"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the
new has come!" -2 Corinthians 5:17
God's is taking the ugly things in my life, my character, my attitude and he's shaping me to be more like him. I'm so far from where I need to be: I'm selfish, I use my tongue as a weapon, I dwell on the past, I hold grudges, I judge others, I'm a quitter, I'm stubborn, I let fear control me, I still try to do it all on my own. But...I'm growing. I'm learning to work on these things which will, for me, be a lifelong process considering what a mess I am, but that's all part of the journey, right?
I don't have a sweet story...it's ugly truth and shameful secrets and a past that I don't like to remember, but God is still showing me how I'm not defined by these things. I've come a long way from the kicking and screaming that I used to do, when he wanted me to use my testimony to glorify him. There used to be a security in perfection. The first year Jon and I were married, our biggest argument was about cleaning the house...not the lack of cleaning, but the obsessive cleaning. I couldn't sit still. I was always up scrubbing something or switching the laundry over or mopping the floors for the 3rd time that day. Jon wanted me to sit and relax and spend time with him, but I was held captive by the irrational thought that everything had to be perfect. It had to be perfect or I was afraid he would leave me. Looking back, I laugh at how little I knew about my husband then. He is not bothered in the least by a mess. He doesn't even notice. Isn't this just like God, and how He's not bothered by what a mess we are? We don't have to fix ourselves or 'clean house' before we begin a relationship with him. He says, "Come as you are." I'm starting to think that maybe a tattered, torn story really is what's beautiful. He's taken me and he's turning me into the opposite of what I used to be. Isn't that what a relationship with Christ is all about anyway? Many times in scripture God talks about making things new through Him...not by own merits or accomplishments. I'm a hard worker and I was taught that if you want something, you have to do it yourself. But God tells me exactly opposite...He tells me that Grace is something I can't earn, He tells me to rely on him, He tells me to ask.
He's turning something ugly into something beautiful...beautiful only because His name is written on it and His hands have touched it.
"He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true." -Revelation 21:5
"Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind." -Isaiah 65:17
"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past." -Isaiah 43:18
"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." -Ezekiel 36:26