Some months ago I met a woman who impacted me because of her energy, her joy, and her confidence. She told a group of women her story, full of problems, drugs, alcoholism, toxic relationships, and rejection. Fortunately her story had a happy ending. I learned many things from her, but something she said kept jumped out at me: “When we talk about the past, we are talking about the minute just before what is happening right now”. I never saw it with that perspective. I had never seen my past so immediate, so close to my present. To me it was always something that happened years before.
With this new view about the past I understood what does it mean to feel free of guilt day to day. I understood that there’s no need to leave an open wound for years, to later do a “proper” forgiveness process of “the past”. I felt that God had placed this woman in my path to teach me to enjoy life without the need to accumulate things that upset me, because I can deal with them right now. I felt God was inviting me to learn to detoxify my life now, not at the end of the week, at the end of the month, or at the end of the year. Right now I can confidently approach God and talk to Him about things as they happen, even if they may seem small or insignificant. They are important to me and also to God.
To live without guilt is a challenge. Our world seems to be going faster every minute. We are expecting more from ourselves and so is everyone else around us. Some days I feel like I am being bombarded with complaints I keep repeating to myself: Why did I do this, why did I say that, why did I think something and even worse, why did I publish that on social media (as if I didn’t have enough to worry in real life, now I am worrying about my virtual one). Of course it is good to analyze things, but not to an obsessive level and also being careful not to maximize our mistakes. What happened happened. I will learn from it and improve, but I will also go on and enjoy my life. I am tired of worrying about the past. When there’s genuine regret and sorrow, faith and a lesson learned, God renews me. I don't have to pile up my guilt and wait for years to receive His forgiveness. As He promises, His grace is new every morning and now that’s what I hold on to everyday. “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
Last year I made a poor financial move and to be honest, it took me a long time to overcome how silly I felt. Today, having heard the courageous woman I mentioned earlier and seeing God as a loving father who is listening to me and loves me, I can truly say that I deserve big things, even blessings related to that poor decision I made because God uses all things for good. I forgave myself, I learned and now I see myself the way God sees me: beautiful, able, courageous, intelligent and free of guilt. I can let go of my past right now because God has planned good things for me. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
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