I took a big risk this weekend. Our church began a new series titled, “House Party” with the focus of bringing joy back into the home.
The first Sunday we covered the garage. Our lead pastor handled the role of money and material items in our lives. It was possibly the best sermon I have heard about handling finances for the glory of God.
This Sunday, I covered the attic. I spoke about the items in our life that we stuff away, hidden in the dark spaces, that no one can see. In fact, we might even forget about the items in our attic until something forces us to rediscover what we stored away.
For instance, my wife and I have been cleaning things out as we prepare for our new baby. I had to go up into the attic and maneuver totes and furniture to find baby clothes and baby gear that we had stored up there.
In the process, I found items left the house from the previous owner, but also found totes of halloween costumes we stored for our kids, and my winter clothes a few months too late.
It wasn’t until we decided to open the door to the attic and get in there that we found what we had stored away.
Our past hurt and pain are items we place in our personal attic. We all have scars and history we don’t like to acknowledge, but sooner or later, we will. All too often, there’s an event that forces us to open the door to our attic and all that we stuffed away comes to the surface. Left unacknowledged, we can continue walking with the past and our ability to find joy will be hindered.
I had to be real about my past with the congregation this Sunday. I had to open old wounds and reveal scars that I carry, some I have stored away, to a large group of people. I didn’t do it for a pity party, but I did it in order to allow people to meet the real me.
I have broken parts of my life. I have hurt that I carry. Although I am a pastor, it does not mean I have it all together every step of the way.
The purpose behind sharing my “secrets” was to encourage people to think about their legacy. My past was rough, to a degree, but what I am leaving behind for my children will not be built upon my past, but my present.
I shared this thought, “Our legacy doesn’t have to be defined by our past, but it can be influenced by it.” By the grace of God I have been lifted up out of my spiritual death. I have learned from my mistakes and the hurt I held on to. Through all of that I have grown to know, God will shine through the mess.
I risked shutting people out with my honesty. I risked pushing people away because I was being real about where I came from.
The reward is the freedom that comes from being honest about my past. The reward was knowing that it may have caused others to see the value in being open and real about their hurt.
We all have past hurts and we will all have a legacy that we leave. Our choice lies in what we decide to leave behind. Will we continue to rest in our pain or will we grow and teach the future generations how to push through in Christ to continue His purpose in this life.
I hope this all makes sense.
May you come to discover your attic needs to be cleaned. May you come to see the glory of God in your past. May you use your history to enhance the future for His story!
Peace and blessings friends.
QUESTION: Have you been able to have someone to share your hurt with for healing?