“Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”
I’ve had the privilege of ministering to quite a few people throughout the years who struggle to resolve past issues. Listening to their stories was like watching a horror story unfold right before my eyes. It was heartbreaking. The offenders showed no mercy. It was easy to see why it was so difficult for these individuals to move forward in life.
Reflecting back on those conversations I couldn’t help but wonder, “How many of us are really living wounded lives? How many of us are just tolerating our days because we don’t know any better? How many of us are screaming to experience this “joy” Christ talked about in His word, but there seems to be a barrier of resistance not easily identifiable?” This led me to the ultimate question, “Are we REALLY free from past issues?” I wish I had an accurate percentage of people living in this space.
Here’s another thought that followed. If I disseminated that question to a group of random individuals, I wondered would everyone answer the question honestly. In my not so distant past, I’ve often struggled living in a transparent place. That type of question would have been impossible for me to answer honestly because I had become accustomed to nurturing my wounds. Living hidden in pain was my “new normal” until it left me exhausted. However, this exhaustion served a favorable role of the catalyst leading me towards change.
As a Christian Counselor I’m aware of the process it takes individuals to even CONSIDER going down a path towards freedom. Likewise, I’m aware of the damages done when we refuse to even consider it. Past unresolved issues holds our dreams, purpose, and relationships hostage.
The adverse effects of these past issues “feel" beyond repair but it is not. There is hope and restoration is possible. However, if we really want to embrace freedom we have to do what is required. Guess where it starts? 1. Acknowledgement - We need to admit we need help. 2. Exhaustion - We have to get fed up with merely existing. 3. Identification - We have to identify what is keeping us bound. If we refuse to start there then we can expect to keep normalizing mediocre days, and more importantly living in hidden pain. It is God’s plan for us to live abundantly and free in Him. We have to believe Christ has set us free from our past issues. This is easier said than done, but it can be done.
Here are 4 questions to help you gauge whether or not you’re REALLY free from past issues. Don't be afraid to answer honestly:
1. Does the mere thought of your past offender(s) presently stir up strife?
The only reason you should consider exploring your past if it’s affecting you presently. If thinking or talking about your past offender(s) stirs up certain emotions this can be a great indicator of an open wound. These emotions can range from rage, anger, sadness, confusion, embarrassment, etc. Unresolved pain can be overwhelming and can affect every area of you your life (mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically, and occupationally). If you’ve been overwhelmed with thoughts and emotions related to past offender(s) then maybe it’s time to seek professional help.
2. Are you having difficulties building healthy relationships?
My husband told me when he was younger he struggled with his interpersonal relationships. He couldn’t understand why this was recurring. Finally, his dad interjected with this simple, yet profound statement, “Well son, everybody can’t be wrong.” Have all or the majority of your relationships (romantic, friendships, coworkers, etc.) fallen apart? If this is the case, you may have to ask yourself, can everybody be wrong? Maybe you have overlooked taking ownership for your actions. This doesn’t mean the other party is not the blame. However, if you’re the common denominator in those failed relationships then it’s time to take personal inventory to find out why you may be struggling to build healthy relationships.
3. Are you having recurring struggles with extreme insecurities?
We all struggle with some type of insecurity. However, I’m talking about a recurring daily, “can’t live my life” because of these insecurities. Insecurities can come in the form of jealousy, some form of paranoia, self-deprecation, and in many other ways which can keep you in bondage. When insecurities have overwhelmed every area of your life, it’s a great indicator for you to consider reaching out for help. Seek out the root causes. Identifying the “why” can lead to resolve.
4. Are you living in constant fear?
Fear is like a dragon. We’ve seen a plethora of movies of these massive creatures. Dragons are monstrous, scaly creatures flying around wreaking havoc on whatever crosses it's path. The good thing, these fire breathing creatures do not exist in real life. We give life to these creatures through artistic expression. In the same manner, we also give life to our fears. They can also act as fire breathing creatures wreaking havoc on our dreams, purpose, and relationships.
Feeling fear is very real. Has your past issues created a deep seated fear in you not easily shaken? What are you afraid of? Is it fear of being in love or being hurt again? Fear of failure?These are common questions directly related to past unresolved issues. When fears arise, remember God has not given us this spirit (2 Timothy 1:7). Also process those fears and discover ways to control those thoughts. This will prevent you from giving this “fiery dragon” any more control over your life. If you're currently in a state of uncontrollable fear due to past issues then it’s a great indicator you need help processing those fears.
I'm grateful God strategically placed people in my life to help me process unresolved issues from my past. It was not easy but I'm thankful that my acknowledgement, exhaustion, and identification helped me move forward to experience freedom from the pain my offenders caused me. I've also discussed in detail in my book how I've also taken responsibility for my actions and I’m discovering how to build healthy relationships. God is also teaching me how to cope with my insecurities and take control of my fears. God has equipped me through my struggles and gave me purpose. I’m also convinced He will do the same for you!
If you're currently struggling with past issues, I hope these questions give you more insight to help you gauge where you currently are in life. Remember, you are INDEED free in Christ, now it's time to REALLY live it!
Get ready to embrace A NEW ME: Transparently, Abundantly in Christ!
Dr. Estrelita Bruce, “Dr. E”
Life Coach | Christian Counselor | International Speaker | Author | Blogger
Owner of A NEW ME: Transparently, Abundantly
"Inspirational Value, Products, & Services"
To book a virtual appointment with Dr. E click here.
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A SPECIAL MESSAGE FOR THE LADIES SEEKING A LIFE OF FREEDOM:
Hey Ladies! If you or someone you know are currently struggling to experience freedom from past unresolved traumatic issues or loss and you're in the Greater Houston Area then SAVE THE DATE! Dr. Estrelita Bruce and The A NEW ME Team will be hosting another A NEW ME Life Transformation Program Workshop Intensive, Saturday, August 11, 2018. Click here to learn more and hear testimonials from past attendees. Registration will open this week. Stay tuned!
Upcoming Event in the DFW Area:
Hey Ladies! Come and join me and Pastor Ilya Golden for another thought provoking discussion as we continue the A NEW ME Book Club Series discussing Dr. E's book. Click on picture below to learn more! Registration will close soon so you don't want to miss out!