We are closing on our house on Friday morning. With this really exciting change pending, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. It’s a big step, buying a house. It’s kind of scary too, but I think we’re ready for it. We’re ready to be homeowners.
Personally, I’m really excited for my own outdoor space. I’m looking forward to a garden and some flowers. I’m looking forward to being able to take care of my own space, my own place. I’m looking forward to walking around barefoot outside without fear of what I might step on. I won’t have tons of apartment windows facing my yard, letting people watch what I’m doing.
This moving up and on also has me thinking a lot about life. There are things in life that I want to leave behind, like the apartment, and others into which I want to grow, like my house.
I want to leave behind the things that hold me back and don’t allow me to grow. I want to leave behind the things that cause me think only about myself and not others. I want to leave behind the memories that hinder me from moving on. And frankly, I want to leave behind some of the people who don’t encourage me to move in the direction I want to go.
At first, I wanted to say that moving will give us a chance to have a fresh start, but that’s not true. The more I think about it, the less I actually believe in fresh starts. To me, a fresh start would mean no past. Nothing haunting or holding onto me, holding me back. Nothing painful or happy. Just nothing. I can’t have that, I will always have a past. We all do. The best we can do is look back briefly, see what we’ve done, learn from it, and walk forward.
In our lives, we don’t get the luxury of starting over. We take with us each day the knowledge and experience from every day before. We have to make mistakes, OWN our mistakes, and then most importantly, FORGIVE OURSELVES for making them and walk forward, moving on. Learning from, but not dwelling on, the past. Too many people, myself included, live with the past looming ahead, shadowing our path and hiding opportunities. It colors what we see and stops us from stepping out in faith into what could be a marvelous new path.
It’s taken me a while, but I’m really starting to see and really believe, in my heart and in my head, in the healing and freedom that life in Christ offers. I grew up knowing about it, but I don’t know that I ever REALLY embraced it like I am now. It allows me to see myself less and less stained by the guilt and shame of my past. I can see myself as a person, independent of those mistakes, not defined by them. I see myself defined more by the choices I currently make and the thoughts I currently think. Every day, I continue to define myself.
It’s time for me to move along, to walk by and not take the past with me anymore. To leave it in the past. To leave the hurt, the pain, the regret, the guilt, the shame, the ‘what if’s’ and everything else that keeps me looking over my shoulder. It’s time to fix my eyes on the prize set before me and run MY race – the race set just for me. I was born to run and born to be free. It’s time to embrace that.