It’s funny how your past can sneak up on you. Out of the blue you start remembering all the things you use to do “back then.” You may even begin to see things in a different light. Maybe in the moment you didn’t see what was wrong with it all, or maybe the image you portrayed was a lot worse than you thought. Or maybe you view a situation in a whole new light where you find conviction and true repentance about what you did.
A couple weeks ago, for some reason, I was confronted with a wave of memories from my past. Memories I was ashamed of and felt I had moved past. There were so many things I wanted to leave in the past and felt they had no business being brought up NOW. In that moment I realized the shame I had felt. All I could think about was how I would be horrified if anyone I know now would have knew me back then, and how I would be so angry if they saw “that girl” in me now. Or maybe I was angry at myself because I still saw “that girl.”
I shared this all with a friend and she said she was HOPING that I would run into people that I use to know so that they could see what God can do in their life. I left the conversation KNOWING that she was right, but there was still this fear that maybe I would never be able to move past that image or those labels. Maybe “that girl” was hiding under my faith and this new life I now lived.
That afternoon I had another encounter with “that girl.” I went to go get my haircut at this very edgy salon. All I could think about was how I knew my hairstylist, I knew her personality and I’m pretty sure I knew her struggle without her really saying much, and I had never even met her before that day. Looking at her I could see the shadow of “that girl” in her eyes and behind the fake smile and her fake laugh.
Later my friend sent me a text to listen to a song that she felt reflected our conversation earlier. In that moment I felt God speak to my heart and say “I have redeemed you, and you are not that girl anymore.”
Sometimes we hang onto our past and sometimes we hide our past. For me I obviously wanted to hide my past, but if we are ever going to find freedom then we need to learn to let go of our past and the labels we have carried with us.
Why did I need to confront my past? Because I had to finally see that I was not “that girl” anymore and I had nothing to be ashamed of. Now my past is my testimony of God’s amazing grace, and in it, HE is glorified. Often we might think God is ashamed of who we were before we were saved, but the truth is who we were, and who we are now makes God known and more real to those around us…