The Past Hurts

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The Past Hurts @ AVirtuousWoman.org

A Time to Clean: Day 2

Even when we say it no longer matters… Even when we say it’s okay… Even when we do our best to move on with our lives… the past hurts. Sometimes, despite our best intentions, we just carry that baggage around with us like a badge of honor.

Really, though, all of that baggage from our past is just keeping us from running free.

The Past Hurts

The past can weigh us down – even when we don’t realize it – and keep up from really finding the peace in our hearts and peace in our homes that we long to experience.

The past is full of hurts, disappointments, failures, regrets, and people who have damaged our souls. Who really wants to carry all of those reminders around day after day, year after year? No one. And yet we do it anyway.

Maybe not intentionally.

Sometimes a hurt from the past creeps up on us when we least expect it. Other times it’s just there in the back of our minds, taunting us, reminding us that really, deep down inside, we’re no good. Not worthy of exceptional love. Not worthy of true happiness. Not worth dying for.

But Satan is the Father of Deception. He wants you to believe that you aren’t really worthy of anything at all. The voice that tells you you’re worthless is a liar.

Back in 2006, I made the decision to share my testimony. The story of how I was a teenage mother at the young age of fifteen. I remember telling my husband that I planned to share my story and he asked me if I was sure – because there’s a risk in being vulnerable.

But I knew. I knew it was time to tell my story. Because my story was no longer a story of shame. It’s a story of redemption. It’s a story of victory in Jesus. It’s a story of grace and mercy and freedom in Christ.

But it took me a really long time to come to that conclusion. For years – fifteen years – I would lay in bed at night and beg God to forgive me. I didn’t believe He could.

The Past Hurts @ AVirtuousWoman.org

Now, in my mind, I knew what the Bible said. I knew the Bible said He would forgive my sins. But see, I couldn’t forgive myself. So for years – year after year – I believed in my heart that I was unforgivable.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

He IS faithful and just and WILL forgive us if we confess our sins! So what was the problem? Why did I feel like He couldn’t forgive me?

I couldn’t forgive myself. I felt so ashamed, so unworthy of pure love. God forgave me the first time I asked!

I had to give myself grace – I had to accept the fact that my past was scarred, but that the scars on Jesus’ hands had paid the price for my sin to set me free.

Past hurts can be reflected in our homes and can affect our relationships. It’s time to set our souls free so we can freely move. Past hurts can overwhelm our souls to the point of freezing us from making a decision to move on. It’s time to let things go.

Today’s Goal

  • Ask God to show you what past hurts are shackling you to the ground. Learn to forgive yourself.
  • Pick up a journal and write down your thoughts about what He has shown you or print my free prayer journal.
  • Choose an area in your home you want to tackle. I’ll be working in my living room over the next couple of days.
  • Fill at least one bag or box full of stuff to give away.
  • Take a picture of your bag. Share it on Facebook or Instagram – use hashtag #atimetoclean {optional}
  • Leave a comment below about what you chose to get rid of and I’d like to invite you to share YOUR story.
  • Do your best to wake up early tomorrow and spend time in prayer. Use your prayer journal.

 What are you tackling today? Have past hurts overwhelmed your present?

