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I am in a small group Bible Study doing the book/video series by Beth Moore called Believing God. One of the weekly videos spoke about things we can’t let go of; things from our past which we allow to define us. These are things maybe nobody else thinks or knows about us, but we do, and we continue to speak it into our lives. The enemy continues to bring it to our remembrance and when it comes to mind, we take it in.

The video taught that there are things we will always remember about our pasts and that’s OK. What the video showed is some memories are more than just memories; they are things we continue to define ourselves by. Until we see ourselves as God sees us and we define ourselves as God defines us, we will be stuck. The video showed this as a coat we choose to put on. This coat has a name on the back of it and the name is whatever our memory is. For instance; my coat said “fired” on it. Three years ago I got fired from my job. It was something I couldn’t let go of. Whenever I would think about the situation, I would find myself sucked right back into the same place I was in 3 years ago. I found myself feeling the same feelings, getting all worked up and feeling like a victim. This time in my life carried much shame with it. I was devastated by being fired; my entire life, future, identity and security were in that job. I had only 3 years left until retirement; I had been working there since high school, for 25 years.

It took me over a year of jumping through all the hoops of paperwork, filing grievances, lawyers and a hearing before I was awarded my job back. But, even though I got my job back, I still lost that year of my life. I had gotten unemployment which my employer fought and won the hearing so I had to repay all the money I had received. I had all my eggs in one basket, I’d had my job for more than half my life and it was what was going to make or break my future as far as I was concerned, all my plans hinged on this retirement. Well, God sure shook all that up. I learned real fast that I plan my way, but God directs my paths. I learned to fall on my face and ask God for help.

“A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

Here I was 3 years later and these thoughts of being fired or of the people involved with firing me would come to mind several times a week and sometimes even several times a day. When the thoughts came I would slip right back into the same place emotionally. I was wearing it like a coat. The study told us we were to reframe whatever memory (old coat) we were defining ourselves by. I was struggling with how to do this.

The next week at the study, Beth used a scripture about Joshua praying for the sun to stand still so he could have more daylight to fight the war he was in (Joshua 10:5-15). She said she was pretty sure some of the men fighting under Joshua were real glad they didn’t stay home that day and miss the miracle God did for them. Beth said there are times she applauds God for what He does in her life. That day, after the video, I applauded God all the way home! My hands were red from my clapping so hard and tears were streaming down my face. The people in the other cars must have thought I lost my mind. I clapped and clapped and clapped and praised and thanked God that I didn’t miss the miracle He performed on the day of my hearing. He got my job and my retirement back. I cheered because He provided for me that year, I clapped and cheered that He came through and He gave me what I needed to return to work for the next 2 years and do the best job I could for this same employer and this same management that had fired me. (When I retired my co-workers told me how amazed they were that I worked so hard and with such loyalty and diligence. There are others who had been fired and got their jobs back and they returned with an attitude of trying to get away with all they can, grumbling and griping to all who will listen.) I cheered God for the work ethic He gave me when I returned, I cheered that I didn’t miss this experience because it gave me a chance to give Him glory!

This broke whatever it was that held me. I am free today. I still have the memory, but I don’t ever get sucked back into it and I don’t put that coat on anymore!

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