I don’t think I ever realized how much the past affects how I live today. The things that we have experience in the past guide our reactions to today’s incidents, decisions, and our reactions to them. Especially if you haven’t dealt with the past, or been willing to face it and made aware of how it controls you.
I will give you an example from my own life. I went to college for 5 years, in classes for music education. At the end of that time, I had one more semester of student teaching. I went into the classroom the first day very intimidated. That continued through my whole experience of teaching at the secondary level. I had so many things to work through, and probably wasn’t as prepared as I should have been. The teacher I worked with was great, the kids were great, but after a disastrous rehearsal in front of the supervisor (the professor who was evaluating my performance in the classroom) I was even more intimidated. At the end of everything, my supervisor called me into the university to talk with him and another professor. The end of it all was being told that my musical skills were not strong enough, and it was recommended essentially that I drop out and either just graduate, or take some more classes and try again the next year. I was so humiliated, (especially after I burst into tears in front of them) and intimidated, and made to feel so incompetent and powerless that I just dropped out of student teaching and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Music.
Ever since then my past experiences in the classroom have made me ultra sensitive to being put into a situation where I am teaching. I nearly freeze on the spot. It was to the point in the beginning that I wasn’t even able to use the musical skills I had to even sing in church like I had been previously. Just last year when I was asked to lead the Sunday school class for the 3-4 year olds (that my son is in) I completely froze and ended up declining, because it would have put me into a teaching situation, where I was responsible, not only for the kids, but teaching them something significant. My brain and heart said to me, “what if you can’t do it? What if you can’t keep their attention, teach them anything valuable?” I had told the person who asked me that I would think and pray about it, but I never did consult God, I just called her back 3 days later and declined, siting too much going on in my life right now.
Even now, as I have started to be aware of how my past has affected me, and started to deal with things, I am still overcome with fear that I might be asked to be in a teaching position. I know that God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind. The whole point is this, unless you allow God to work in you and make you aware of areas where the past is holding you back from doing His work, you will never even consider doing the things that He is asking you to do. You will hold Him, and amazing opportunities, at arms length and tell Him that there has to be someone else who can do that, because you sure can’t. My encouragement today to you is to spend some time looking at your past, the traumas, disappointments, and defeats you have faced, and allow God to open your eyes to how that is holding you back. With His help, you will be able to ask for His healing in those areas and start to move beyond them.
All of this came to me today as I sat talking with a friend about different things, and confessed to her how I was feeling, and some things that were holding me back. My experience with student teaching and other things, have led me to feel somehow inadequate for dealing with everyday life, raising my children, being a good wife, and feel that God could really use someone else, not me, in these areas. As the top of my web page says, I am on the road to discovering what it is that God wants me to learn. That in Him and because of Christ, I am secure, significant and accepted.