trapped: when your emotions keep you bound to the past

I’m caught off guard, getting sucked back into the past, trapped by my feelings and held fast by negativity. I don’t want to be here, not when Jesus offers us such a tantalising taste of freedom. How did I get here again, a beached boat when I long to sail free?

At times like this, our pain feels ever-present as we rehash and revisit hurt feelings, especially when we fail to move forward, embrace the Now and the New, lag behind the person God is gently shaping us to be. It’s like a spiritual blindness preventing us from seeing who we really are in His eyes, a fog of forgetfulness.

Then we fail to connect to the woman within. Fear temporarily holds us hostage: fear of never fully getting over a painful past, fear of standing still and fear of moving forward. Because childhood abuse memories still sit inside the adult we have become, scratching at the edges of our peace and making present-day relationships less than they could be.

I have days where I neglect to own passion within, resulting in a deadening of feelings. Then the mist clears, anguish gives way to acceptance, pain to peace and condemnation to compassion—toward myself and others. I become free to express myself more lovingly when my mind is not trapped in the past.

We become more receptive to grace when we decide to embrace where we are Click To Tweet

We become more receptive to grace when we decide to embrace where we are, and remember how God has brought us thus far, on the way to all we are still becoming in Christ. And as we allow God’s warming love and light to filter through, it helps push out the dark thoughts.

“Face your future by recalling God’s past victories” ~ Max Lucado ‘Glory Days’

Scales begin to fall away and we can see more clearly when not viewing life through a red mist of anger, frustration, shame and pain. We begin to inch toward a deeper understanding, reconciliation and forgiveness. We want to let ourselves be loved, instead of rejecting such advances from our loved ones.

A new-found peace and confidence arises out of seeing, accepting and believing just how much God loves us and places people in our lives who love us too. Instead of hiding away in our history and drowning in despair, our souls start to trust again and soar toward a better future in Christ.

A new-found peace and confidence arises out of accepting and believing how much God loves us Click To Tweet

There’s an inner yearning to be free, to live and love more openly, to yield to this day, this person and this moment because we choose to, not because we feel trapped into reacting and responding to their will.

So we hold onto hope as a life raft, cling to the courage only God can give us, feel our way into a less fraught future as we see those inner battles for what they really are —skirmishes in a war in which the enemy has already been mightily defeated by our Saviour, who sacrificed Himself lovingly and unconditionally on our behalf.

So we hold onto hope as a life raft, cling to the courage only God can give us Click To Tweet

“God makes everything come out right; he puts victims back on their feet” ~ Psalm 103:6 The Message

Friend, I pray you will see the Hope we have in Jesus is available to you, too. May you look to Him for the restoration, healing and deep inner peace only He can bring. Meanwhile, you are in my thoughts and prayers. Feel free to message me privately here.

12 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing your heart so vulnerably, Joy, and always pointing us to the hope we have in Jesus. I identify so much with all of this, and you have greatly encouraged my heart. This especially speaks to me today – “So we hold onto hope as a life raft, cling to the courage only God can give us, feel our way into a less fraught future as we see those inner battles for what they really are —skirmishes in a war in which the enemy has already been mightily defeated by our Saviour, who sacrificed Himself lovingly and unconditionally on our behalf.” Amen! I need to remind myself more often that our Savior has already defeated the enemy that tries so relentlessly to keep us trapped. Yes, His love can dispel our “fog of forgetfulness.” Love and hugs!

    1. Trudy, it feels scary at times to be so transparent, as I’m sure you know. Though it pleases and encourages me when others can see my heart’s desire to point “to the hope we have in Jesus”, just as you have done here. I, too, sometimes forget we have Jesus in the boat with us, an anchor for the soul, a lifebelt holding us fast and an already secured victory over every stormy sea that rocks our world. May His peaceful presence calm your heart and His love hold you steady, especially through those foggy times when the way ahead is impossible to see. Love and hugs! xox

  2. Love the strength rising in your words, Joy. It’s so amazing what happens when “remember how God has brought us this far.” Hope for the future is such a powerful weapon against the past. Blessings to you and thank you for encouraging me today.

