Get Rid of those Remnants

READ: Isaiah 43:18-19

Every intimate and serious involvement with another person creates soul ties that cannot be easily broken by time, distance or mere physical separation. My previous post entitled “Moving On” brought up this issue on soul ties. But just what are soul ties and how are they formed?

Stephen Gola, in his site Divorce Hope, describes that soul ties are like connections or bridges in relationships; they are formed many different ways as by willing or forced sexual relations, by speaking words of commitment or vows like “I will always love you,” “I will never forget,” and by accepting things that may be symbols of a covenant, commitment or a love relationship.Bonfire

Speaking confessions and prayers from the heart are not the only essential steps in breaking soul ties. The same site above stresses the need to get rid of the things that remind you of the person and the broken relationship. While I had already returned (fourteen years ago) the engagement ring from my ex-fiancé only a week after our breakup, I must admit that several months back when I wrote my previous post, I still had a few small things kept somewhere.

So I resolved to take off a few leaves (with written notes related to my ex) from an old notebook…. I also pulled out a leftover picture from an old photo album…. What else? Some more post cards…. They all deserved to vanish, so I threw them into the fireplace. They are “to remain a ruin forever, never to be rebuilt” (Deut. 13:16). The emotions they tried to rekindle have been ushered to death, never to resurrect or bother once again.

Moving on necessitates a symbolic and decisive act. Isn’t it a lot easier to move on without any visible baggage from the past?

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” — Isaiah 43:18, 19a


Moving On

READ: Philippians 3:12-16

Marrying your first boyfriend or girlfriend is quite romantic. Having an ex, though, or a number of them gives you experiences to learn from.

To think and say that “Past is past…” sounds appropriate. But believe me, sometimes it’s nothing more than a cliché—overused and abused—while it doesn’t really speak of the truth inside your heart. If you have an ex, chances are, you might have had a few recurring dreams about the unforgettable guy or lady from your past. You may have wondered how it would feel to see him or her again, now that you are happily married.

Guess what…. The real test whether you have moved on or not doesn’t actually lie on having a new partner or a spouse. An unplanned personal encounter will reveal the real score.

Six years ago, I happened to meet my Korean ex-boyfriend in Baguio City where my family and I were supposed to attend a three-month training school. He was not one of our fellow students, but unfortunately, he served as interpreter for a Korean couple who were our classmates. Somehow, I knew it that I would see him there, but I wasn’t expecting he would be a part of the school.

My husband was even teasing me as to how my reaction and feelings would be. We had gotten married a year after the breakup. My ex did three or four years later…. I was just curious how it would feel, since our relationship was ended only through a series of communication by phone calls and letters. As far as my knowledge, I had completely released forgiveness and let bygones be bygones despite the lack of a formal breakup.

The first time I saw him in eight years, I just couldn’t explain how awkward and uncomfortable it was. I must admit having mixed feelings…. Angry? Yes, for finally seeing the coward—the man who did not have the guts to break up with me in person. Ecstatic? Yes, sort of, because there was still a soft spot in my heart for him.

Thank God that my hubby has been blessed with security and understanding! He knew it that I struggled for days and weeks with my mixed emotions. There were also times when I would get to see the wife of my ex. With a bit of jealousy, I thought, “Good for them! They want to have a baby, but until now they are childless….” All the while I was so proud then of having a lovely four-year-old daughter.

Guilty of all my negative thoughts, I consulted a professional counselor who was also our speaker in the school during that week. I went on with my confession about my ex … that it was a relationship that was hoped to end up in marriage eight years ago…. The third party was no one but God … and that I couldn’t help but still be resentful … and yet at the same time it’s crazy that I would often catch myself secretly staring at him….

The counselor smiled and assured me that what I was going through was normal, considering the lack of a proper closure in my previous relationship. Also, it became clear to me that every intimate and serious involvement with the opposite sex creates soul ties that cannot be easily broken by time, distance or mere physical separation.

So we did cut off my soul ties with my ex verbally and spiritually in prayer. I wanted to settle things out with a formal heart to heart talk and tell him right on his face, “I’m releasing you…. I’m moving on with my life… I speak blessings to you and your wife….” I was told, however, that it was unnecessary. But even if I wasn’t able to do things as I wanted, I thank God that He has brought real healing in my heart through bumping into the man who caused my heartbreak.

I can only look back and smile at the past for all the precious lessons it has blessed me with. With no bitterness and regrets, I can say that I have moved on. Like the Apostle Paul I declare, the one thing I do…is to forget what is behind me and do my best to reach what is ahead (Phil. 3:13).

Where Do We Stand?

READ: Ephesians 4:20-32

Politics has invaded our Christian life. Some so called brothers and sisters in Christ do not get along well with one another because of personality differences. Brother A does not talk to Sister A due to a conflict that has not been resolved. Sister A leaves the church or the organization still with bitterness in her heart. She talks to Brother B and Sisters B and C about the problem with Brother A and his allies. Another coalition has emerged.

The cycle goes on and on. . . . Who is in charge? We have yet to meet the heroes, Brother C and Sister D, who actually know it all. They will tell you what has gone wrong. They can even pinpoint who has this and that failure and character flaw. They will pray and hear God for you. They can plan and run your life if you want them to.

Can we identify who we are in the midst of this cycle? As for me, at one point or two in my life, to a certain extent, maybe I became Sister A, B, C and D.

Sometimes it’s tempting not to speak to others and just be good in front of them and in the next moment, speak behind their back. It’s too easy to set aside a hurt or a conflict and pretend that everything is all right, much more to decide for those who are under us even if we are not supposed to lord it over them. After all, politics is all about falsehood and control.

Again it’s sad, but the dysfunctional cycle is unbroken and real. . . . A new cycle only begins to break in when we vote for grace and truth. That is, when we let Jesus become the center of our every relationship. He came to get rid of politics. Didn’t He?

“What this adds up to, then, is this: no more lies, no more pretense.
Tell your neighbor the truth. In Christ’s body we’re all connected
to each other, after all…”

–Ephesian 4:25 (MSG)