The word "aftermath" means ~ the consequences or aftereffects of a significant unpleasant event.
If you and I were to meet at a quaint, little downtown cafe for coffee, find a quiet corner, sit down face-to-face, and I were to ask you, "What does the aftermath of your past look like?" what would you say? I'm not talking about the good parts of your past or the precious memories you hold dear, but the aftermath—the consequent-baggage of significant unpleasant events that have happened to you. How would you answer me if I were to ask you about it?
Would you tell me that you fear commitment because you were deeply wounded when you made yourself vulnerable? Would you say that a toxic relationship has drained every good thing from your life? Would you mention that an abusive father made you afraid to trust your Heavenly Father, a controlling mother causes you to fear to have children of your own, or a failed relationship left you too bruised to try again? Would tears fill your eyes as you remorsefully recall the biggest mistake you ever made? Would anger rise to the surface as you begin to think of the person you have never been able to forgive?
Or what if you were to invite me to your home and show me all your physical possessions, pointing out how each one of them makes you feel? Would you tell me that the clutter is smothering your ability to breathe? Would you say that you feel overwhelmed by all the excess? Would there be moments we would take a pause next to certain belongings as a sense of morose negativity clouded our visit?
What exactly makes up the aftermath from your past? It is worth thinking about, isn't it?
None of us want to live life looking backward, right? All of us are broken by the pain of our past, but my friend, today is a new day. Today is the day to forgive, to release, to surrender it all to the One who is the Healer. He has an amazingly bright future ahead for each one of us, but we can't move forward if we are loaded down with old toxic relationships, nursing old wounds, clinging to old grudges, and holding on to physical possessions that we no longer want, need, use, or enjoy.
"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:13,14 (KJV)
It is time to let go of the old and embrace the new, leave the past where it happened, and clear everything from our lives that its aftermath has left behind. I'm ready, how about you?