Faith/Spirituality Forum: trying to escape the past
trying to escape the past QUESTION from joseph on October 14, 2002 have you ever felt so completly happy and fulfilled while at the same time dealt with such a great emotional pain that it almost physically hurts? I witnessed the greatest miracle i guess i will ever witness in the conversion of my now fiance. She was saved from a life that would have taken years of phycological help to even begin to help. And i had the greatest privelge of being used by God for her conversion. she was truly saved, truly born-again. i can't explain what joy, awe, ond inspiration this person has brought to me. she was truly God-sent. because of her i believe God can do ANYTHING. i'm not perfect, though, and even though i can say without a doubt that, with God's mercy, i have forgiven her for the things she had done in her old life that affect me. I'm sure you can guess what they are as we are about to be married and certian issues are becoming more and more real as we get closer to our marriage night. Along with my pain, she is waging a constant battle of poor self-esteem and guilt for her past. we both pray daily and we both love God and each other dearly. we find comfort in God's mercy in our lives and are filled with joy in hope of our future in God. Will these feeling last forever? it is a crime that my beautiful fiancee has to see my pain and be reminded of the past that she was freed from. Is my pain something that i have to accept (maybe forever)? i can and i will if i have too. but i don't think that is God's will - i just don't see how to deal with it finally. Also how would you counsel we deal with her past. a part of me wants to know everything - and a part of me knows i couldn't handel it. She needes to talk out some things though - but she is scared to hurt me even more. any advise would be appricaied as well as your prayers. God bless.
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on October 19, 2002 Dear Joseph:
I am so sorry to hear about your pain and concerns. Please know that God loves both you and your wife-to-be.
The past can be a very diffcult thing but in this, as with all things, we must let go and give it to God.
God does not remember our past once we have made confession, why should we remember it? We must forgive ourselves. To not forgive ourselves is essentially telling God that He is a liar because to not forgive ourselves is to suggest we are not forgiven. We need to allow God to cleanse our souls -- which He does in confession. Allow Him to do that.
Once the soul has been cleaned we can then serve God to His glory. This is what happened to Mary Magdalen. She was healed and set free and despite her background lived from then on in the glory of our Lord.
If needed, if you and your wife-to-be just cannot find yourselves letting the past go, then I would suggest a professional counselor to find a Healing of Memories.
One must be careful with this Healing of Memories approach since many counselors do this kind of therapy with contamination from new age ideas.
Below, I have provided you with four books that may be of help to you in a self-help fashion.
Healing Life's Hurts: Healing Memories Through Five Stages of Forgiveness by Dennis Linn
Healing of Memories: Prayer and Confession--Steps to Inner Healing by Matthew Linn
Forgiveness and Inner Healing by Father Robert DeGrandis, S.S.J
Healing of Self-Image by Father Robert DeGrandis, S.S.J
We will be praying for you both.
God loves you.
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