Are you free from the past?
Four years ago a few women met to talk about big dreams, casting a vision for the future. With our eyes on God, we prayed and planned, reaching toward a calling far too big for anything we could accomplish on our own.
As we began to move forward it took faith to imagine the dream was possible. This was the January day that Planting Roots, a ministry for military women, became more than an idea. This was the beginning of a God-sized adventure.
I felt stuck in the same old struggles.
Tempted to hold back, I realized I didn’t want to play it safe, continuing to carry the regrets of the past or the complaints of what wasn’t working. As a new calling inspired a fresh direction, these words spoke life and courage to my soul:
No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.—Philippians 3:13-14 NLT
Single-minded focus begins with our thoughts, but also includes our priorities. I’m discovering there is a mental and spiritual discipline to making the choice to let go of the things that keep us from moving forward. Today defines the distance between yesterday and tomorrow, and faith fills the gap.
Many of our past things are good, blessings like a great church, a welcoming neighborhood, a successful work environment, a promotion, good health, or happy kids.
Feelings of shame, discouragement, or guilt based on past history do not have to weigh us down, making us feel like we’re trudging through the muck of past situations.
Focusing on the past is walking backwards into the future.
Here’s what I’m learning:
Blessings for the present, they are received when we keep our focus and priority on following God. Between past and future we have this decision in our hands today—the choice to trust God and rely on His provision as we make our next steps, decisions, and plans.
Four years ago I could not have imagined what would be happening in January 2018. Planting Roots now has a volunteer staff of 35+, we’ve held 6 conferences in 6 states in 3 years, and we’re hosting conferences in Ohio and Europe this spring. In my personal writing, my first book releases next month! This is the crazy-wonderful goodness of God! I stand in awe at what God has done.
Friend, here’s the question that stops me cold:
What I would have missed if I had not let go of the past?
What could this year look like for you if you focus on the priority of God’s call for your life? If you make the holy choice to let go of just one thing that has kept you stuck?
Our heavenly Father offers a divine invitation to be free from the thoughts, beliefs, habits, and actions that tempt us to stay stuck rather than stretch forward in faith. God’s upward call includes His desire for each of us be free from the past by relying on Christ to lead us forward. For this day and this year, let’s be intentional with our thoughts, goals, and desires.
Because we’re forgiven. . .
Because we’re loved. . .
Because we’re free. . .
Friends, it is worth the journey! Let go of the past so you can move forward to the good works God has already planned for you (Ephesians 2:10).
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