Imprisoned by the Past

hibiscusLast night, I had a difficult conversation. A family member joined me in confronting another family member. She made some cruel comments and we couldn’t stay silent anymore.

To explain her behavior, she dredged up memories from 60 years ago, blaming her parents for every bad thing that had ever happened to her. She claimed she dreams about these painful memories every night and they are always in the front of her mind. She lives in her pain, then takes it out on other people.

“I wasn’t allowed to get married for over four years,” she said.

“But, you did get married,” I responded. “That’s all in the past. What are you doing to make your life better today?”

“They made me do this. They wouldn’t allow me to do that. It wasn’t fair. I was wronged.” On and on.

No, it wasn’t fair. But, she has control now. Life is a choice. Painful memories are painful memories. But at some point, we need to let them go. We can’t simmer in them. That just makes us bitter and unhappy.

Where does God’s healing enter into this? How can we turn that pain over to Him? How can we learn to forgive and move on? How can we heal our own pain and help our readers heal theirs, as well?


Write a personal experience piece that shares your painful past. Talk about what God taught you and how He brought healing. Interview counselors who can offer guidance to your readers on what they need to do to start the healing process. Write a devotion. Include Bible verses that talk about God’s healing power.

Bitterness often grows in painful memories. Write something to help your readers avoid becoming bitter. Or if they’re already there, help them turn their bitterness over to God. Only He can truly transform us.


Write a story that addresses healing the past. Show a bitter character transforming under God’s healing power. Use elements of your own struggle to give it authenticity.

For some people, the past is filled with painful memories. But, God redeems our past and helps us become the people He wants us to be. It’s our choice. His way or bitterness. You can help your readers choose.

© Deborah Christensen


Posted on January 19, 2015, in anger, Bible, emotional health, family relationships, fiction, forgiveness, inspiration, interview, nonfiction, poetry, writing, writing ideas, writing prompt and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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