Thursday, October 14, 2010

My past does not define my future

I talked with Leah today. I am always so encouraged by her as I hear the Spirit that is inside of me speak through me, assuring her that I am more or less on the right path, am changed from the person I used to be some 16 or so years ago since I met her. Oh my, how the time flies. Oh my, how hard I was, closed, reactive, stressed, hurting, angry a lot of the time, resentful, burdened, enslaved, cold and unloving.
I was a good person. Isn’t that what they all say? What did she see? This young woman, who seemed so innocent to the ways of the world - how could she have ever thought to consider I could be saved? After all, I was sure I didn’t need saving. I went to church, sometimes. Believed in God and thought about Him when I needed something. Why would she venture into my world, risk getting dirtied by my inequities? There is of course no answer; no earthly answer to these rhetorical questions. There is a heavenly answer though. When someone like Leah walks in the footsteps of the Savior, they see what He sees…where someone is going, not where they’ve been. They see redemption, not condemnation. They cloak the anger and pain with love and pray for a softness to take over the hardened. That was Leah’s prayer for me; that the God of all creation would soften my heart, and draw me near to Him.
I look back on the last 16 years with regret sometimes and I see how close I came to ‘getting’ it before now and also how close I came to completely falling away. Sometimes it feels as though I have wasted so much time, but I know there is no benefit from looking at my walk, my transformation, the revealing of my new self and how long it took, in a negative way. Every seed has its own germination time, every fruit it’s time of peak harvest. God knows this and I trust that while He would have loved to spare me from some of my own undoing, He allowed it as part of the process. What good is watering a seed if it is plucked from the earth before it can bear fruit? What good is harvesting the fruit if it is bitter or sour without enough time to ripen to full sweetness? Oh how I love the God who allowed me my own will in order to choose Him. Oh how I love that He chose me first. I choose my future path now…rather than wandering down ‘a’ path and sometimes veering off into brambles and thorns before stumbling on the easy path again and being moved along with the rest of the world. This path is not as easy, it is less traveled….but oh the colors. They are so vibrant, and the air is so clear and the scent of God is everywhere. This is the path I choose. It is the path that begins with acceptance. Acceptance of myself and the embracement of an attitude of gratefulness and trust that today, I am exactly where I am supposed to be. This fruit of course, is not yet fully ripened, has a ways to go to full sweetness...but the roots are on firm ground now, near running waters that give life and oh how the Son does shine!

If there are trials, they will strengthen me, when there is bounty I will share it and where there is love, my God is there and I will run to Him.