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  1. My home looks like my past threw up all over it. But, yesterday I was able to clean an area and throw away some things. I am thankful to have come across this challenge. Thank you and God bless.
  2. My husband & I have struggled with infertility for 5 of our 6 years of marriage. We both pray God will bless our lives with a child one day soon. I can guarantee every pile of paperwork or mound of laundry is a representation of the heartache we ourselves feel buried by. Just keep swimming right?!
    1. Stephanie, I'm saying a prayer for you and your husband right now. My husband and I also struggled with infertility. There is a whole lot of hurt and baggage that comes along with that. I pray that you are blessed with a sweet baby soon and that you're both comforted while you wait.
    2. Me too! God finally answered our prayers after 6 years and now that I am 12 weeks pregnant - I feel like I am drowning in the clutter and items from the past. It also doesn't help that my mother passed away last spring and we had to move into her house because she had a reverse mortgage but was otherwise living alone. So I also have all of her things and my grandmothers things that she didn't get rid of from 5 years ago. Trying to make the next three months as productive as possible.
    3. I ask God “why are you taking me through trouble water?” He answered, “Because your enemies can’t swim” Just keep swimming ! I’m praying for you today!
  3. Finding this challenge and inspiration could not have come at a better time for me or my family. I am married to an police officer and more times then not our home is a ticking time bomb and you can feel the stress the moment you walk in. His job has changed him and it is now my job to try and bring him back. The last 5 years of our lives have been busy with no real enjoyment. It is time to create a home full of peace and love for ourselves and our 3 kids and that starts by letting go of the past pain. Today I am going to work on creating a room for my husband and I not a man cave but a couples cave. Thank you I am looking so forward to the challenge.
  4. I began the challenge yesterday and actually set up a box for trash and things I no longer use last night. It's "funny" though, as I was feeling that I could move forward, getting a better sense of forgetfulness of my past, it reached out to me this morning. We definitely have an enemy that likes to stick his ugly finger in our lives. I am married to a man who is not a "great" communicator but he is hardworking, kind, great father, and loves the Lord. Unfortunately, in my starvation to communicate an "ex" came in to my life. I blocked his number and said goodbye after sharing with my husband the situation. After accepting this challenge, suddenly the "ex" begins to text and his number is not blocked....I pray for God to give me wisdom and strength to put an end to this for the health of my life, marriage, and family. Keep me in prayer as I move forward with this challenge. #atimetoclean2017.
  5. What we did was to go to the paid for storage sheds and to clean out one and put that stuff into the large one. I was amazed that at I had been trying to tell them all along they seen and stopped telling me that it couldn't be that way. When we got back to this house the son got me packing boxes. I could see the light. More important was the freedom from that stuff. I also seen how we had just put stuff from the girls in the sheds because we just couldn't bear to even think about them not being with us anymore. So many boxes of little girl stuff was in those sheds. Weve now found a place that accepts childrens things for those that are homeless. So I boxed up the gs stuff that was here as well. Today its more boxing and more tossing. On Friday the electric company said they are going to shut off the electric because of a bounced check. So gathering paperwork from m husbands disabilities and trying to create a budget and filing system is also on the to do list.
  6. I’m working on declutterring the toy area. Got a bag of dolls and stuffed animals. We have way too many over almost 4 1/2 years I have had 2 kids and we accumulated so many toys from birthday gifts to nana bringing some each time she comes practically. Lol It is ridiculous. So I want my children to be able to give some to others and for them to learn it is better to give than to receive. Thankful for this course cause it keeps you accountable everyday!
  7. This is a timely challenge. I am actually struggling this morning with feelings of regret from something that just happened yesterday after I felt I shared too much of what's been happening in my life with a friend. I know I have to let it go but there is this fear in the pit of my stomach like I said too much and now there are going to be unwanted ramifications, nome of which I can really control anymore. I pray the Lord will take that fear from me and help me accept that whats done is done and I can change the past, even if it was just yesterday! I recognize it's taking up far too much mental space. For physical decluttering, I am going to be working in the den of memories.. my garage! Time to let go.
    1. Hi Katie, I know exactly what it feels like - that fear that you've said too much and now you're vulnerable. That feeling that you've opened up yourself and you could possibly be hurt. There's always a risk when we are vulnerable with other people. Just remember, no matter what, God has you in His hand. And sometimes opening up to a trusted friend can be the beginning of healing. It might help for you to be honest with your friend and share your fears of being vulnerable and how hard it is for you. I don't know your situation, but I've felt similar feelings. I'll pray for you. Let me know how I can serve you better. God bless you!
