Friday, June 2, 2017

There is no Future in the Past


I have a friend who is struggling. Some years back, her husband betrayed her, then divorced her, then married the other woman. She hated him for what he’d done to her. She wanted him to be punished, wanted him to feel her pain. But he moved on with his life, lickety-split, leaving her in the dust of despair.

Since then, she has found it difficult to walk fully into the future, as she’s still holding so tight to the past. She's looked for love again and even married again, but the marriage didn’t last. Truth is, a heart that holds a grudge is not free to completely love anyone; the bitterness takes up too much room, consumes too much time. 

I worry for my friend, for how can she have a happy future if she doesn't let go of the unhappy past?






“Don't go wasting all them bright tomorrows you ain't even seen by hanging on to what happened yesterday. Let go, child. Just breathe out and let go.”  ~ Beth Hoffman, Looking for Me


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Joining the Five-minute-Friday community here, where today's prompt is "future."


20 comments:

  1. I wish your story was unique. But, there are so many who hold their future hostage by grieving over disappointments. I may or may not be one of them.

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    1. You said it so well--we hold our future "hostage" by holding onto the past. I think it’s something we all struggle with from time to time, for we all have heartaches and disappointments in our past. My personal history holds a number of unwelcomed and life-changing events, some that are only known to me. And even now, if something triggers a memory of any one of these things, it can ruin a perfectly good day if I let it. What we think about controls us, and therein lies the hard part, forcing our thoughts into another direction. Some days I succeed; others, not so much.

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  2. Sometimes life throws us "curves" that are almost impossible to overcome. Your friend's circumstance would be overwhelming. And yet, as you said, her only hope for healing is to completely forgive, and FORGET. I'm fairly strong on the former, weak on the latter, so I get it. That would be absolutely heartbreaking. But with God's help, and the support of good friends like you, she can move forward and enjoy the rest of her life. I'll be praying for her, and for you, that God will use you and allow you to speak words of life to her. Blessings my friend.

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    1. I know what you mean, Robbin. Sometimes those "curves" put us on a different path than what we chose for ourselves--divorce is a perfect example. It changes the course of your life, due to the choice of another person, which makes it only harder to deal with, and I think it's important to go through the grieving process with any and every loss. The hard part is not getting stuck within the process. As for forgiving and forgetting, yes, forgiveness is for our benefit, but I don't believe forgiveness means we forget, because who can forget that a child was killed by a drunk driver, or that a significant other betrayed you? But what I believe real forgiveness requires is that you no longer hold an action against the offender.

      Thank you for this thoughtful comment and for the prayers.

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  3. What a blessing that we can learn from you and your readers!

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    1. I do love my readers, Christine. They always inspire me and make me think. I like that.

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  4. So, so true. My heart goes out to your friend. The temptation to hold on to the hurt is real.

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    1. Yes, I agree. Whenever we're hurt or mistreated, letting go of it almost feels as if we are OK with what happened, but we have to leave the final say to God because He will settle all of the scores in His time and His way.

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  5. There is an Irish story about a chieftain who loved his land, his Eire, that when it came time to walk to the pearly gates he grabbed up a handful of soil.

    St. Peter greeted him, but told him that nothing could be brought into Heaven.

    The chieftain looked at the soil in his hand, and could not bring himself to let it go. So he sat upon the ground, and watched as others went in.

    He watched for years, and saw his children and grandchildren pass. Occasionally St. Peter would wander over, and ask him if he was ready to let go of the dirt he held so closely, but the chieftain always said no.

    And finally, with a heavy west-of-Ireland sigh, he got to his feet, and opened his hand. The beloved auld sod disappeared between his fingers, and fell around his feet.

    St. Peter clapped him on the back, and said, "I knew you could do it, boyo! Didn't take you long, did it?"

    And he threw open the gates.

    And what do you think the chieftain, still grieving, saw?

    Ireland, in all the glory that God had given it on Earth, now made eternal in Heaven!

    #1 at FMF this week.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2017/06/your-dying-spouse-318-pain-glory-and.html

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  6. I agree, it's sad when pain from the past ruins our present too and holds us back as we look to the future. It's not easy but we have to work to reach the point of letting go and moving on. Visiting from FMF#25.

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    1. There are things in life that we will never "get over," but in order to move forward, we have to, at some point, let it go. It is always for our benefit. I learned this the hard way.

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  7. It surely is a hard thing to overcome and move on..."forgive and forget" is a hard thing to do and "time heals all wounds" doesn't always happen. The wounds do get less painful though if we let the Holy Spirit minister to us. Joyce Meyer says it best..."Holding on to unforgiveness and bitterness is like taking poison and hoping the other person dies." It isn't always a one time thing either (but it can be)...sometimes we have to keep going through the motions until we really mean it. Lord, help me, Jesus....

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    1. Yes, friend, it is not easy to forgive and forget, although I don't believe we can forget the wrongs done against us; we're human after all and we have a memory. But as I told Robbin above, I think that real forgiveness means we no longer hold the offense against the offender.

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  8. I'm so sorry about your friend. She's just hurt herself so badly, hasn't she? Maybe someday she'll be ready to put it down. "Just breathe out and let go."

    It's really hard to help someone learn this.

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    1. I hope you're right. Even her family wants her to move on and talk about something else. After awhile, all that can be said has been said. What happened happened, but don't let it become your identity.

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  9. Your dear friend...I hope she can find peace. I think all of us have struggled with this kind of pain, maybe not in the exact, same circumstances, but in some form or fashion. Life is riddled with hurts and rejections and betrayals. It is a comfort to know that we are not alone...that we all face the same struggles...that we can be real and authentic and transparent with each other. None of us have this thing called life figured out, and what a blessing that we can try to solve the puzzle together! I appreciate you, sweet friend, and thank the Lord that you are a part of my life and blogging journey. :)

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  10. All of us find it hard to forgive. Your graphics are perfect and your words remind me of the power of letting go. With the Lord's help we can go on. He understands the struggle, but it must be our desire to decide in the end. Great reminder!

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  11. Dayle,

    I am sorry for your friend.
    She is blessed to have you.
    You are so very wise.
    Have a cozy Sunday!

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  12. I agree, it's sad when pain from the past ruins our present too and holds us back as we look to the future.


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Dear Readers, I adore your company and your comments. If you ask questions here, I respond to them here, so please check back when you have a chance. Kind regards, Dayle