Your past does not define your future.
It took me a while to figure out that just because I’m imperfect (read: human) doesn’t mean that I’m bound to be a giant screw-up for the rest of my life. I know, that sounds harsh, but it is true.
We’ve all got scars from the past, some healed, some still bleeding. No matter the state of your wounds, they don’t have to define your future. Allowing yourself to believe that your past failures and shortcomings will define the rest of your life is to allow Satan to win. Satan, as always, is wrong. He is the Father of Lies, and when it comes to our pasts, he uses them all the time to lie to us, and convince us of our horrible future.
“I’m not a virgin anymore, so no one will love me and I’ll never find happiness.”
“I’m pregnant outside of marriage and now I’m doomed to live a life of shame, constantly being judged by those around me.”
“I fooled around with that guy whose name I never learned and I’m forever tarnished.”
“Alcoholism runs in my family so I’m destined to be an alcoholic and ruin my life.”
“I’ve miscarried before, I’ll miscarry again.”
“That job let me go and never told me why, I’m sure it is because I’m not qualified and I never will be.”
“I failed that class which means I’ll never find a good job and be forced to live on the streets.”
“Every guy I’ve dated has left me for one reason or another, why should I believe anyone will ever stay?”
We are so quick to jump from poor experiences in our past (or even in our present) to horrible futures that we don’t even realize we are giving up on hope. We feel condemned by our past, suffocated by our sins, and despairing for our future. When we say or believe that our past defines our future we kick God out of the equation as we cling to Satan’s lies. The reality is that Satan’s lies are just that: LIES.
For nearly every one of those statements I can tell you a story of how that person’s past didn’t define their future. Not only that, but God allowed them to overcome their past, be healed, and find happiness and joy.
The woman who lost her virginity found true, lasting love.
The woman who found herself pregnant outside of marriage found peace and joy in the face of her child.
The girl who fooled around with that guy was healed through confession as God restored her dignity.
The child of alcoholic parents chose a life of sobriety and found happiness and purpose.
The mother who miscarried conceived again and saw love in the face of her child.
The person who lost their job found a better one.
That student who failed that class took it again, passed, and found a job that gave them joy.
The girl who has had her heart broken finds love that stays.
Just don’t say your past defines your future. We learn from our past, we grow closer to God as He heals our scars, and we hope for a brighter future. Know that Satan will do everything he can to get you to believe that your sins and shortcomings cut you off from God and from the hope for better days. Remember that Satan is wrong and that God is always reaching out for you, waiting for you to turn to Him, be healed, and find the glory you were created for. As Tyrone Wells sings, “You’re beautiful just as you are/ You don’t have to hide your scars/ if you come to Me, I’ll help you learn to see/ You’re beautiful just as you are/ All I need/ Is you to come to Me/ Come to Me and see how desperately/ I wanna pull you close, close to Me/ until I know you feel, live, and breathe this love…”