Sunday, one of our pastors spoke about being stuck in the past. His sermon title was “Stuck in a Field”. Believing what someone has said to you or being stuck with what has happened to you and not moving forward. Being comfortable in the lies. He used the passage where Samuel came to anoint the next King of Israel, who was to be David. David’s family didn’t think enough of him to even call him out of the field when Samuel arrived. David was comfortable being in the field so he thought that’s not me. After all, he was the youngest.
This morning I was reading a blog that was about the blind man that Jesus healed. The writer made the same point. The blind man, who was a beggar also, could have stayed the same. He could have kept begging. He was born that way and didn’t know anything else to do. Yet, when Jesus came, spit in the mud and rubbed it on his eyes and told him to go wash it off, he went and washed. He could have just sat there. Even though he was able to see, he could have just said this is all I know and went back to begging.
God does this to me sometimes. He sticks things in my face to make me wake up. He’s actually been doing this for the last year now that I think about it. I am a rebellious, stubborn person so if he didn’t just stick it in my face, I wouldn’t pay attention.
I was married to someone that verbally abused me for 20 years. I have a pretty strong mind but after 20 years you finally believe what is being said to you. Through a series of circumstances and one year from retirement, my ex-husband was incarcerated and I was forced to get divorced but only after I had found someone else that had said they wanted me. I did not have enough mind about me to think that I could be on my own. After all, for the last 20 years all I was told was that since he didn’t want me then no one else would either.
With my ex-husband being incarcerated, it also led to the divorce of the Army life I had been so familiar with since I was 19. This was the hardest transition of all. This had been my life for 20 years. I didn’t know anything else. I ADORED the Army life! I would not have wished for any other lifestyle. I am a gypsy at heart, so the traveling from place to place was great. You have to understand that when your spouse is in the Army it is like being a member of this elite club that no one else can get in. There is your own grocery store, retail store, gym, restaurants and so on. When you live on post, you never have to leave for anything unless you choose to. So when my ex-husband went to jail it was as if I was driving along at 60 mph and someone tied a rope on the bumper of my car and when it reached the end it yanked the car back leaving me in the middle of the interstate with no directions. In a matter of days, I went to living in that life style to nothing. No money, no job and not even a place of my own. There was no debriefing. Just the end!
So because of the way my life so abruptly changed I was still in that lifestyle in my mind. I longed for what I had lost. I worked hard to try and get that life back. Even after I married a man that was not in the Army, I still tried to return to the life I so desperately missed. I wanted that familiar path. I didn’t want to be anything different. So for the last 8 or 9 years I did anything I could to get close to that lifestyle.
In the Old Testament, when someone was in repentance or mourning they would wear sackcloth and ashes. Sackcloth and ashes represented mourning or the loss of someone or something. It was a very public act of humility and grief. But the point of this is not to just sit in this state forever. It is to mourn and move on.
God showed me this is where I’ve been for the last 10 years. I have been sitting in the ruins of my past life pouring ashes on my head wishing them to ignite so that I can have this again. Wearing the rough sackcloth trying to feel comfortable in my state. It’s time to let go of that mourning. Time to put this past behind me so that the doors of my future can be opened and I am able to walk through to the promise of something better. As long as I am sitting in the ashes and mourning what I’ve lost I can’t move on.
It’s time to move forward!