SERIES END: Re-scripting Your Life, Part 14
Your Present Reality
We have come to the practical activation phase of the Re-scripting Your Life process. In this blog post we will finish tying up the loose ends of the past so your focus and attention can be squarely placed on moving forward into fuller freedom.
Once a judgment has been rendered and a debt has been incurred, life will strain under the weight of this emotional pressure that was placed on it. This strain is manifest as stress on your physical, emotional, and spiritual health that if left to fester, will affect just about every facet of your life. The problem is that many of these debts can never be repaid because we cannot go back and relive the past when the hurt was inflicted. Remember, the goal is not to try to find a way to change what the past has done to you, but to find what the past has done in you and re-script it. In this exercise, take some time and ask the Lord to search your heart and identify any areas where debt may be present. This debt may have been caused during your formative years over time or as a result of a single traumatic event.The questions that follow will help to focus and direct your thoughts.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way. [Psalm 139:23-24 NASB]
Questions: When you answer these questions, you will be specifically looking for how your security and significance has been affected. Remember that security is the deep seated belief that you are fully acceptable, celebrated and loved by God and the important people in your life. Significance is a deep seated belief that you are valuable to these people and you have valuable things to offer them. These are the core emotional needs that generate belief systems and drive behavior.
There may be multiple events or circumstances that you will need to investigate so try to isolate one situation or relationship at a time. As you do this, you will begin to see a pattern emerge that will help to uncover what the debt looks like and where it is hiding.
Describe the situation that caused pain: Write out in as much detail as needed...
Example from Jason’s story: “I was playing in one of my little league baseball games that my father was actually able to attend due to his work schedule. I looked in the stands at the beginning of the game and was so excited to see my dad there. About midway through the game, I was up to bat and hit a grand-slam. As I rounded first base I looked up into the bleachers to find that my father had left the game (later found out he got called into work). I felt a deep sadness and anger well up in me.
What expectations did you have related to this situation? Write out a statement that captures the expectation...
Example from Jason’s story: “I expected my dad to make my game a priority. I expected to go with him out for ice cream after the game and talk baseball.”
What were the losses that you felt were related to this situation? Write out what losses were connected to the debt...
Example from Jason’s story: “My dad probably won’t ever make what’s important to me really important to him. I should probably stop caring if he ever sees or knows about my accomplishments.”
As a result of what you have counted a loss, what resentments started to grow in your heart? Write out statements that like, I resent the fact that...
Example from Jason’s story: “I started to resent that my father would buy me things to make up for the time he was not able to be with me. I also resented the way that he would try to make small talk about my life, making it look like he was interested in the things I liked.”
What did the judgment you placed on this situation sound like? Remember, a judgment is a defining or definitive statement...
Example from Jason’s story: “I began to think that somehow I was really a disappointment to my dad and probably would be a disappointment to other important people throughout my life. I also started to blame my father for my slipping performance in school, as I didn’t care about my grades because my father would never even ask how I was doing in school. I graduated near the bottom of my class and this did not make it easy for me in finding a career.”
After this judgment was assigned to this situation, what was the debt that was placed on it? How does this judgment affect what I can expect in life...
Example from Jason’s story: “I remember saying this to myself, ‘I am just a below average person who will spend most of my life just getting by. I will never accomplish anything noteworthy or important so I might as well get used to being insignificant and just take what life gives me.’ ”
Once Jason made this judgement (a decision based on what he saw to be the facts of the situation he was experiencing), his life began to take on the character of this judgment. He did struggle to find his place in a career (and still was) and he was struggling to be what he considered to be a good father to his boys. His frustration over feeling below average in every area of life (deep inside him there was a desire to do something awesome) began to boil over in anger expressed at his three boys, all of whom he wanted so desperately to be a great father to. He felt trapped in this cycle and was afraid at some point he would snap and do something he would really regret. The worst of all of this was that his boys were beginning to resent him and his anger in much of the same way that he resented his father. The vicious cycle of pain was at work and Jason needed to stop it!
Once you have captured this information, the next step in this process is to get to a place of reconciliation. To be reconciled to something or someone is to bring a sense of peace and balance into your heart and mind regarding the situation from the past and making a willful choice to move forward without negative attachments to the causes of the pain. This is a very important step and must not be minimized with just a casual, “I’ll just give it to God and move on.” This needs to be specific and intentional. The two most important things to be considered at this stage are the judgments and debts. The only permanent way to resolve the pain issues of the past is to reverse the judgments and release the debts, and this is accomplished through forgiveness.
In order for this to be effective, forgiveness, as was discussed earlier in these posts, must be seen as a “legal” act of your will wherein you are going to drop the case against those who inflicted the pain (whether they are aware they did it or even admit that they did it). This case involves certain judgments that were rendered and debt that was assigned to the people responsible, including yourself. This act of forgiveness does not justify in any way the poor behavior of the people involved. This act of forgiveness may not remove the emotional part of the pain. This act of forgiveness is solely rooted in faith and obedience to God’s command that we forgive those who have wronged and offended us. Consider again, the words of Jesus:
"For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” [Mat 6:14-15 NASB]
The choice is pretty clear- forgiveness will release us from the pain of the past and connect us to the pleasure of an eternal future in God’s presence. Unforgiveness will keep us captive to the pain of the past and lock us out of the hope of future freedom. Forgiveness is a gift we receive from God contingent upon the forgiveness we give to others. That is a seriously profound truth! In Elaine’s story it looked like this: When she finally realized that her current state of pain and torment was a result of the judgments she made and the debt she placed on her offenders and herself, she was ready to let go of the past and begin the process of healing and re-scripting her life. This new journey began with a prayer of forgiveness and release that sounded something like this:
“…Father, I am fully surrendering to your perfect plan of healing for me. I am willfully and willingly letting go of all the resentments and unmet expectations about what happened to me. I am choosing to forgive and release my mother, father, and uncle for the way that they treated me and did not protect me when I was a child and teenager. I am not expecting any of them to apologize or make amends with me. I don’t need them to be held accountable for my pain as I am choosing to move forward and be healed without needing repayment from them.
I ask you to bless them and reveal your love and healing to them just as You did for me. I want them to experience the freedom I am going to experience as I walk through this process.
I am also choosing to take back the judgments I made as a teenager in that moment of pain and trauma. I am choosing to now believe that there are men who are trustworthy and that there are men who are truly loving and caring and are not only looking at me as a way to satisfy some perverted sexual desire. I want to, and I believe I will, meet a good man, get married, and have a family. I am choosing right now to begin the process of renewing and re-scripting my mind so I can follow through with my new life decisions and directions. I pray this in the name of Jesus, amen.”
Now, it’s your turn. Write out your prayer of forgiveness for the people in your past who were part of your present pain cycle. You may have to write out lots of prayers!
At this point in the re-scripting process we hopefully have fully addressed the problems and pitfalls of the past that would prevent us from moving forward into the newness of our transformed life in Christ. From this point on, the goal will be to keep focused on the present realities we find ourselves in and charting a course into the future where the transformed mind is fully functional. In order to do this, you are going to be looking at two major systems of the transformation process. The first is analyzing the thought process, which is the main driver for who you are today and the second is using the power of your God-given imagination to unlock who we can be tomorrow. Remember, you are not inventing some kind of alternate reality. This whole process is about resetting your identity and your story back to what the Great Author of our life, God Almighty, had originally intended.
This is the end of the first part of the re-scripting process. If you would like more information on the second half of this study, please reply back to us and we will get you the information so you can continue the journey. God Bless You!
by Pastor Jim Anan