It’s In The Past
by Michael DiMarco
Do those two words sound good or horrible to you? No matter what your age, your past might be something you miss, or it might haunt you. It might be a distant memory or a recurring nightmare. But whatever happened yesterday, the day before, or the year before, the past is part of your story. It’s the path your life has taken to get you to where you are today and to make you who you are now. But no matter who you are, you probably have a few things in your past that you wish weren’t there. Or you might have a ton. Whatever the case, the most important thing anyone needs to know about their past mistakes, heartaches, pains, abuse, suffering, and misery is how to get over it.
Over It is our attempt to help teens do that. Think about this in your life. We know that the things that have happened to you have impacted you. We know that they have made you who you are and that sometimes you don’t like that fact and you want a change. We also know that the past can remain the present if you don’t let go of it and get over it today (or maybe next week). And we know that guilt, resentment, bitterness, self-hatred, and fear can become a part of your normal, everyday life if you have a past that you haven’t gotten over.
The average person has a lot of things that need getting over—things like guilt and pain from heartache, abuse, failure, weakness, bad memories, and loss. A sense that you can’t forgive whoever or whatever it was that hurt you, even if it was yourself, can haunt you every day of your life that you fail to get over the past and to get on with today. So for teens and adults alike, is there anything in your life you can’t stop thinking about? Anything anyone has said or done, any mistake you have made, any unkind word, any abuse, any backstabbing or frontstabbing? Is there anything causing you to feel embarrassment, shame, bitterness, anger, fear, worry, depression, or guilt? Then you have something you need to get over.
You can get over a lot of the things in your life with just a little chunk of knowledge. A lot of the things that haunt you and mess with your life are based on lies—not lies that you purposefully tell yourself but lies that you think are the truth. So in an effort to help you get over it, we suggest that shining some light on your lies will make a humungous difference. After all, what good is basing your life on a lie? How can you expect to get anywhere when you think that driving in the right-hand lane is wrong and you should be driving in the left-hand lane? (Caution: Residents of the UK, the Bahamas, and other nations with left-lane driving, reverse this analogy!) If what you believe to be true is really wrong, then it’s no wonder your life is full of stress and angst. Lies never make for a productive or growing life. They keep you stuck where you are and don’t help you move toward anything of value. So the first step in getting over it is getting head and heart knowledge.
The biggest piece of head knowledge that will help teens and adults that are mentoring them is the knowledge that the Bible is totally, one hundred percent true. If we can convince you of that statement, then we can help you help others (and yourself) to get over literally anything. And the biggest heart knowledge you can gain from the Bible is that nothing can separate you from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus—not angels or demons, not the present or the future, not any power, not death or life or anything else in all creation (look at Rom. 8:38). Nothing can separate you from the most amazing love in the entire universe. And that is because no matter how bad things get, they always know there is something far greater going on behind the scenes. The true believer is sure that God is who he says he is and because of that he can be trusted with anything—even the dark, ugly, scary things.
That all adds up to one important fact: with the help of the God who created the universe there is nothing on this earth that you cannot get over.