  8. This is a very timely blog post for me. The past hurts and I'm really struggling with it right now. I've been decluttering for over a year now and I think each layer of clutter I'm peeling another layer of the past and getting deeper into my feelings and hurts. For me clutter has been a way to protect myself from feeling and healing from those past hurts, but I feel stuck where I am right now. I'm not really sure how to heal. I don't feel shame, but sadness and loneliness. My past hurt comes from growing up in a cold, mostly unloving family and an emotionally unavailable mother. I thought when I grew up and moved out of my childhood home it would get better, but you can't run from the past. It sneaks up on you and steals your joy. I see my family from time to time and it often brings the pain back to the surface and makes it hard for me to function and be a mother to my own children. I often wonder if having no contact with them would help me, but I worry about the Ephesians 6:2 to love and honor your parents. Would I be disobeying God by not having a relationship with hurtful family members? (By hurtful I mean emotionally, not physically.) I would love to hear any thoughts you have on this topic.
    1. Hi Amy, loneliness is such a heartbreaking feeling. I think it might be helpful for you to see a counselor who specializes in emotional abuse. There are practical ways of dealing with family members who are hurtful so that you can find healing. One thing that helps me deal with people who have been deeply hurtful to me is to see them as broken people themselves. The coldness you feel is not about you. It's about them. They are broken. They are hurting. I'm not suggesting that your pain is less important. You have been hurt and it's okay and right to grieve that feeling of loss - what might have been better in your relationships had your parents been emotionally whole. I'm just suggesting that understanding the reason you have been hurt by them is not your fault and maybe in their brokenness they didn't know how to do better. Maybe they did know better. I don't know. But it's not your fault. YOU know better and you get to choose a different outcome for your relationship with your children. That's a good thing! You might want to read: Childhood Disrupted - https://amzn.to/36NG8Ie
  9. Almost four years ago my son who was 4 at the time was diagnosed with a debilitating seizure disorder. Since then he has lost his ability to talk, is no longer potty trained, needs help feeding himself/dressing/etc. He also has a lot of behavioral issues that have gotten worse over time. Before the seizures he was already reading and had a fantastic vocabulary. He loved math and numbers and was the brightest 4 year old I have ever met and I’m not just saying that because I’m his mom lol. I used to joke that he made me look like a super mom but he really taught himself most things. Things are different know and my heart and soul ache for the little boy I lost and for the struggles my son faces every day. I have been praying that Jesus will help me let go and cope better and I know he is faithful but it is a painful process. He is our healer and I know He can heal my son and my heart
      1. I don't see where I can make a new comment. I just wanted to reach out and share how God blessed me by opening my mind to understand that His love covers all my hurts and bad decisions. When I don't let them go I am pushing away his love, quenching the Holy Spirit, even turning my back on God. This is what convected me to count blessings not injuries. Now I work to help my grown children and my husband understand this truth. Bless you for sharing your story!
  10. Roughly 30 years my father disowned my sister and myself after he and my mother separated. He then married my mom’s former best friend. She did not want him to have anything to do with us. Since then, I have only seen him a few times. He only saw my oldest two son about three times. He never saw my youngest son and our only daughter.My sister and I believed she would not let us know if he died. Yesterday my sister discovered online that he died and was cremated in April. Over the years I felt so much hurt, and now there is no chance for recollection.
    1. I'm so sorry, Patti. That must hurt so much. I wish there was an easy way to make things better. All I know that is healing is possible through Jesus Christ. I hope and pray you are able to find comfort and peace as you've lost so much.
    2. I have a similar situation. My mom and dad were divorced when I was in 6th grade, I just celebrated my 60th birthday in August. My dad's second wife wouldn't let us contact him. He has 4 other children from that marriage, anyway he passed away on May 8. I never got to reconcile things with him. My aunt just happened to see the notice in the paper. We did not have a good relationship, he had sexual issues and I was mistreated. I thought when he passed away that all of that would've gone with him but I still struggle with father issues, I still can't let go of things. My house is a disaster. I thought if I made a trip back home and saw his grave stone I could find some closure, I had a trip planned for August but I ended up unable to go so I feel like I'm still stuck. It's so hard to believe that things that happened to me when I was a child still have control of me as a 60 year old woman.

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