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A traumatic event is not easily forgotten. As you begin this new year, what is one thing you’d like to forget?
If you’re in a car accident, your car doesn’t fix itself. If your tooth develops a cavity, the decay needs to be removed. When something breaks, you must decide what to do with it. Can it be restored? Is there hope, or are you better off cutting your losses?
If nothing will ever change, then hope will be impossible. Then all that remains is suffering.
God introduces the needed change.
I am creating something new. There it is! Do you see it?
I have put roads in deserts, streams in thirsty lands.Isaiah 43:19 CEV
Because God is making us anew, hope is inevitable. You can change. You don’t have to remain stuck and hopeless. God is rehabilitating you. God wants you to feel hopeful.
Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The past is forgotten, and everything is new.2 Corinthians 5:17 CEV
Forget what happened long ago! Don’t think about the past.Isaiah 43:18 CEV
The more you can leave behind your past, the better you will be. “Leave behind” is a loaded phrase. It takes significant emotional work to leave behind difficult experiences (memories).
Therefore, to move forward, you first need to move backward. If your carpet is dirty and worn, you need to rip it out before you can install new carpet.
Grieving is the work of leaving behind. Once that raggedy carpet is gone, you can forget about it. But you don’t want to completely forget about it, otherwise, you’ll be more likely to repeat an accident (like spilling grape juice).
Grieving allows you to remember the lesson, but forget about the discomfort and shame. Forget about it. Don’t worry about it. You are free. Once you are free, you are open to all that God has for you.
What is one new thing you want God to do in your life this year?
Matt Pavlik is a licensed professional clinical counselor who wants to see each individual restored to their true identity. He has more than 20 years of experience counseling individuals and couples at his Christian counseling practice, New Reflections Counseling. Matt and Georgette have been married since 1999 and live with their four children in Centerville, Ohio.