My challenge to you is one that I myself have taken. It is this: take all the items that you’ve held on to that remind you of the past, weather it be relationships, something bad that you’ve experienced, something symbolic or connected with some kind of pain AND BURN IT!
I know that this challenge seems extreme, but the strongholds it will break off of you are amazing.
My two best friends and I took this challenge tonight. We’d done it before with the youth group back in ’09. But even then I didn’t burn everything that I should have. The things that I held on to seemed to be apart of me, so if this is something that you face trust me I understand what you are feeling. But one of my best friends challenged me to let this stuff go because she knew that things from my past could be hindering my relationship with God. I fought her but ultimately I saw the point she was making, so I pulled out all of my old photos and my box of memories and went through it to see what things I needed to get out of my life. I ended up with a shoe box filled with roses, photos, poems I’d written, stuffed animals, letters…all of these things I’d held on to from my ex’s because they reminded me of the people they were related to. But tonight I burned them all, and the release I felt made me understand that I really needed to get all of those things out of my life. My friend made a valid point when she was trying to convince me to do this, she asked me “what are you going to do with all of these things when you get married, even though it’s in the future think of how your husband will feel when you move into a new house that is filled with all these memories of other men?” This made me open my eyes and see that until then all these things are doing is reminding me of people who are no longer a part of my life and relationships that stole things from me. But when we burned them I could feel the weight that was lifted from my shoulders. I burned things that I have been holding onto for more than five years.
I give you this challenge now because the New Year is upon us, and with a new year you can make a new you! So think about it, you can even do it with some of your friends like I did.
I read this scripture around the fire tonight, “But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14) I realize now the true importance of letting things go. Even if you don’t realize it, these objects are holding you back. When you pull them out you will instantly start remembering the life you lived when the memories attached to them were created. They are holding you back from your total potential in God.
Consider my challenge wholly before you dismiss it. Burn the bridges you’ve maintained to pain and sin. Let them go and give way to a new life of God.
“…freedom reigns in this place, showers of mercy and grace, falling on every face, there is freedom…” –Jason Upton freedom
This is one of the songs we sang after praying and burning our past. It helps you feel the weight of the bondage you’re letting go.