November 26, 2012 by Kara Nichols
The other night Doug and I were wandering around in Pier 1 being goofy when we came across a big display of nutcrackers, and I thought out loud, “Oh I hate those things.” Doug asked why and I told him that my ex’s mother collected them and they always remind me of her (and subsequently the ex).
Immediately Doug gave me a much needed lesson on how to not let things like that have power over me anymore. I should be able to like nutcrackers. And it felt like a curse was lifted right then and there. He’s right, I am letting the past haunt me when I don’t even realize it and when I have the power to take back my life because of who I am in Christ. He has not given me a spirit of fear but of power, love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)
I feel like I’m on a ghost hunt now — trying to confront the things that remind me of my past. Reclaiming my life one nutcracker at a time.
I’ve even started wearing my diamond star necklace again. I wasn’t able to return my ex’s wedding ring after we broke up but the saleslady let me do an exchange so I picked the necklace. I have rarely worn it because of what it signified to me: the end of a fairytale gone wrong. But now I see it as a sign of a new beginning and how I have overcome many obstacles along the way. I can wear the necklace with pride and purpose. It represents joy. The Bible says God will give bouquets of roses instead of ashes, messages of joy instead of news of doom, a praising heart instead of a languid spirit. (Isaiah 61) He has done that for me. I am trading in my mourning for gladness. Praise Him!
I can’t be the only one who has dealt with being haunted by the past. What is your nutcracker? The make and model of the car an ex drove? A certain song that brings you down? A piece of clothing hidden in the back of your closet?
I encourage you to face your symbols of past hurt head on and breathe new life into the dead spaces. With God’s help, it is possible to heal your broken heart. I know this time of year can be particularly difficult for some. I remember well how just 3 Christmases ago I spent the day all alone. It was one of the worst days of my life, I just wanted it to be over. I didn’t know God in an intimate way, my family was on the other side of the country and my friends had let me down. I was really scraping the barrel at that point. I felt like no one cared about me, especially God. I remember thinking, “How could God let this tragedy happen to me?”
I still ask that question sometimes. Why me, God? Why did you put me through that? And I’ve found out recently that it’s not a sin to ask questions, and that God actually invites our questions. Lately I’ve been asking, “Why me, God?” but in the sense that why has He chosen to bless me so deeply in the last weeks. The outpouring of his love is amazing. Astounding. It leaves me speechless and unable to write about it’s depths.
All I can do is thank Him for his clear deliverance and the healing He has performed on my heart and soul and spirit. I do not deserve it and yet He lavishes me just the same. Maybe I’ll buy a nutcracker this Christmas. Maybe I will wear the necklace every day for awhile and when people ask about it I can share the story of how God rescued me out of a deep pit of sin and sadness and turned it into gladness.
I’m praying Romans 5:13 for us today, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”