“You cannot amputate your history from your destiny, because that is redemption.”
I think most of us have times when we wish we could leave the past behind, that we could move on from the circumstances that have hurt us, the decisions we regret, the perceptions that others have of us that we wish could be altered.
And of course, when we come to Jesus, our past is dealt with: “The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT) We are different people- free to move forward, not bound by the chains of our past experiences or choices.
However, our history is not to be forgotten entirely. The final principle of Kintsugi that we will be exploring this week is that it honours history. In repairing an item in such a visible way, it honours the fact that brokenness and repair is part of the object’s history. We are not meant to completely forget, or ignore, our past.
I like how this clip from The Lion King illustrates that:
There are events in our lives that we can’t forget or “get over” and I don’t think God expects us to. We can know his healing so that these areas no longer cause us such pain, but often these are events which have shaped us and they will continue to have an influence.
I think we have a choice about how they influence us. We can let pain from the past cause us to become bitter and angry. We can hold on to grudges and let our past experiences hold us back from enjoying all that God has for us in the present. We can allow ourselves to be held captive by fear
Alternatively, we can learn from the past. We can allow our pain to be the place where we encounter God’s healing, we can let it develop compassion in us to help others, we can appreciate all that God has brought us through and the good things we have today.
Often pain and growth are so intertwined that they are impossible to separate. I know that I don’t want to forget the past because to do so would be to forget God’s work in my life and the testimony that, even in times of pain, his love is stronger.
I don’t understand why God allows certain things to happen, but I would rather believe that the events of our lives, even the painful ones, can be worked into his plan for good, than believe that our history is to be hushed up and glossed over as if it is something God is unable to use.