Written By: Krista Dunbar
My past does not define me.
Say those words aloud. My past does not define me. In just those words, there’s such a release and freedom that finds rest on my soul. There’s an air of grace as the chains that seem to find my soul are unlocked and abandoned.
I hope you feel the same as you say those words. But for some of us, those words serve as a reminder that no matter how ugly, how sinful, how tarnished or shameful the choices we’ve made in our past are, they DO NOT define us.
We all have a story. We all have something we want to hide, just like Adam and Eve in the garden.
“And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.”
Almost instinctively, Adam and Eve hid themselves upon committing the first sin known to mankind. While their account is written in the Bible, we too, even today, struggle with re-living and responding the same way…in shame and fear. We know that with our actions comes consequences, good or bad and follow in step with Adam and Eve when we choose to hide ourselves from the One who cares for us and created us to be free from the messiness sin brings to our lives.
My college years were full of life and full of the bruises and tarnishes that comes with making the wrong choices. When I would mess up, I would sink into pits of guilt rather than facing my mistakes and going to the One who could give me grace and forgiveness.
I don’t know you or your story. I don’t know what you’ve chosen or what paths you’ve crossed. No matter what your past looks like, dear one, know that you don’t have to hide. Come out from your hiding place and show yourself to God. He is the one who saves, provides forgiveness to our aches, tarnished hearts, and bruised souls. He is the One who makes us fully whole and new.
Your past does not define you. In Christ, you are a new creation.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.”
-2 Corinthians 5:17-19