Memories…so many memories of times gone by…
This weekend, I drove 8 hours to Milwaukee to visit high school friends and attend my 30th high school class reunion. Such anticipation filled my heart to see friends who shared such a significant part of my life~ those high school years. The drive was filled with names and faces as thoughts dashed across my mind’s eye, recounting times of laughing, crying, watching movies, painting toe nails, getting ready for dances, driving all around the city together, walking the lakefront, shopping, eating, etc…
I am not the same person I was 30 years ago…my life, as all the others has changed dramatically.
Then ~ I was unsure of who I was; struggling to find myself in God’s story; wrestling with God~ asking the big questions: Why am I here? What is my purpose? What am I made for? Who am I?
Now ~ I am confident in who I am as a woman, a wife, and a mother, but most importantly ~ a believer in Christ… I am in love with my Savior. I have a destiny & a purpose. I know why I am here~ to bring glory to Jesus! I am made for HIS PLEASURE! I am made in HIS image.
Then ~ I was doing things my own way; following my path; making my choices no matter who those decisions affected
Now ~ I am following the path Jesus lays out for me; I listen to my Savior’s voice telling me which way to go; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake
Then ~ All the searching….looking for love and acceptance (in mostly all the wrong places/people)….longing for my heart to be satisfied…a desire to belong.
Now~ All the searching has brought me to the place of being loved and accepted because of who I am, not because of what I do. 26 years ago, I gave my whole being to the Lord ~ surrendering all of who I am to the Creator of the world! I found the satisfaction of all the longing of my heart. My desire to belong was fulfilled! I am constantly growing and changing~ being transformed more and more into the image of Christ. I bear His mark in my life!
As Stefani (my dearest friend from the years of senior high school) and I looked through yearbooks and old pictures and chatted until ALL hours of the night, I was reminded of the aching in my young heart. Stefani had saved the notes I sent her through junior and senior high school (funny & sad to hear what my young girl’s heart cried out for)… in the midst of the “surrealness” of those moments, I was overwhelmed by God’s love ~ a love that has covered all my sin; all my shame; all my mistakes; all my wrong desires; all my fleshly appetites. God pursued me THEN & He continues to pursue me NOW!
2 Corinthians 5:17 came to life in a new way for me this weekend: “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” The word “creation” is the same word used in Scripture to describe the creating of the world (in Genesis 1). At the moment I said “YES” to my Jesus, He created in me a new creation ~ in Greek, the word is “kainos (ka-hee-noss) meaning “new; unused; fresh; new in regard to form” ~ EVERYTHING IS NEW! And that verse ends with an exclamation mark, as if God is saying YES to His new creation!
I rejoiced in the memories of where I was THEN…because it gives me such an appreciation for where I am NOW! My life is to give God glory in all I say and all I do and all I am for NOW and EVERMORE!
Soli Deo Gloria (For God’s Glory Alone)