…all because of my hope in Christ. Last night it was my turn to teach Bible study (becoming part of the teaching rotation for our Women’s Bible study in the first place probably could be its own blog post. It really blows me away how God equips the called!). We went over Philippians 3:12-21. I just love the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians. At the end of my lesson, I read some words that I knew the Lord wanted me to share. What I didn’t plan on was breaking down as much as I did when I read them aloud. I had read the words a couple of times while I was preparing the lesson and I would choke up a little. That’s all I was expecting to happen last night. As usual, God had different plans. And as usual, His plans are always best. I wasn’t the only one feeling pain and God caused something very special to happen through our pastor. God caused some wonderful healing to take place and I didn’t realize how much healing I still needed! I am so grateful!
So about those words I wanted to share…I believe there’s someone out there who needs to hear them too. These are words I found by Max Lucado and I pray you will be blessed as much as I was by them:
“When I think about someone wiping away my tears, I think about Dad. His hands were callused and tough, his fingers short and stubby. And when my father wiped away a tear, he seemed to wipe it away forever. There was something in his touch that took away more than the drop of hurt from my cheek. It also took away my fear. John says that someday God will wipe away your tears. The same hands that stretched the heavens will touch your cheeks. The same hands that formed the mountains will caress your face. The same hands that curled in agony as the Roman spike cut through will someday cup your face and brush away your tears. Forever. When you think of a world where there will be no reason to cry, ever, doesn’t it make you want to go home?”
As I was reading the beginning of Max’s message, I lost control of my emotions. I was heartbroken that I couldn’t remember a time where my dad wiped away any tears. I don’t know whether he did or not. I can’t remember a whole lot about my childhood for some reason. I do remember some good times, so it wasn’t all bad, I just can’t remember things like what Max wrote about. I mostly was remembering the heartbreak caused by my dad. When I got to the part about what God will do some day, I cried even more. That is just so incredible to think about and I find myself longing for that for wonderful day.
I’m sure I’ve shared some of this before, but I am really sorry that I missed out on so much not having a relationship with my dad after he left. For too many years I didn’t care if I ever saw him again. I didn’t want to see him. Now he’s no longer here. He passed away in 2010. I know we all need to learn from our own mistakes, but I still wish people could learn from mine. I can at least pray and hope my sharing helps someone. I just want people learn to let the bitterness go before it’s too late. You must forgive if you are to move on in life. I see more and more people holding on to grudges like they’re punishing the other person who hurt them. I wish they could see that they are only hurting themselves. I pray for them. We can’t forgive on our own, it’s only possible with God. God is helping me to forgive and I’m grateful for the short time I had with Dad. But it turned out that up until last night, I was still in pain over the feeling of abandonment and the lost time. I really do believe the Lord healed me last night through our special prayer time and I am so grateful. It was incredible what I felt in my heart as I was prayed over.
Part of our lesson last night was about letting go of the past. I want to move on to a life of faith and obedience and the only way to do that is to let go of old memories. As Paul wrote in his letter (Phil 3:13),“…But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead…” That is exactly what God is helping me to do. I want to follow Paul’s example and be all God wants me to be. In order to do that I can’t waste anymore time on yesterday…it’s gone. I’m finally learning to let it all go!
I’m so glad the Lord led me to teach last night’s lesson from that small portion of Paul’s letter. He needed for me to open my eyes and heart so He could come in and fully heal me. No wonder why I felt so strongly in my heart that I was so meant to do it. God was truly amazing through this teaching. The entire evening last night was absolutely incredible and I will never forget it.
I love the Lord with all my heart and I can’t wait until the day comes when there will be no more tears or pain. But in the meantime, I am grateful that I am His and I will serve Him here on earth, no matter what the cost, until I finally make it home. I, like Paul, am forgetting the past and straining toward what is ahead, I will keep pressing on toward the goal…
My incredible journey with the Lord just became even more incredible as of last night. God is SO good and His love truly endures forever. May God bless you all. ♥
2 thoughts on “Learning to let go of the past and looking forward to a fuller and more meaningful life…”
Just saw this post. I, too, was not close to my father. And I don’t remember a time when tears were allowed (after we were about 10), and certainly my father would never have wiped them away. You words touch close to home.
Thank you, Rich. I’m sorry you weren’t close to your father. As an adult I walked around so empty for so many years. Especially when I saw other dads loving their kids. I was close to my dad as a young child, up until he made his choice to walk away. It’s strange that I don’t remember a whole lot about those earlier years, I mostly remember the pain that started when I was 16. Anyway, I’ve finally learned to let go. So thankful for the healing the Lord has given me!