Old Thinking, New Beginnings

Welcome to Fall, insert cute emojis here that describe your excitement. Fall is my absolute favorite season, although being a Californian girl, I don’t often experience the fullness of what Fall could be. Nonetheless, I love it, not just because everything is Pumpkin flavored, more so because of the newness it always brings. This month is all about restoration, and not just because that is our theme of the month, but because the hustle and bustle of Summer is gone and done, school has started, work may have winded down, holiday season is upon us. September is the perfect month to restore our minds, bodies and spirits. For some of us that may look like a nice quiet weekend at home or away, for others it may be a complete overhaul of things past.

Only in the past few years have I realized how much my parents actions have affected who I am today. In some ways this has been good, I have the joy of my father and the care of my mother.  But there are some things I am finding that I have gained from parents that aren’t such good things, and to get rid of them will take some effort. Proverbs 22.6, New King James Version says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” While you can lead a child into good things, you can always unintentionally lead them to bad things as well;  just like my parents, I know they never meant to leave me with some of the perceptions and bad habits I have, but, well, they did. 

There has been a baby boom in my family, most of my cousins have had a baby in the past few years. As I play with them, especially the toddlers, I’ve noticed that they copy my movements, when I cross my legs, they cross theirs the same, when I speak, they attempt to say the same words. And the older children, sometimes they have strong opinions on subjects, and I can only conclude it’s because they heard their parents rave on about it. Children are copy cats, they mimic every word you say and every move you make. They are like sponges soaking up everything because everything is brand new. So as much as they can copy good behaviors, they can copy the bad behaviors as well. As we copy our parent’s actions, it’s only natural that it turns into thought patterns. 

I write this to not be victims of the past and of our parents decisions, but rather to gain insight into how this happens and then restoration from it. I don’t know what pain your parents may have caused you in the past or even now in the present, but we can let those things go. Just as we can copy our parents behavior as children we can just as well copy our Heavenly Father’s behavior. When we are saved, we become new creations, and what once was is no longer. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5.17, English Standard Version. Of course there will always be things we need to work on, old residue left to remove. Again, behavior ultimately stems from actions, Romans 12.2, NKJV, says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” 

How do we do that, how do we change our thought patterns? It takes work absolutely and time, but there is nothing God can’t heal, especially our minds. Take it to him, ask him for healing and restoration to your mind, to your past, declare that you are a new creation that he says you are. We are always going to be a work in progress, however that doesn’t mean we can’t be turned around, in fact isn’t that the journey we’re on, to become more like Jesus? He is always molding us in to His image, but we need to be pursuant of Him, not idle. “But now, O Lord, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand.” Isaiah 64.8, NKJV.

Dear reader, you are not the sum parts of your past, you are not your parents completely, but hold on to those good things they gave you, chuck the rest. Hold on to Jesus’ love and wisdom first and foremost walk in His love. I love this quote by L.P. Hartley, ““The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.” You are brand new, welcome to new beginnings. 

FaithKatie Benkert