I desperately wish that phrase “fixing your past” could be a reality. Sadly, it is not. Bad financial decisions, marrying the wrong person, effects of traumatic experiences…none of these can be erased nor fixed. The consequences of these things will go on for years. Your bad financial decisions will take years to pay off. You’ll still have to face your ex if you have children with him or her. The traumatic experiences will replay for months maybe years. Some will try to convince you that there is a quick fix for all of this, but quick fixes lead to more disaster.
You may say, “Matthew, what can I do about my past?” First, you can receive forgiveness from God. Second, you can attempt to get right with other people. You will have to work hard to bounce back financially (still trying to do that). For traumatic experiences, I would highly recommend a counselor. I am not ashamed to admit I went to a counselor when things hit the fan with my first marriage, and I have continued to go to keep things in check. Having a trained, objective party has been wonderful because the counselor asks me the tough questions and helps me stay accountable for attitudes that should not exist in my life.
Truthfully, I would not be who I am today without my past. From walking through sicknesses with both parents to ministry woes to a toxic marriage to starting over almost from scratch without finances or the family unit as I knew it, I would not minister the way I do today.
I learned I could not fix my past, but that is okay. I have learned and applied lessons that I have passed on to others. I have wept with those who have been betrayed by churches or experienced the sting and often scorn of divorce by the conservative community.
Today, I have a wonderful wife who has been a helpmeet in every way. My family has certainly expanded. I talked my mom into moving down here so she could be near her only son and grandkids. I minister to hospice patients and families during the darkest hour of their lives. In addition, God places individuals in my path and uses me to pour what He gives me into their lives. In some ways, my ministry is better and more impactful than it was being an on-stage personality in medium-sized churches.
God won’t fix your past. He will, in time, heal you and use your circumstances to help others. I am constantly inspired by people I know who chose to help others rather than play the victim card. My word to you would be to make things right and spend your life trying to help people who have been through similar situations. You may been the one God will use to help someone rise from the ashes.