Patching Up the Past

Patching Up the Past

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I've been catching up on my Boundless reading and came across a gem of an article that was posted last week. In "Reversing the Curse," author Trevor Williams recounts how, against all odds, he came to gladly enter into marriage. The article has several beneficial themes: Recognizing the forces — good and bad — that shape you. The value of community. The power of God's grace.

Beginning at the point of his rehearsal dinner, the author flashes back to a difficult childhood in which his father died before his birth, his mother remarried (and eventually divorced) an overwhelmed and emotionally distant step-father, and his brother spun into full-fledged rebellion.

He then describes joining a small group of five guys and a mentor while he was in high school. Many of these young men shared equally dysfunctional and painful experiences, yet God used their community to turn them into healthy men who redeemed their broken pasts. 

Williams describes the secret to their success:

Just as alcoholics can't go into a bar to learn sobriety, we didn't wallow in past wounds and expect them to heal. Gradually, though, we lived all the stories and felt their pain, and our community became a laboratory where we could test what God taught us through older men. 

By His grace, our empathy led not to a collective sense of self-pity, but to a solemn pact: Because we knew the true Father, we would be the generation that patches up our forefathers' misdeeds. We would reverse the curse. 

Williams' account is powerful and challenging. It's easy to blame today's relationship fears and failures on the mistakes of others, but this author showcases God's ability to redeem messed-up situations and spin them to His glory — in Williams' case, an inexplicable, blessed entrance into marriage. "There was definitely no explanation for the fact that at 22 years old and fresh out of college, I felt no fear of marriage," he writes.

His is a story of self-awareness, community, hard work and ultimately God's beautiful and amazing grace. It's a testament to the truth that no matter what you've experienced, God is able to bring healing and set you on a different course. How wonderful would it be if, as the author says, we could be "the generation that patches up our forefathers' misdeeds." I believe He's willing if we are.

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  • --I really liked this article, as it reminded me of my husband's story.  He grew up  with parents who remained together (they did separate shortly before we got married), but are not Christians and were at times abusive to him and each other.   He went away to college and found Christ through a fellowship group, and met an amazing group of men in a Bible study who remain good friends of his to this day.  

  • --I'm still waiting for my messed-up past to be repaired. In fact, my life is quite messed up right now. With my less-than-impressive work history and lack of decent references, my nightmare may never end. For me, God's formula to work out the bad things for a good outcome is reversed: He takes the good things in my life and works them out for the worst.

  • --@DreamerGuy, Have you been taking any steps to move forward, or are you still wallowing in old wounds and expecting them to heal?

  • --@GrinAndBarrett: I have been actively doing all that I can to move forward, but forces beyond my control keep pulling me backwards. No matter what I do in attempt to rise above my unfortunate circumstances, the rest of the world just keeps walking all over me.

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