Sunday, March 21, 2021

Don't Let Your Past Keep You from Your Future

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

My friends, I don’t feel that I have already arrived. But I forget what is behind, and I struggle for what is ahead. I run toward the goal, so that I can win the prize of being called to heaven.This is the prize that God offers because of what Christ Jesus has done (Philippians 3:13-14 CEV).

Publishing is a tough business.

It’s almost impossible to write anything for public consumption without feeling like you’re throwing your heart into the lion’s den.And I don’t know about you, but I give negative comments a lot more credibility than the positive ones. The good ones I tend to disregard with the thought that the person commenting was just being nice.

Past rejections make it possible to shrivel up and die, at least as a writer. Feeding ourselves on what’s gone before forces us to a standstill. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with doubt, insecurity, and an almost overwhelming urge to give up.

Instead, we need to fill our minds with the affirmation that God sends our way.

I have two dusty scraps of paper that hang above my desk. One is from a critique partner. At the bottom of one of my pages she wrote several sentences, one of which told me she could see God in my writing.The other scrap is part of a note I received from one of my readers.

God sent me both of those messages when I was at a low point. He used them to renew my hope and assure me that He was using my words to touch others.

As writers, we must be careful who we let speak truth into our lives. If we give the enemy the power to tell us lies, we’ll find ourselves blocked and ineffective.

Instead, draw a line in the sand. Commit today, right now, to begin to live in the future, on the promises God has given you.

If you’re writing now, you know what I mean. You’ve heard that still, small voice call your name. You’ve gotten that confirmation you’ve asked for.

Now it’s time to move forward, believing God truly is big enough to make it happen. He doesn’t call us out, fully formed and ready. He calls us out when we’re weak—ready for Him to equip us.

Here's a prayer for those of us who are struggling to let go of the past.

Dear Lord, I have a memory problem. I remember negatives that I shouldn’t and forget positives that I should. Right now I can recall almost every negative remark ever said about my writing.Yet I have trouble remembering good comments.

Beyond that, my memory tends to rewrite history. It inflates and exaggerates the negative and minimizes the positive. I’m struggling to stay motivated and engaged because of this memory problem.

You are Lord of all—even my crazy thoughts. I know that You and You alone are able to help me. I need Your perspective and wisdom. I want to know honestly where I need to improve, but I also need to know what, and if, there’s anything good about the sentences and paragraphs I write.

I remember when I felt Your call to write. Assure me I didn’t imagine it or turn my selfish desires into a command from You. Help me recalibrate my faulty memory and sort out truth from fiction.

Sort through my mind and give me Your insight. I want to follow Your path with my writing, and I can only do that withYour illuminating truth. Amen.

Don't Let Your Past Keep You From Your Future - @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

*This devotion and prayer are excerpts from Soul Care for Writers, from Bold Vision Books.

Edie Melson is a woman of faith with ink-stained fingers observing life through the lens of her camera. No matter whether she’s talking to writers, entrepreneurs, or readers, her first advice is always “Find your voice, live your story.” As an author, blogger, and speaker she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her numerous books reflect her passion to help others develop the strength of their God-given gifts and apply them to their lives.Connect with her on her website, through FacebookTwitter and on Instagram.


  1. So good, Edie. And I'm with you--I always think people are just being nice!! And obsess over the negative comments. It's nice to know I'm not alone. When I'm in that place, I start praying. I remember all of the good things God has done to encourage and grow my ministry. How faithful He has been. And how I cannot do the work in hearts. It's up to the Holy Spirit to convict and transform. I am a mere vessel privileged to carry His Word to people. It's always a relief to remember who is in charge. "Without Me, you can do nothing." My favorite verse ever. The real work is all on His shoulders.

    1. Julie, I think we all struggle with that. Thank you for sharing that verse! Blessings, E

  2. I am thankful God has called me to write and to share His message. A message of hope and joy. Thank you for this post which encourages and inspires.

  3. I treasure these words, Edie, - so often I think of the rejection responses - sometimes nice comments but nevertheless negative - not usually what they are looking for. Your post this morning gives encouragement. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Diane, I'm so glad you were encouraged! Blessings, E

  4. Those negative lies are such sharp weapons. This prayer is one to print and keep above the computer to see while we are writing. Thank you, Edie!

  5. Hi Edie,

    This is so timely. Insecurity has crept into my writing. It’s so easy to have doubts, and allow them to immobilize us. Thanks for this reminder that the negativity and lies are not from God. We need to boldly step into our purpose....

    Love you,