Monday, May 21, 2012

Who Am I?

A couple of weeks ago, I tried to discuss some theological ideas with someone.  A comment from 1 of her friends got me thinking about a few things:

#1 Facebook is probably not the place to discuss such issues.

#2 Some people will just never "get it".

#3 When people see something they don't understand, they either accept it readily or ridicule it.

In this case, the friend of a friend was ridiculing the conversion of someone else.  You may have read recently that I went to my 20th high school reunion.  I can safely say that I am not the same person now that I was then.  I did all kinds of things that were wrong and didn't build up the Kingdom of God.  On the contrary, I did everything I could to destroy the temple of the Lord(my body).  I made every wrong choice.  I questioned God.  I abandoned Him.  I turned away from Him.  I even cursed Him a time or 2.  I was truly a child of the devil in that I displayed his characteristics.  My heart was wounded, my soul was blackened and my spirit was in despair.  Suicide was on the table as an option.
The above friend was commenting on how another person had done everything bad under the sun but now "had found Jesus" and so was holier than thou in her attitude.  I had done everything bad under the sun.  But, at 25, I "found Jesus".  Or rather, He rescued me!  He showed me that He had a plan for my life(Jeremiah 29:11) and that despite screwing up, that plan was still valid.  The Planner always knows when there are contingencies.  I told Jesus that I was just too bad!  Why would He want someone as evil and depraved as I was?  He said, "The prettiest stained glass windows are made up of broken pieces."  He wanted to make something beautiful out of my depravity.  Jesus began to take those dirty pieces of crumbled spirit and clean them and put them together to make something beautiful. 
From the outside, I appear to be the same person: same hair, same eyes, same skin.  But on the inside, the change couldn't be more radical.  My desire to do the will of the Father.  Notice I said my desire.  I don't always do what I desire to do.  Often, I do those things I don't want to do and don't do those things I want to do(Romans 7:15).  I try to live a life that will bring glory to my Heavenly Father.  I want to honor Him.  There are those who remind me of who I was but they are not of God.  I am not who I was.  When people are so radically changed, others find themselves looking in on the change and not understanding it.  They, then, try to compare the old and the new and when that doesn't work, they try to compare the new person with themselves. Imagine a caterpillar watching the transformation of another caterpillar.  The 1 caterpillar is changed into a beautiful butterfly.  The other caterpillar just sits staring at the butterfly and ridicules its wings and colors and the ability to fly.  "You are really just a caterpillar and you will always be a caterpillar.  Nothing more!  All this "change" is just for show and you will never truly transform."  The contrast between the 2 becomes  stark and makes the other caterpillar feel unsure about themselves.  When in fact, both caterpillars have the chance to go through metamorphosis.  Unlike the caterpillars, we humans have to make that choice.  Our nature is to stay the same!  We have to let God in and let Him transform us into a new creation.
I am not pretending that my past didn't happen but I am not letting it rule my present or my future.  I know who I am in Christ and while words of ridicule may hurt my feelings, they cannot change that!  Thank You God for continuing Your work in me!

Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord.  Plans to give you hope and a future, plans to prosper you and not to harm you.

Romans 7:15: I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.

Romans 12:2: Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will. 
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