Saturday, March 10, 2018

Do you have baggage?

How often have you heard someone say to you or someone you know who had an abusive past: "Well, that was years ago and you need to learn to deal with it and get over it." WOW! Don't you just want to smack somebody like that? Those are people who have had wonderful, usually carefree lives, free of abuse - and that's why they're so ignorant and have no clue!

Nobody can "just get over" abuse! Childhood abuse, especially, follows you around like a puppy, and it grows and hangs on and slaps you in the face when you least expect it and causes you to become deeply depressed at the strangest times, leaving you baffled as to why you became depressed in the first place....

The thing is, anything can set us off into that downward spiral; a sight, a sound, a song, a smell, a scene from a movie....anything that reminds us of the part of our past when we were being abused. Those experiences are what Satan uses most, and he will use anything to keep you in bondage to your abuser for the rest of your life! The only remedy is to learn to immediately give it to God before depression, anxiety, anger, etc. have a chance to fester and ruin your day/week/month! Our past hurts are like baby wolves in a barnyard:

"Little wolves" - A parable: A mother wolf once had her babies in a farmer's barnyard and then promptly abandoned them. Naturally, the farmer took pity on them and raised each one, himself. They were playful and adorable and he loved them. Once they started growing, they began to banter and play by grabbing a hold of his pant legs to keep him from walking away. This was a lot of fun, but he noticed that as they got bigger, they were harder to drag along. By the time they became adults, he couldn't move at all anymore when they descended upon his pant leg..

This is kind of like the "baggage" of our lives. It's usually not too bad at first, but as time goes along, it starts to become heavier and heavier, and pretty soon, it bogs us down altogether. For instance, when a spouse or a friend has hurt us, it will immediately drive a wedge into our relationship forever, because “I’ve been hurt before, and I’m NOT going to let this jerk hurt me, and so I’m leaving this relationship NOW!” In other words, “leaving” becomes a way of life.  It’s easier to leave than to learn how to form healthy bonds where occasional arguments are allowed, and dealt with in healthy ways that allow healing and mending to occur.

Another example is that, if we had an abusive childhood, we tend to become abusive parents – UNLESS we recognize that we are perpetuating the same behaviors. Or, if our marriage ends due to physical, mental or emotional abuse and/or irreconcilable differences, we can't expect to find a new and healthy relationship until baggage from the old relationship has been resolved. 

The ONLY way to become "baggage free" is to recognize the problem and be willing to confront it - and then forgive the other person (even if they do not wish to cooperate in this matter); and then turn the whole thing over to YHWH. He knows your pain, but He wants to help you grow and mature by allowing you to learn from, and overcome your problems. In other words, He often "refines us in the fire" as beautifully illustrated in this story: We CANNOT become a reflection of Him until we have been molded into His Image!

So, how do you get rid of those pesky hangers-on? Well, this is where your faith in God comes in, because He can and will help you to overcome your past. Satan will bring it up every chance he gets; but learning to recognize and immediately release to YHWH the oncoming depression/anger/hurt whenever you feel it coming on, will allow you to kick Satan in the face and continue with your life in a more normal fashion.

The key is awareness and forgiveness!

First, learn to forgive yourself: Simply admit that, for instance, as a small child, you weren't to blame; you didn't do anything to cause the abuser to abuse you! Abusers who were older children or adults KNEW "right from wrong" and they were the ones who committed the sin; not you!

Then, as hard as it might be, you need to forgive your abuser. Recognize that God allows us all choices (the choice to do things His way, or Satan's). Whether they realize it or not, most choose to follow Satan, and often, their choices impact others. Satan then uses their actions to put and keep us in bondage forever!

You cannot truly get rid of what Satan is doing until you allow YHWH to help you. So, the first thing you must do once you have accepted YHWH as your God, is to recognize that you, too, were a sinner (we've ALL sinned and come short of the glory of God - Romans 3:23), and therefore, you cannot pretend you are "better" than anyone else, regardless. In God's eyes sin is sin; lying is no less of a sin than murder....

So, in order to let go of your past, you must FORGIVE both yourself AND your tormentor, or else you will be kept forever in bondage. Forgiving releases you from Satan's clutches!

Once you are aware and brutally honest with yourself, you can start DOING something about your "rut" - whatever it might be. For instance, every time you find yourself angry at people who have done you wrong, immediately ask God to take that anger away RIGHT NOW. It really works! If you "go" with your oncoming depression, melancholy, anger or whatever, you will cater to Satan and refuse YHWH the opportunity to help you let go of those feelings and continue with the healing process.

God can only heal you if you are ready and willing to start giving your thoughts to Him IMMEDIATELY, before you begin to succumb to whatever is holding you prisoner! This includes any bad habits/sins that you can't seem to overcome....

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