If Adam and Eve had not sinned, our lives would be different today. There would be no shame and no pain. We would still be walking in the cool of the garden and wait in ecstasy every day to learn more about our God.

We long for a perfect world, and as children we have hope for it. We dream of paradise and a world without war, where people get along, and love determines every action. This is a place with no fear, back-biting or enmity, no punches in the gut and no fiery darts to the heart.

Our dream is to live in a world where we don’t have to worry about attacks from the outside. We can sing and dance, rejoice without holding back and laugh until our belly hurts. We can be who we are made to be because we are accepted.

Then we grow up and realize that this dream can never happen in this world. We read that even Paul stopped thinking like a child when he became a man.

So we bury our longings and try to grow up, we adapt to this world and start to hold back. Hurt and shame were good teachers of reality and we learned fast. And so we forget the dream of the perfect world we once had as little children.

The effects of sin on our lives

As believers, we strive to live a life without sin because we know that sin is the root of all evil. We were taught not to sin, and so we do our best to keep it together. God would be disappointed, and it would impact our relationship with him.

So we go through life avoiding sin at all cost. We live in the now and look forward, scouring the future for possible temptations. We run from project to project, lifting the weight of the church on our frail shoulders.

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In all of this, we have the past still buried in our soul. Where did the disappointment of our world come from? We didn’t learn about the world’s imperfection in the classrooms or Sunday school.

No, we learned about the world from the world itself. It was it shoved right into our faces. The world didn’t sit us down to explain us it’s inner workings. We experienced its cruelty first hand. Ridicule and shame, other people’s sin against us and the scars it left. They ate themselves right into our core.

No wonder we like the future. It is unwritten, and it seems we have control over it. It is open and undetermined, unlike the horrors we have experienced in the past.

In the grip of the past

Adam and Eve were filled with joy because they lived the perfection of our childhood dreams. There were no bad experiences that reminded them to calm down. Build up trust first and then open up. They didn’t need any of that because they were never hurt.

Our past made us who we are today. We can’t undo our experiences, but God can heal the pain. Even secular psychology has success in helping people deal with their issues. How much more should the living God make an impact on us?

The journey towards wholeness

As a kid, I was bullied. Massacred, I should say. Day in, day out, the same story every day. My stomach tightened, and the air sucked out of me. My head turned blank, and I couldn’t form a clear thought.

What do you get if all a kid knows Is cruelty? Payback on the world and revenge on its inhabitants. The fruits are anger and hatred, and a misfit turns into what he hated the most.

Being in control is better than being controlled. Crushing is better than being crushed. Hating first makes being hated tolerable. Out of my hurt came pain for many. Multiplication the church can learn from.

Yes, I had a choice not to hate. Yes, I could have chosen not to be mean to others when I got older. But I was sinned against as a child and my past impacted my now. We can’t make things undone and wish the bad away.

Pain was my constant companion and my only satisfaction in life was to see the same pain afflicted on others. All people are the same I thought.

 

At last, there is hope

God had mercy on his beloved son and sent me someone who told me the truth. Not that I shouldn’t do bad things but that the lies I believed are not true. She told me about God’s love and his protection in the midst of every trauma I went through.

His love is stronger than the forces of evil, and his love will always win. Even though the people I trusted the most disappointed me, he would never leave me nor forsake me.

Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! That’s what God says to me, and that’s what God says to you.

I knew that he loved me, but I couldn’t accept it because of the lies I believed. You can proclaim your love a thousand times but what matters is if I believe you.

And I believed what they told me in the past. I trusted my experiences.

 

Returning to Eden

Revisiting your past is painful, but it is the only way to get free from it. Our beliefs color how we see reality and our pain from the past molded our beliefs.

It is possible in this life to be like Adam and Eve again. We can’t live in their world, but we can live in their state of mind. We can be entirely free because God can heal us.

For me, this is a long process. I have not arrived myself yet, but I know one day, I will. There will be a day where people’s opinions won’t matter, and their words and control attempts will not impact me any longer.

We can be free because God has promised this to all his children. He is the great healer and no matter what happened in your life, you are not beyond repair.

We have a choice. Salvation is free, but wholeness is not. It takes work and willingness, time and effort. The route is stony and full of thorns and thistles, but the goal is worth it.

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