I love what Henri Nouwen writes about our allowing God to transform our past. When we let him, God does break into our lives to re-create hope and aliveness.
“Jesus’ own suffering was brought upon him by the forces of darkness. Still he speaks about his suffering and death as his way to glory.
It is very hard to keep bringing all of our past under the light of gratitude. There are so many things about which we feel guilt and shame, so many things we simply wish had never happened. But each time we have the courage to look at “the all of it” and to look at it as God looks at it, our guilt becomes a happy guilt and our shame a happy shame because they have brought us to a deeper recognition of God’s mercy, a stronger conviction of God’s guidance, and a more radical commitment to a life in God’s service.
Once all of past is remembered in gratitude, we are free to be sent into the world to proclaim good news to others. Just as Peter’s denials didn’t paralyze him but, once forgiven, became a new source of his faithfulness, so can all our failures and betrayals be transformed into gratitude and enable us to become messengers of hope.”