I believe, ever-so-desperately, in the gospel of grace. I believe in the significance of the Saviour’s scars, to bleed a Holy blood on the self-inflicted wounds on our souls, to cleanse us and wash us clean, bandage us with the love of the Father, hold us together with continuous fellowship of the Holy Spirit until the day of the Lord when we will be made like Him. I believe that the reason I’m forgiven is because He was wounded, He had to die, that I could Live. I believe that.
I also believe that with Salvation comes a washing away of sins, where heaven erases our sin catalogues. I would think it is not because of poor memory, that the God who remembers every single star by its name forgets our sins. I think its a matter of choice, that or the number of stars is far less than the number of times I have failed the Lord, which is a scary thought.
Unfortunately, when God erases sin from my eternal records, He doesn’t erase is from the minds of those I hurt, those I disappointed, even myself. That’s the whole battle. That God would look at you and see His precious Lamb, but the world will look at you and see still the thief, deceiver, adulterer, trouble maker you once were. It’s easy to stay caught in the prison of the two identities, failing to thrive in just one.
I learnt a bitter lesson just recently; nomatter how many times grace allows you too step out of your skin and be renewed each and every day, each person will see you based on their encounter with you, no matter how far back that dates. My mother loves me to death and i believe it, I’ve found Christ and I’m learning to respect her, submit to her and love her in a new way, she sees that. Even so, sometimes she fails to see through her younger daughter who used to lie to her, who used to follow where her friends led and had no mind of her own. She wants to believe in the new me, I see her trying, but sometimes the image of the old me remains prominent. We are working on it.
But it got me thinking, if my own mother can’t shake my past, what of the rest of the world, who don’t love me enough to show me such grace. They may always see the rebel, the life hungry girl in short skirts, tight pants and always around the arm of the wrong guy. They might see that girl for forever.
I thought of my little sister, and I hoped it would be enough to script on this blog post and ask her to read it someday, so that my mistakes don’t have to be hers and she never has to fight to redeem herself from a questionable past. I understand that Experience is the best teacher, but one can choose to learn from the experiences of others before them.
So I will tell her that I didn’t need that boyfriend at 12 years old.
I probably shouldn’t have wasted seven years on him until i was nineteen.
I will tell her not to plan a wedding and buy a baby names book after one week of dating.
I will tell her to date smart.
I will tell her that her heart is precious and she should value it because these teenage boys probably won’t.
I will tell her to wait till college; they will waste her time but the strategies are better.
I will tell her to choose God sooner because He has a way of shielding those who take heed to His Spirit from bad decisions.
I will tell her that there are ways to be intimate without taking your clothes off.
I will tell her that nothing is forever but sometimes it feels like nude pictures are. 🚫
I will tell her that she should be jealous of her time and she can afford to be selective of whom she chooses to share her time with.
I will tell her to learn many skills, to use her holidays to take a class in something she enjoys – a language, an instrument, a skill. Something.
I will tell her that being single is not a crime, in fact its necessary.
I will tell her to invest in herself. To read widely and know a little about a lot of things.
I will tell her that i read a lot of the wrong things.
I will tell her to save up and take trips to many different places. There is much to learn outside of home.
I will tell her to be deliberate about het growth. I will tell her to talk to herself more. To be kind to herself.
To change her style, her character, her laugh until she found one that fit. I will tell her to give herself the freedom to change until she finds her best self.
I will tell her to allow herself to fail. To forgive herself. To be patient with herself.
I didn’t love myself enough and i relied too much on other people to do it for me. They failed. But i failed me first.
I will tell her that i love her, but she needs to love herself and if she doesn’t, she has the power to change and grow into the kind of person she can love.
If Christ’s scars kept me from the full measure of the punishment of my sin, i hope that my scars will help my sister (and whoever else) not to cut in the same places. I hope they will allow them to learn without having to bleed too.
Your past follows you, remember to make peace with yours. I’m still paying for mine. Heaven has forgiven me, but life hasn’t forgotten.