Looking to the Past and Going Forward

It seems that every year around this time many of us are writing down our New Year resolutions. You know the things we did in years past that we no longer want to do in the up coming year or things we want to do better in the up coming year. I have done the same thing in years past, but three years ago I was challenged to do something different.

A few years ago my husband had stepped down from a position at a church and to say the least I was hurt and broken. Looking back now I had been in a difficult season in my life. I was depressed and felt as if the entire world was against me. I literally wore my hurt like a badge. I also felt as if I had no friends or at least no real friends. I felt abandoned. I thought I was alone but I was not God never left me. It was during this time that I realized in order to regain ground I was going to have to run to God with all my might. We started attending a church and little by little God was restoring me not back to where I was but rather to where He wanted me.

That December just a week before the new year the pastor preached a sermon that spoke directly to the part of me that was still hurting and in need of healing. I do not remember the entire sermon but what I do remember was this: “Don’t take the junk you are caring this year into the next.” For the next few days I just could not get that phrase out of my head. So I began to pray and just ask God what I needed to do.

Over the last few days of the year God began to reveal what I needed to do and that was to ask for forgiveness because I have been holding unforgiveness in my heart against some people. I kept hearing the question “Do you want to keep going like you are right now?” I was going to continue into this new year with unforgiveness and still broken. I then sat down at the computer and made  a list of those I needed to forgive and I wrote them a letter. I did not bring up what they did or how I was hurt I simply took responsibility for not forgiving. New’s Year’s Eve I put those letters in envelopes and put them in the mail box praying over them and then I released them and told the enemy that he no longer had a hold over me it was done. When I put them into the mail and walked away I felt lighter and better than I had in months. Now please understand in writing those letters it did not excuse what they did or did not do that is not what it was about, it had to do with me not them. God will deal with them but at that moment He, my Father was dealing with me and what I needed to do.

I learned a great deal from this difficult season in my life but what I remember each year around this time is the statement. I have no desire to take any of the junk from this year into next year. So you may ask how is that done.

1. Pray ask God if there is anything in your life that you need to let go of. Things like anger, bitterness, unforgiveness…….

2. Then ask God how He wants you to deal with it. For me it was writing a letter. For you it may be to go to that person.

3. Do what God says to do.

4. Remember you may or may not be received but you have to be obedient to God. I never heard back from the letters however one of those letters restored a friendship with a couple a year later.

I still make a new years resolution list(mainly because I just love a good list), but I also include doing a spiritual check to make sure that I am not taking any extra baggage into the New Year that is not welcome.


10 thoughts on “Looking to the Past and Going Forward

  1. Love this! I personally do not make NY resolutions because I don’t believe in making promises I may or may not keep. I DO love the idea of taking a spiritual evaluation, praying over the new year, seeing where God wants to take you and getting rid of the “junk” that is keeping from from a deeper walk with Him! Thanks for sharing. I’ll am reposting on my FB page! Happy New Years and blessings in 2012!!

    • Thank you Torrie for stopping by. I agree when I was going through all that it amazed me how much better I felt once I just let go of all that stuff that was holding me back.

      I will be following you on FB and your blog. Nice to meet you and look forward to knowing you better. Have a great New Year.

  2. Tracy….your post spoke to my heart because I hate being enslaved to anyone but Jesus. Forgiveness is such a sweet Godly response for the hurts that come to us and inslaved us till we hurt all around us. You are so right now to worry about the response of those you are asking forgiveness from. I am going to post this on my fb also……how much would get done for the glory of God if we all put into practice your wise words. Blessing my courageous wise hearted sister.

    • Betty thank you so very much for your kind words. I am honored that this post spoke to your heart. When look back on the situation, I smile yes it was painful but there was a great deal of growth as well.

      Thank you for for re-posting.

  3. Tracy, I love your post. GREAT thoughts for going into the new year.. It takes so much courage to ask God those things but it is so important to go into the year renewed. Thanks for writing. Blessings!

    • Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. You are so right it is hard to ask God about the junk in our lives but if we don’t we move through life with burdens and a heavy heart.

  4. I LOVE this! I found your blog because Torrie with BBM posted it on her Facebook page and I love Torrie’s blog. I make resolutions each year and use that as my checklist throughout the year (I like checklists too :)). I am so excited when I get to the end of the year and have successfully completed my resolutions. But that’s also probably because my resolutions are always achievable and adjustable. If midway through the year my heart changes toward one of the goals, I chat with my husband (my accountability partner) about it and if we both think it’s a good idea, I change it. It works out well :). But what I haven’t done is a spiritual inventory as you’ve mentioned here. I like it. Thanks, Tracy, for the idea!

    • Thanks for the comment Fawn. I like you, when making resolutions make achievable ones. My spiritual inventory I try to to do twice a year. I even make a list (because I like them) of the devotions or studies that I want to read.

      Have a great new year and look forward to hear how your list is going.


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