    1. Tiffany, thank you for seeing “the strength rising” in my words. This post was a long time waiting for its day to be published. It began as a personal journal entry that expanded, and yet I sensed it needed to lie fallow for a while. My hope and prayer is that I have discerned the right timing, that these words will be a help and encouragement to those who read them and accomplish all God intends them to. Just as your insightful posts and comments always bless me. I will be pondering this glorious truth: “Hope for the future is such a powerful weapon against the past.” Amen, my friend, I’m so grateful for the Hope we have in Christ! Bless you for being here and for all you contribute to the conversation. xo

  3. Beautifully said, Joy. Thank you so much for your encouraging and uplifting words! “So we hold onto hope as a life raft, cling to the courage only God can give us…” Amen! Blessings to you, dear Joy! xoxo

    1. Gayl, I so appreciate your enthusiastic response to my words! It lifts my weary spirits to see you here. I’m grateful you found something that spoke to you, dear friend, and I’m blessed by your sweet encouragement. Thank you! xoxo

  4. Dear Joy, Thank you so much for these beautiful words today! This, “Then the mist clears, anguish gives way to acceptance, pain to peace and condemnation to compassion—toward myself and others” is touching my heart so deeply today. What encouragement your words bring, when I pause and see that Jesus will clear that mist that tries to bring hardness to my heart. Oh when He brings that transformation of a changed perspective, there is such a lifting of countenance! He truly does help us to choose to love. May you be blessed with more of His perspective, my dear friend! xoxo

    1. Dear Bettie, I marvel at the way God reveals to each reader just what to focus and feast on in a post. it’s truly humbling and encouraging as writers, isn’t it? We never quite know just who might read the things we write, or what they will glean from each offering. From what I know of you, sweet friend, it appears that Jesus is working mightily on your behalf, busily clearing away the “mist that tries to bring hardness” to your heart. Because I’ve yet to meet a more tender-hearted woman! You exude His love, compassion and grace in all you write and how you interact and engage with others. I hope to be blessed with more of God’s perspective on things as I continually hand it all over to Him. It appears that being rooted also involves releasing, doesn’t it? We cannot grow as He intends unless we fully trust the Gardener’s hands. And each unearthing of the past serves to remind me my foundation is in Christ alone, not in my memories, or what was done to me. xoxo

    1. Sheila, I’m glad you think this post will speak to and “help lift countless souls”, because that is my goal, God willing. Our pain has a purpose, mostly in the way it shapes us on the inside, throwing us in grateful dependence on God’s mercy and grace. But it’s also a channel whereby we learn, grow and become wounded healers to other wounded souls, as we reveal the Great Physician at work in our lives and point the way to Him. My hope and prayer is to be a channel of God’s compassion, mercy, grace and goodness toward others. Thank you for being here and supporting me on the journey, my friend! xoxo

  5. Inspiring words, my friend. Jesus truly is all we need. Yet often this truth is hard to accept. I’ve been so encouraged by your writings as late, dear one. God is using you in mighty ways 🙂

    1. June, I couldn’t agree more with these words: “Jesus truly is all we need”, even if it can take us a lifetime to fully appreciate His presence and significance. It is a “hard truth”, because many stumble over the Rock we lean on. But I know my life would be dire without God. It’s a chilling thought to contemplate how much harder it all would be if I hadn’t released my past, my emotions and my life to Him. And how blessed I feel that in the autumn of my days I can be given words to share which speak about God’s great love for us, and in the process help to lead others to discover His mercy, goodness and grace, the unquenchable fire that purifies and seals us as His beloved ones. Thank you so much for your sweet, encouraging words! Bless you, dear friend. It’s always a pleasure, a JOY to see you here. xo 🙂

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