Is Your Past Really More Than History?

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Is Your Past Really More Than History?

Photo Credit: Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

 “We can let the past become something more than history: something that tutors us as we move into the new year. The past is history but the past is alive, because the past is in us.”

–Howard Thurman

We have a lot of choices with how we handle the past.   We can simply let life happen and choose to avoid our history. We can choose to live in regret or shame and let the past have a grip on how we live each present and future moment – essentially letting it have power over us.

We can also choose to let the past have a positive influence on the future. This can only happen if we invite God into our whole story line. By doing so, we let the past tutor us, redeem those places holding us captive and eventually build hope for the future.  God is ready and willing to write that redemptive story with you starting now.  Will you join Him?


Lord, help me to be honest with you about my past.  Guide me to places that are holding me captive with fear, guilt, and regret. Remind me of your presence as I journey there. Put your healing hands on those past stories and redeem them so I might walk into the future with freedom. Amen


“I look behind me and you’re there,
then up ahead and you’re there, too—
your reassuring presence, coming and going.”  Psalm 139:5

Questions for reflection:

  • What choices have you made about how you will react to past events in your life and how you will carry them forward?
  • How might you want to choose differently?
  • What might Jesus want to say to you about your past?


By |2017-10-09T13:38:07+00:00October 10, 2017|Categories: My Life Story, Valley Experiences|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

About the Author:

Joan Kelley is the Director of Facilitator Development for oneLifemaps and a facilitator and teacher using the “Listen to My Life: Maps for Recognizing and Responding to God in My Story,” a visual workbook to be used in small groups, mentoring relationships, workshops, retreats, classes, between spiritual friends, or individually to re-discover the storyline of the life they are authoring with God. More information is available at or Email Joan Joan is also co-founder of a ministry called Sacred. ( that helps people set apart space to be with God at guided solitude retreats. Joan also teaches a spiritual formation class on Thursday mornings at Willow Creek Community Church.

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