You Can’t Go Back, But You Can Move Forward

A few years ago, I was struggling to move past my past. I was haunted by the mistakes I’d made. I was reminded of the people I hurt and wounded with my poor choices. I knew God forgave me; I knew my wife forgave me;  but couldn’t find the grace to forgive myself.

I remember sitting in Starbucks with a friend and he asked me a question that changed everything. He said, “How are you ever going to make this up to Trisha?”

That’s when it hit me…I can’t. I can never make it up.

I surrendered my need to fix my past. I can’t undo the past but I can allow God to redeem my future.

So many well intending Christians try to repair their past rather than repenting of it. The word repent means to move in the opposite direction of sin.

We can’t move in the opposite direction of sin if we’re constantly trying to make up for it. We miss out on repentance for our sins because we think we can make penance for them.

You can’t redeem yourself. 

You can’t unhurt someone.

You can’t unbetray someone.

You can’t unlie to someone.

You can’t undo the past, but you can stop beating yourself up for it.

Maybe you think your past is more powerful than God’s forgiveness.

Maybe you believe that your mistakes will define your future.

Maybe you are living as though your failure will prevent you from being used by God.

Maybe you have bought the lie that the person you truly are is the person you used to be.

God isn’t finished with you.

Shame can’t defeat you unless you allow it.
Guilt can’t come against you unless you invite it.
Your past can’t determine your destiny unless you live in it.
Failure can’t define you if you’ll allow it to prepare you.

God sees you right now not for who you used to be; but for who He is creating you to be.

You can’t be all God’s designed you to be in the future if you keep beating yourself up for the past.

6 Responses to You Can’t Go Back, But You Can Move Forward

  1. Ingrid

    What does your wife say about this? Was it easy for her to forgive and not bring it up? Does she have a blog?

    • Justin and Trisha

      She wrote an entire chapter on forgiveness in our book. You can also search forgiveness and RefineUs and find several posts she wrote. This is her blog too.

  2. pamela

    You speak the truth. I sent this to my husband who is finally repenting for his past that has hurt me to the core. I know God forgives him and I am trying but I cannot move past it.

    • Bekah

      Pamela, it’s not that you cannot move past it, it’s just REALLY FLIPPING HARD! It’s even harder when we tell ourselves that we can’t do something. I would encourage you to ask God to reveal to you what you need to help move on in this process. As Justin and Trisha say in their first chapter, ask God to change you. If it’s anything like it was for me, this allows you to back off of your hubby, let God do His work in you, as well as in your husband, and then you two can work together for what He has in store for you.