In the Christian world, how much information is too much information? I've thought about my testimony a lot and it's a pretty powerful story, even without all the gory details. It's actually quite a sweet love story between me, my now-husband, Jesus and God. Oh, and don't forget the Holy Spirit. Gosh, gotta give that guy some credit! He/she/it is within me and I just forget sometimes that he (let's call it "he" for my sanity) is there.
Anyway, what I'm really interested in talking about is, how much of your sinful life do you really need to reveal to make an impact on someone? Can you really expect another man or woman to hear about just how down and dirty you were/are and still respect you?
Sometimes I get lost in the idea of being a new creation.
Sometimes I think people from my past, who know a lot of the dirty, scary stuff about me, won't recognize or believe how much I've changed.
Sometimes I worry that the fun-loving, crazy side of me was lost when I admitted how sinful I was and that I really needed someone to save me.
Sometimes I burn with embarrassment when I think of my behavior and what people must think about me.
Sometimes I ask myself, "Have I really changed as much as I think I have?"
Sometimes I get bogged down by others' opinion of me.
Sometimes I soar on angel's wings with the thought of how much God loves me.
Sometimes I crash and burn with my own self doubt.
Sometimes I think, if only they all knew what kind of person I really am.
Sometimes I think, how did anyone ever put up with me?
I mean, right now, I have a huge knot in my throat just thinking about the life I led.
I've just recently gotten back in touch with many former classmates, friends, and sorority sisters via Facebook, aka Huge Time Gobbler. I even got to talk on the phone with a friend from WAY back yesterday. After high school we lost track of each other because she chose not to go to college and I did. She got married and had kids while I was in the depths of my darkest hours, i.e. my most sinful (is there really such a thing?) in college. She alluded to the fact that she had heard about how I was doing back then and that she was so happy I had come out of that time and found such a happy life. We talked about former classmates and how some have really changed but stayed the same. It's weird looking at people you once knew so well. You never thought, "Hey, she would be a great mother." But now, we've all grown up. Some of us are doing the exact same things we did in high school and college. But some of us have experienced real transformation. Some of us have become mothers. Some of us have become wives. Some of us have become aware that the world does not revolve around us. (Still working on that one.)
I wanted to avoid getting back in touch with my past because I didn't really want to be reminded of who I used to be. I didn't want to be reminded of what others thought or could be thinking of me. I didn't want to. Period.
I finally began to think, "Hey, these are the people who knew me-who REALLY knew me-and now here's the chance to show them how God can work."
God can take anything and turn it into gold.
God can work on even the most stubborn.
God can bring joy where there once was sadness.
God can pull you up out of your darkest depths.
God can listen.
God can speak.
God can love anyone no matter what you've done.
God can forgive through His Son.
God can forgive.
God can forgive.
That's the one that took me a while to believe. That's where I got stuck. That's where I had to give up complete control and allow myself to become what He wanted me to be. To be loved. To be forgiven. To be His.
So now you're wondering, "Gosh, what exactly are her deepest, darkest secrets that only God knows?" I guess I've gotten to the point where I believe that He has forgiven me, and I don't need forgiveness for those things from man. I have decided to keep those things close to my heart so that if I'm ever presented with the opportunity to share with someone who really needs those examples of forgiveness, I'll be ready. 1 Peter 3:15 says, "But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect."
For now, we'll file those things under "Christian TMI."