“You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.
You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,
that I may sing praises to you and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give praise to you forever!”
-Pslam 30: 11-12 (NLT)
I came to know Jesus as my savior when I was 22 years old. A lot can happen to shape a person in 22 years, and a lot did. My past is very colourful and vibrant. There are things I am not proud of, and yet looking back there are a million ways God provided without me even realizing. I’m alive, aren’t I?
I recently had a situation where someone from my present was told about my past. In my anger and hurt, I realized – I can not be ashamed of my past. It is a testimony of how far I have come. I have often referred to myself as my”old self” and “new self”, Jesus being the source that made me new. The person from my past even showed my past in a manipulative way, behind my back, as if to show that the current “new self” isn’t real, or to bring dishonour to my name.
I thank God that the person knew my story, and knew how much I have overcome and why Im so deeply thankful for Jesus and His redemption. When she told me about the situation, she said “What struck me the most was the photos of you back then, just showed sadness in your eyes even when you were smiling or laughing.”
My heart broke at these words. I see that same agony in my eyes when I see pictures from my youth and teenage years as well, and yet this person who knew me so well never saw that back then or even today looking back. I think as believers, God allows us the honour to see more and be able to discern things that others can’t see, and my treasured beleiving friend saw right through the laughter and saw the pain. She told me herself these eyes shine brightly now. They do. I am free!
In my past, I searched so desperately for love. I wanted acceptance above all else. I wanted to belong, to know I mattered, to be important, a person of value. Now that I know Jesus and know of His love for me, His sacrifice for me, I know these things to be true. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a NEW person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” How exciting! I am loved. I am valuable. Im worth it! Im a person of deep value! God has made me with a plan for a reason! I am important in His eyes, worth even dying for. I am accepted regardless of my past.
I am so happy as I settle in with these truths. God’s love is never ending. If you don’t know Jesus, I so encourage you to seek him and accept Him into your life. I have never regretted it for a minute. Yes, I have lost things including the friendship with the person who tried to ruin my reputation, but I have gained so much more, as the Psalm said, my mourning has become joyful dancing.
Praise God for all that He has done. My life as a Christian is far different from my life without. I have come so far, and I am so excited to see what God has yet to do in and through me!