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  • Melinda K. Bowens

So what if I...moved forward?

In case you didn’t know, I am the reigning champ of winning useless debates that occurred weeks, months and even years ago. You know, those arguments you win at home in the mirror six months after a conversation is over. Replaying the scenario while brushing your teeth and thinking, “I should have added that stats chart I saw on Wikipedia, then they would have been speechless.” I know I’m not the only one, so I don’t feel bad sharing.

But with that level of overthinking, also comes the gift (it’s not really a gift) of replaying most scenarios over and over in my mind. And since I tend to be harder on myself than anyone else (which is the case for a lot of us) that typically means I’m replaying the stupid things I’ve said and done, not the fun I had at Six Flags type of things.


So, to help me moving forward (see what I did there) in this post, let me get this off my chest now. If you ever hear of anything I’ve done in life, there’s an 84.2% chance I did it. If you ever hear of anything I’ve said in life, there’s a 117.8% chance I said it. Yes, those percentages are exact calculations. I used Common Core math, so it’s perfect (you clearly know this is sarcasm).

I’ve written before about how I have said all things and done most of the things, which is why this is a blog for growing people, not perfect people. And every single time I write that sentence, I believe it more and more. Why? Because for years (meaning most of my adult life), one of my greatest fears was, if I’m not “perfect” exactly what would others think of me? Would people listen? Would they care? Would they dismiss me? I needed to know exactly what would happen! (I’m a recovering control freak, y’all)

Now, I know that perfection is subjective (and not real) and so do you. But that has never stopped any of us from trying to rewrite and re-craft the past so it fits the future vision we have for ourselves. For many of us, we have spent hours upon hours thinking of all the different ways we could have lived life differently (notice I did not say better). If we could change one or two (or 736) things, we would feel prepared and confident enough to move forward in life. So, in keeping with that train of thought, I included a list below of all the things we can do to change past life events. Enjoy!

Things that can be done to change past life events:

1. Nothing

I know that was a short (and rather abrupt) list, but it was an honest list. There are literally zero things we can do to change past life events. For some of us, those are things that happened to us. For others of us, those are things we’ve done. But for most of us, it’s a combination of the two. Because hurt births hurt and births hurt again until we break the cycle.


In 2000, Erykah Badu had a song called “Bag Lady” that I understand more today than ever. Clearly I didn’t understand when I was 11 because the only bag I knew then was a book bag. But check out the lyrics!

Bag lady you gone hurt your back

Dragging all them bags like that

I guess nobody ever told you

All you must hold onto, is you, is you, is you

I bet you didn’t know she was low-key Evangelist Badu as well (that was a joke y’all)! But she was onto something nearly 20 years ago that we need to be on today.

Dragging those emotional weights, life regrets, and open wounds from one stage of life to the next is equal parts tiring and destructive. We can never go back and stop that parent from abandoning us. We can never go back go and end that horrible relationship before it starts. We can never go back to unsay and undo all those things that brokenness said and did through us.

Today, however, we can drop those bags and move forward in hope.


Question of the Day:

What would happen if you stopped replaying the past and moved forward?

Encouraging Verses:

No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,

Philippians 3:13 NLT

Therefore, make it your habit to confess your sins to one another and to pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

James 5:16 ISV

But the LORD says, "Do not cling to events of the past or dwell on what happened long ago

Isaiah 43:18 GNT

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV

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