In the world of movies and TV series, trailers are a big deal. These short little snippets of new and upcoming films are cleverly and interestingly woven together in the space of two minutes to catch a viewer’s attention, spark their interest and inspire them to come see the movie. As a movie lover myself, trailers often play a big part in determining whether I go see a film at the cinema, wait for it to come out on DVD or just not watch it at all.
The goal of a trailer is to portray to an audience the overall summary of a movie – its mood, genre and general storyline. Trailers are helpful in the movie world. However, they are not helpful when put into the context of the timeline of our lives – when we view our past as the trailer for our future.
I’m sure that every person reading this has experienced some level of pain, trauma, fear, depression or disappointment in their past. These experiences are all valid and real experiences that leave their mark on us. However, I have been on a personal journey in the past couple of years – mine being with anxiety –coming to the realisation that although my past has been riddled with these things, my future does not have to be.
Fear is a pretty powerful thing – I can certainly attest to that. It’s like an ink that runs through everything and changes the colour of life to a slightly more dull and melancholy tone. In my own life, I’ve noticed the impacts of fear on my outlook on life and my future.
Dealing with anxiety definitely changed how I saw my future. My anxiety evolved into an even more intense force – the fear of fear itself. It was something that controlled me, completely and totally.
Everything I chose to do and chose not to do was decided out of a mindset of avoiding anything and everything that had sparked fear in my mind in the past – which eliminated everything I had previously loved and enjoyed.
Anything coming up in my future that I had experienced fear for in my past made me dread the future. I figured if it happened in the past, it would happen every time I approached a similar situation – even if the situation had potential to be a really great experience.
This week however, I’ve been reminded once again of the journey God has brought me on to heal me of all those scars. He reminded me of the moment that all of it began to change. It was when I decided to no longer let my past determine my future.
After all, my God is a mighty and faithful God who has shown Himself time and time again to be able to completely rewrite history. My history was riddled with fear, but as I started to choose to be brave and rely on God’s perspective and His belief in me to conquer my fear, it happened: I started to conquer my fear and write a new story for my life.
When we look at the pain in our past and view it as a trailer of what is going to happen in our future it deflates our hope. It’s like watching a bad trailer for a movie – we dread and avoid the moment it’s released to the big screen of our life. We either face situations with a lot of fear, put it off for a long time or decide to completely avoid the things we’ve experienced pain with before.
But that’s not what God desires for us. He has planned our futures with care and joy, to give us a future and a hope. Any fear or pain in our past is not a preview for what’s ahead. Instead, we should view it as a launching pad into breakthrough and greater success.
Freedom from fear
So often the areas we experience the most struggle in are the areas we are called to and the areas that play a big part in our destiny. For me, anxiety targeted stepping out in faith and travel. These are the two areas that God is now beginning to release me into with a completely fresh experience – free of any hints of the fear that I experienced in my past. It is amazing to see the way that making new experiences of these things lessens the grip the pain of the past has on me.
I think that’s why it is so important to let God’s word be the trailer for your future and not let your past tell you what your future will be like. God is faithful. In the most real and tangible way you can ever imagine (and more) He always follows through to bring you healing.
Sometimes, all you need to do to be healed of the scars of your past is hold onto God and step bravely into your future. Instead of dwelling on the pain of your past, receive God’s word into your heart about the hope for your future.
Very quickly your future will be changed from a movie you avoid watching to a movie that you pre-book tickets for and get first in line to see. That’s how amazing our futures can be. I mean, they are written by God Himself. He’s a pretty good writer I’ve heard.
This article was first published in August 2016.
Caitlyn Furler is a lover of writing, music and people. She is a second-year university student, studying music and literature. She is a worship leader in her church and is enjoying doing braver and braver things.
Caitlyn Furler’s previous articles may be viewed at: http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/caitlyn-furler.html