not in my present nor in my future.

Blog buddies.  You’ve got to love them.  Of all the people whom I’ve met first via the blogwaves before meeting them in person, I’ve become great friends with the majority of them.  In many respects, it’s easier because you are already coming from a common interest and you’ve had little snapshots of insight into each other’s lives.  Love it!

I got to catch up with a Perthie (now back in S’pore) during and after the COLOUR conference.  It was so nice to just relax in another’s company and reflect on God’s goodness.  The last time we caught up in Melbourne together we were still sharing about the turmoil going on in our lives (relationally) but now 1 year and about 3 months on, those topics are so far from mind and no longer consume our lives.  Praise God!

I like a phrase she used.  ‘[It] is not in my present nor in my future.’  Isn’t it grand when the door has been shut on certain areas of our lives and we no longer have to relive them?  I silently said a prayer of thanksgiving to God.  Thanking Him that He didn’t answer a certain prayer in the positive.  Thankfully, He does know what is best.  Perish the thought if I were still… *shudder*.

At COLOUR, Beth Moore shared her testimony.  She didn’t give specifics but it was enough to know that she knew what she was talking about.  One thing she challenged us to do was to bring whatever past mistakes, errors of judgements, hurts to God and leave them with Him.  We never have to revisit them again once we’ve given it to Him.  It’s gone.  Nada.  Finito. Fini.  If God remembers our sins no more, why should we?  In Christ, you have a new beginning!  Praise God, the God of second chances!  And praise God for blogging friends who you can share life with :D.

♥ Ames

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That Story – what started this blog.

There is one last story I would like to share before beginning the 2011 wrap up.  It’s the story that I was trying to run away from when I launched this blog at the start of this year however, this blog has inadvertently documented the journey I’ve had to take to really find freedom from the past.  I hope that in telling this story, it will symbolically be buried and there will be no need for it to be mentioned again (except in the context of lessons learnt and for the purposes of encouraging others working through past hurts and pain).  

So here it goes…

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the new is here!

I spoke with my old youth pastor on the phone today.  He called to see how I’ve been since the move.  It wasn’t a long conversation but as I gave thought to the things that have happened in the last 6 months, all I could say was how gracious God has been.  What I thought would be quite painful… wasn’t.  The transition into a new church and ministry was almost effortless (must be a God-thing ha) and I can see that God really has opened new doors and given me a new cause to live and breathe for.  This is how The Church grows and expands.  I’m sure I’ve written that before lol, this blog probably gets a bit repetitive at times as I don’t keep track of my posts as well as Leeleegirl :P.

I slept well last night.  Thanks for the prayers.  I also listened to the last part of ‘Getting Past Your Past’ – the part that I needed most to hear… Forgiving Yourself.

As a PK, I’ve always felt called to live by a higher standard, like the whole world (at least the church world) had their eyes on my every move (though, as Christians that’s what we should be doing anyway right?).  I was meant to set an example, be a role model for others, be the encourager, the one people could draw strength from etc. 

So when I was left to mend my brokenheart, I felt such a deep sense of total failure.  I felt like I’d disappointed my parents, God and most importantly (for my aching heart), betrayed my future spouse (whoever he may be).  I knew that God forgave me and my parents were so kind to me, even as I confessed all that I’d done behind their back but I had buried away the guilt, thinking that I’d already dealt with it.  The head knowledge of God’s truth and love was failing to translate into something real and personal. 

Hence, every interaction I had with the person that hurt me would indirectly and subconsciously remind me of the guilt I still carry around which would result in anger, frustration and shame.  Long story short, like David in Psalm 38:4, my guilt was overwhelming me like a burden too heavy to bear. 

Thank God for his good timing and the Holy Spirit that guides.  The words of Craig Groeschel in that podcast pierced something deep inside: “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.”  It’s ok not to be perfect, we all have a past but God gives us the power to help overcome our past.

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a journey of forgiveness

You’re like a bad habit that’s so hard to shake

Who knew this decision would be so tough to make

It’s time to stop playing back the past mistakes

It’s time to move on and forget the heartbreak.

– Ames, 18/10/11

Oh, boy.

Seriously.

It shouldn’t be this hard.

You’d think that I would be over it all by now and in my head I feel like I am.  Well, I’m definitely ready for it to be over already.  I was ready from the moment I said I was going to forgive him- not out of feeling like I wanted to or he deserved it but because I felt like it was my Christian duty to do so.  However, it hasn’t been easy.  I’ve realised that for some, yeah, forgiveness can happen just like ‘that’ *click fingers* but I’ve realised, I’m not one of those people.  I always thought I was but I guess I had lived quite a sheltered life until I got tested.  My parents were/are great and did their best to protect me from all sorts of pains but there came a time where my false sense of security got the better of me.

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Process = Transformation = Freedom

Last night I had a long chat with someone who was struggling to let go of their past so they could step with confidence into a new relationship that is full of Godly possibilities and potential.

This is not an easy thing to do because when we get saved, we don’t automatically develop a case of amnesia. Our past did happen, we remember what we have done, what was done to us, and we form defense mechanisms to protect ourselves from being hurt again.

In order to let go of the past and move on we must undergo a process of transformation by daily renewing our mind with the word of God.

There is no easy way.

There are no shortcuts.

Denial does not work.

Hiding does not work.

Running does not work.

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