by Carl Mason-Liebenberg –
Life deals us all some tough blows. What are some of yours? Childhood abuse? Financial ruin? A failed marriage? Maybe missed opportunities? Are there regrets that you cling to? People or circumstances that you blame?
Regrets and blame are like ghosts and demons of our past. They haunt us, leaving us bound behind bars and in shackles of un-forgiveness where fear, shame and all their siblings determine the course our lives. They force us to cling to things that are no longer, disallowing us to move forward in the hope of what lies ahead.
I’ve experienced so many traumas in my life and for seasons, I have become the captive of regret and blame; for allowing the difficulties into my life; for social and relationally perceived failures; for somehow deserving the offences I have endured or caused. I’ve been surrounded with bars, through which I could see revealing a world that is waiting for me, held me in bondage to what has been and is no longer. Even when the prison doors were opened anger, resentment, and bitterness have held me in bondage. Surely, you can identify.
Today marks a new mile marker in my life. 44 years ago my journey began. I have enjoyed many breathless highs and many dark lows along the way. Through it all I found a renewed hope for tomorrow.
There is a new a fire and passion to move on, to be content with the past, to carry no regrets, to understand that my strengths are honed in my weaknesses, to discover a peace with myself. In fact, I think that was the theme of my 43rd year. I guess, today for some unknown reason, I just see it more clearly.
There is nothing left to fear, nothing more to lose but there is EVERYTHING to gain as this journey has shown me what is truly real. The truth finally lies clearly before me and I am now free to walk into the light of freedom to be all that God ever intended for me to be; to live and love authentically; to know my heart, embrace its desires and passions; to seize every possibility that rises from the abundance of gifts and blessings I have received; to bask in the storehouse of treasures set aside just for me.
I didn’t come to this place easily. This point in my life has arrived on the heels of intense and immense pain. It has been a pain that required depths of forgiveness I didn’t know were possible. I’ve had to forgive my offenders and myself, the offended who has in turn, caused offense. It has required me to deal with my ghosts and face my demons in a genuine, authentic, unreserved, unhindered, unrestricted heart for that ever challenging element that eludes us so easily and whose counterpart seizes us in its wicked grip; unforgiveness.
We grow comfortable, complacent. It grows familiar and oddly safe. But it steals our freedom, our future and our possibilities. Release from the prison cell and that chains the bind only comes one way; embracing forgiveness regardless of the suffered offense; regardless of the perpetrator.
Like an onion, freedom is formed one layer at a time through a journey of forgiveness.
The years have gone by way to fast if you ask me. It seems impossible that all these years have come and gone already. I remember as if yesterday being a little boy, a teenager, a young man filled with hopes and dreams.
Part of me at times wishes I could gain a few of those years back yet I accept the impossibilities of such restoration. Instead I hold close the memories that remain; those good, and those less enjoyable. I don’t allow them to roam the hallways of my mind as ghosts and demons any longer but as reminders of where I have been, how far I’ve come and where I now get to go.
I now place my hope in the possibilities; the new hope for tomorrow. I have and I am letting go in forgiveness of what has gone before and with expectant and excited hope I grab hold of the new opportunities and the possibilities that I have for tomorrow.
You can too! You can discover your most authentic self, the life you have dreamed of, the hope you have held for so long. It begins with forgiveness. Let go, give it up with no regrets, no blame. Banish fear, anger, bitterness with the authority of authentic forgiveness; yourself included. Then lay hold of the hope. Let the dreams sweep you away. Soar on wings of eagles as you release yourself into the new possibilities of the days and years before you.
Don’t live another minute of your life burden with blame and shame, trapped in the past. It’s been too long already. Today is your day. It’s time to MOVE ON into your bright future!