but perhaps not addressed after the fact or ackowledged the way it broke you heart? A loss without the time to grieve it? Like REALLY grieve. Its ok. A failure without knowing how to improve or whether or not to try again, because the defeat was just too painful? 

So many people hang on to things of the past because for whatever reason it just seems to hard to let go of. Its almost as if its more comfortable to the heartache than it is to imagine life without it. Working through the past and processing it to actually "let it go" seems like more work than just not thinking about it. We think "If I let go of the past, that means I'm saying it was ok" which is far from the truth. Letting go of your past and stepping into the freedom of today actually will take a weight off and give you courage to step into your future freely! It doesn't have to mean whatever "it" was is now ok, it just means you won't let it define you!!! 

Giving yourself permission to grieve your past and things that actually really shaped you for where you're at today is totally ok!  Its good and healthy!.... Hanging on to those life-changing moments though, is different and often times damaging to the future life you have before you!   

For the sake of today's exercise: Look at what's before you!  What potential could you tap into that your past is actually keeping you from stepping out?  
- Want a new relationship that's healthy?  You need to be healthy first.  Seek a mentor or a therapist(not just friends who side with you). 
- Want to try again for that big position or dream job after a failure?  Get a coach, or start to study habits of effective people in that industry!  
- Simply want to know your past isn't dragging you down and impacting the life you have today? Doing the work necessary to become healthy and whole takes time, but its SO WORTH IT! 

Which leads me to my next question...  You're healthy and whole and yet havent a clue what you want to be about?  Have you ever heard someone with conviction and passion talk about their job or career and think "Man, I wish i knew what I was called to!"  There's a few teachers out there that actually do an excellent job articulating how to find your "calling" so to speak...  

Our callings are shaped by where our greatest burdens collide with our greatest passions and gifts. Did you know this, or have you even thought of it this way? Your past experiences (of what you love, and what you hate or are burdened by) can be used to shape how you help and love people in the future before you!

Come from abuse? 
Your story matters to the abused!
Struggled with a disorder or an addiction? 
Even you can help others recover! 
Didn't know your mom or dad? 
YOU can be there for the fatherless.... 

Bottom line, Your past pains & regrets should not define your future but propel you to run after your future with confidence!! It's okay to let it go.... 

I know someone who can help you, heal your brokenness, restore your loss, give you hope and a new outlook on life and purpose and future. Have you met Jesus? Phil 1:6 says it perfectly: There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.

We are all given a new morning and a new sunrise to see new chances at becoming and maintaining healthy daily... What a GIFT!  Where Jesus comes in though is in the healing part.  He does the work necessary to heal our hearts so we can be healthy and whole and then we can actually be excited for our future even if we havent a CLUE what it entails.  When we have allowed Jesus to heal our past wounds, our failures, our mess, and our journey we actually find that we ARE 

"UNBROKEN!"  --- Without letting the past define us!  

What an EXCELLENT way to charge into the future, a new you, or a whole new way of life! When you start looking IN, to make yourself a whole lot healthier, you will notice a difference and eventually you too will be able to charge towards the future with confidence and in stride!  Praying dangerous prayers like "God, heal the parts of me that need to be healed" become a lot easier to pray when we know God is for us and wants the best for us, simply because he is that good!  And the best reminder I have to sit in when I dont know where he is moving or how he is working is "when you can't see His hand, trust His heart!"  He has plans for a hope and a future!!! 

If you are reading this today, KNOW you have a God who loves you. He is at work and He has a plan for redeeming your story.  He's on the move... He's equipping and preparing you and has great plans!  Just take the step to see if there's something from even your past that might be hindering to your future... perhaps you're at the best place of life you could be?!?  AWESOME... I bet you did the hard work necessary to be healthy and whole and can be a testament that looking into your past to make you better for the future is so worth it!  

"UNBROKEN:  She does not let her past define her" -- What an EXCELLENT way to charge into the year, a new you, or a whole new way of life!  I hope you TOO can experience this :)  


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