This is one of those days when I feel sorry for those of you who just check the blog to see cute pictures of Ruthie and I am sure wish that I would keep my thoughts to myself. Good news for you, you can scroll down to the end here and see our latest adventures or you can just hang with me for a minute and then tell me if you think I am crazy.
Sitting in women's small groups and talking to those around me, it appears to me that we as women tend to take on our past experiences and mistakes as a piece of our identity and then use that as an excuse as to why we aren't worthy of the gospel message. For example, you may see yourself as the one who had an abortion, had sex before marriage, broke the law, was victimized as a child, wasted years on drugs, was the child of divorce, etc. Any of these may be a part of your story, but they aren't who you are.
You see, your identity was changed from sinner or victim to healed and redeemed when you chose to follow Christ. Satan would love for us to be bound by the experiences of our past such that we were unable to function in the freedom of our present that the cross has given us. When I accepted that my past was not my identity but just a part of my story, I began to walk in spiritual freedom.
I am still reading Beth Moore's book, The Beloved Disciple, and I thought she made a great point the other day on this subject. She said, "If your heritage had nothing to do with your future, God is far too practical to have allowed it. I am convinced this is true in my own life. When Satan begged to defile my young life, I don't believe he would ever have gained an ounce of permission from God had my faithful Father not known without a doubt how He could use it. God is never more glorified than when He brings an oak of righteousness (Isa 61:3) out of what once was so damaged a root."
Not only is your identity no longer found in your past, but God wants to use your story to advance His purpose. But I think we have to be really careful here such that we don't become come prideful of our sin. It is not a good thing that you made bad choices or that you were a victim of someone else's sin. She is not saying that at all. Sin still breaks the heart of God and cost Christ his life. However, because He died on the cross and redeemed our lives, He is able and willing to use our experiences for future good. How great is that!!
So whomever this is for, my encouragement to you is to stop letting your past limit what God wants to do with your future. Reject the lie that your identity is found in your past and accept the truth that you are a child of God, chosen by Him and for Him to do great things.
3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace 8that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.
If by chance you are reading this and you don't know about this God who redeems your life, I would LOVE to chat with you about that. Please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can visit.
TODAY'S SIDE NOTE: Ruthie has a cast that she is not supposed to get wet or we have to make a 5 hour return trip to Dallas to see her Dr. and on top of that, we were driving an hour today to have professional family pictures made. So what habit did she take up yesterday? SPITTING! YES- I kid you not- SPITTING! And it was not the small cute little bubble dribble, but the let me soak my shirt spitting! So these pictures are of my darling girl in time out, in her dress for her pictures, in a bib all because of disobedient spitting. She puts on a good show like timeout is killing her until I suggested that she could smile for the camera.