Have you ever wished you could go back and do things over again? Maybe if you could, you might do things differently. Questions of "what if's" race into our minds when we contemplate on the past. Other questions arise such as: "why am I thinking this way?", "why do I want to change the past?", or "what would I change?", and "how would I change it?", etc.
The answers to these questions could be you were hurt in some kind of way, you made poor decisions and wish you could change them, something tragic happened that you wish you could have saved it from happening, and the list can do go on and on. As you ask yourself these questions, you reflect back on those times of hurt, confusion, disbelief, despair, and emptiness. As you reflect, your memory is so clear that you can actually start to feel the same feelings you did when certain moments in your past happened. Sometimes these past provoking thoughts come when your surroundings are similar to those how they were in the past, a conversation you may have that might stir up those past thoughts/memories, or these thoughts might come at random. Sometimes you linger on them and other times you brush them off. When you linger on those memories, do you ever make up a different picture or outcome then what the original memory was? Re-creating those memories in your mind might make you feel better in the present time, right?
Personally, sometimes I have those thoughts, and I ask myself all of those questions. However, in doing so, I have learned a lot. One of the biggest things I learned (and still learning, as I am only 23 years old) that everything happens for a reason (I am big believer in that now). Every moment, whether it happened in the past, is happening in the present, and will happen in the future all matter. All moments play a part in each other. If certain things did not happen in the past, then you would not be where you are today. Now sometimes things happen that are out of our control and it's in those times where it is hard to believe that there was a reason for it. However, I also know that you and I are capable of handling those hard times in your life and in mine because God will see you through it, and because what seems impossible for man, is possible for God. In fact there are Bible verses to back that up, and they include:
"No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But, when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it." --1 Corinthians 10:13
*When reading Corinthians chapter 10 in its full context, I realized this verse is referring more to being tempted. However, I wanted to use this verse to point out that even in hard times, God has our back. And He won't allow us to go through something that we as humans are not capable of going through...or did go through.
"Jesus looked to them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
*This verse is being used to reiterate the fact that through God, all things are possible. Therefore with God, the capability of handling rough, uncontrolled past occurrences is possible.*
It is also possible through God that we as humans can control our minds and thoughts. We don't have to linger on the past and regress about our past decisions. Once you seek and ask for forgiveness and help from God, then you can move on with your present and future life without having those draw-backs. Again, everything happens for a reason. If certain things in your past did not happen, then you would not be where you are today, and where you will be down the road.
God created you, me, and this universe. He orders our steps. He has a significant purpose for our lives to fulfill. Achieving that purpose might mean we have to go through some trials. The Son of God, in fact, went through trials and temptations, but the Son of God also knew that His Father was faithful, therefore the Son of God did not try to change the past (or the future) occurrences in His life.
So, I challenge you (and I continue to challenge myself) to not look upon your past occurrences as something you shouldn't have done or something you wish you would have done differently. Instead think of it as something you had to go through to make you who you are today.
Now, there might be times when God will allow you and me to "re-visit" those "not-so-nice" past memories to remind you and me of the times that God is always faithful and true. He might also allow those thoughts to come back to show you and me how far we have come from those situations. Again, He might allow them to come back in hopes to continue that growth in you and me.
However, unless you know for sure God is allowing you to "re-visit" those memories for a reason, I would try to stay clear of those "not-so-pretty" moments that happened in the past so that you can keep your eyes ahead of you...not behind you.
Focus on the road ahead of you through the windshield....not on the rearview mirror.