There’s one more obstacle that we need to talk about. It’s often times the hardest one to identify because it’s the one that you want to talk about the least. The purpose killer that I’m referring to is pain.
Dead dreams often come from painful places.
When left unchecked, pain from our past can push us into a place where the thought of “progress” can illicit feelings of intimidation rather than inspiration. And Satan loves to use the pain of our past to keep us from the pursuit of our purpose.
But refusing to cultivate your purpose because of your pain will not only impact your calling as a leader, it will stifle your effectiveness as a parent, husband, wife, and friend.
When we’ve been emotionally wounded it seems so much easier to simply play it safe rather than risk getting hurt all over again. But here’s the deal: You cannot stay stuck in the past and cultivate your future at the same time. You’ve got to let go of one in order to embrace the other.
[shareable cite=”@PastorTHall”]You cannot stay stuck in the past and cultivate your future at the same time. You’ve got to let go of one in order to embrace the other.[/shareable]
I’m no stranger to pain. I understand the temptation to withdraw from the pursuit of your purpose after being hurt, betrayed, or feeling abandoned. Getting hurt by the people we love and care about feels like an invasion of the heart. In that moment of pain we feel like we have no control over our lives.
This is when the temptation to quit is often the greatest because quitting offers us a momentary (and false) sense of peace that comes from being “in control.” The reality however is that quitting doesn’t prove that you’re in control, it only proves that your pain is controlling you.
[shareable cite=”@PastorTHall”]Quitting because you’re in pain doesn’t prove that you’re in control, it only proves that your pain is controlling you.[/shareable]
How do I know if my pain is keeping me from my purpose?
The best way to be able to tell if pain from the past is keeping you from the pursuit of your purpose is to pay attention to the things that you spend most of your time:
- Thinking about.
- Talking about.
If you have a painful place in your past that you constantly find yourself thinking or talking about, that’s probably the place and time in your life where you actually stopped growing and moving forward.
If you’re always complaining about your ex-spouse, than that’s probably where you got stuck in life and more than likely you haven’t grown much since your divorce was final. If you always seem to be talking about something that an old boss, family member or church member did to you ten years ago, then maybe, just maybe that’s the exact point in your life that you decided to “not” cultivate your God ordained purpose. The irony is that the forgiveness you’re refusing to give is becoming the cage that keeps you from your purpose.
[shareable cite=”@PastorTHall”]The forgiveness you’re refusing to give is becoming the cage that keeps you from your purpose.'[/shareable]
Maybe the fear of getting hurt again seems so overwhelming that rather than risk the possibility of failure you simply decided to play it safe and stop trying. But as the weeks, months, and years keep rolling by, your decision to not deal with your pain so that you can move forward and cultivate your God given purpose is now having a negative impact on everything and everybody in your life. You push healthy people away that try to get close to you and you don’t know how to love others well because you haven’t learned how to love yourself again.
If this is where you find yourself then let stop right here and remind you that God is “…near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit”(Psalm 34:18).
Yes, God is still a healer!
If you’ll let Him, He’ll heal all the broken places from your past. In fact, why don’t you stop right now and invite Him to take your broken pieces and create some masterpieces! Pray for the strength to forgive the people that have hurt you and for the strength for forgive yourself. God is more than able to heal your heart and restore the time you’ve lost, but don’t wait another day. There’s no more time to lose. Your purpose is far too important to allow the past to keep you from your future.
Its time to let go and let God.