Maybe a phrase or a word or especially a name can bring good or bad memories flooding back to our hearts and minds - often overwhelming us with joy - or bringing us into dark despair.
My life has been one of topsy turvy feelings when I look backwards - which is something I do with uncertainty and often BIG regrets and something I try to avoid doing on a regular basis.
Just a few months ago I wrote about the elephant in the room and I figure sometimes it is so much better to address the obvious in your life so that we can eventually put it behind us - we can so easily dodge around the hard things in life - knowing they are there and quite clearly stopping us from moving forward as it were but so often we decide to ignore the truth and just press on anyway.
So it is with many of us - never quite game to evict the elephant and grow stronger especially in Jesus - NO! we decide to dodge the obvious and let the elephant thrive and continue to grow until like my problem, it becomes really huge and hard to evict.
I was sexually abused as a child of 13 by an older brother and the guilt I carried around with that was enormous and it still is - now that I have grown old myself it has become even harder to expel from my life until I have had to admit that it really is time I have put it to rest.
I had no idea my guilt feelings were effecting my own family until just recently when all sorts of things and events start happening which pointed the light fairly and squarely at the good old elephant in the room and I found myself breaking down at the slightest provocation and finding it hard to continue.
My faith in God has seen me through probably THE most toughest year of my life so far and yet I still find myself needing reassurance and positive thoughts so that my immediate family is not scarred further with how my own life has played out.
Seeing professional help is certainly not a wrong thing to do and I know deep in my heart that God has given people amazing gifts and talents and I really feel that they may be able to help, to a certain degree, in outing the past and to live purposefully and in victory.
There are a lot of Christian psychologists and psychiatrists out there but even there they are unable to give you the perfect answer to complicated and long ago problems. They can certainly help us identify long hurts and grievances and maybe even to put to bed old wounds and scars that have tripped us up over and over again.
The real truth is that there is only ONE place that you will get the real answer to your problems and that is on the Word of the Living God - it is here that you will receive the tools and ability to really get behind that elephant and give it the heave ho out of your life for good.
I am just so sorry that I didn't realise the entire truth of the God's amazing Word years ago which would have saved me so much heartache and despair and also stopped putting my own family through turmoil and distress.
Do I blame the perpetrator? - I must say I have struggled with this question over and over again - I have approached him and tried communicating over the years to no avail whatever - I have, many times brought to it God in prayer. To be completely honest with you and myself, I often wonder what I would have done if he had reciprocated and returned my overtones? Would I have truly forgiven him?
Forgiveness and putting things behind us is amazingly and overwhelmingly HUGE and a problem that can only be solved through the incredible work of the Holy Spirit living inside of us - I honestly don't know how I would have survived these past years without His work in my life.
So where do I go from here? If you have faced or are dealing with your own elephant in the room, where do you go from here?
I personally am about to receive counselling which probably at my age can help - it's certainly not out of the question but ultimately it is really up to the individual. You and you alone are responsible for taking seriously the Word of God - you and you alone are the only one to allow God to transform you into the person He wants you to be.
Our personal growth in Jesus depends on just how willing you are to want God to change you which He can do in remarkable ways. I know because he has changed me.
Yes! I am still in the woods and sometimes my days can be dark and foreboding - but you know deep down - deep way way down is a real peace that this world and our pasts can never take away from us.
Jesus is alive - He is so willing to love you in such a special way that your past and what ever happened to you along the way will start fading in miraculous and spectacular ways that you would never think possible.
Yes! I will receive counselling and Yes! I am looking forward to it helping me somewhat - but the real lifeline through all of this is how Jesus is slowly transforming me into His likeness which I guess is what Christianity is all about anyway.
So as you trundle along in today's world, maybe carrying along with you your own guilt or trouble, if something keeps 'ringing a bell' with you, take it Jesus - I wish I had I earnestly do, because I really feel that He could have worked miracles in my life much sooner than I had let Him.
God bless you this week as you address your own problems or guilt feelings. Just please remember that any counselling you receive must be filtered through your own knowledge of the Word of God. Yes, people can assist, they can motivate and help us put things into perspective but it is ONLY Jesus that can ultimately put our hearts and souls at rest in Him.