Well, it's official.
I'm breaking up with you.
You see, this year I'm resolved to leave you behind as I gently close my eyes to the old, and with one eyelash at a time, cautiously, yet eagerly, open to the new.
A new, drenched with new identity. Identity that speaks truth of who I am rather than who I am not. An identity that reveals to whom I belong and not to whom I don't. An identity not originated because of my past, but because of my future. Not because of my failures but because of my Savior.
Frankly, an identity that makes you shutter.
But what you've failed to understand, ifida, is that my God uses everything for His good. He takes all my past mistakes, the regrets, the strongholds, the heartbreaks, the thoughts, the wounds, the violations, the losses; and tramples them under His feet--throwing what's left of the toxic stomped-on remnants into the deepest reservoir of the oceans depths. Never to be seen, worn, or identified as me again. (Micah 7:19.) He makes me new in spite of you, ifida.
But you continue the relentless whispers...
If-I'd-a just not done that.
If-I'd-a just done that.
If-I'd-a just not gone there.
If-I'd-a just gone there.
If-I'd-a just not been there.
If-I'd-a just been there.
If-I'd-a just not said that.
If-I'd-a just said that.
Yup, it's you again ifida.
And even though your manipulative whispers are hand placed just so strategically, delicately and precisely in the corners of my mind, they no longer define me. Control me. Claim authority over me. In fact, your slanderous words are simply a keen reminder just how big my God is.
All your shame-filled, guilt-ridden, fear-based thoughts simply no longer hold power or value. You can speak, sing, whisper all you want in my mind, in order to keep my eyes gazed upon yesterday. But this time around, they're fixed on tomorrow.
You see, I now know the truth. The truth that the very areas you shamed me, through your weapon of regret, is the very thing God doesn't run from-- but runs to.
My sins, my shortcomings, my faithlessness-- none of it scares Him. In fact, He looks at it and gently responds, "Now it's time to get to work. Let's use these past, current and future yucks to become your purpose."
There is no greater an empathizer than one who has 'been-there.' Which is precisely why, Ifida, God sent Jesus to live here on this earth, to feel the heartaches we feel. To experience the suffering we experience. To know the trials we endure. To bear the losses we bear-- and be able to speak directly into the eyes of our heart, while cupping our face into His healing hands and empathetically whisper--"I've been there. I know how that feels. I know how that hurts. I know what that's like. I know... and I won't allow this loss, this heart break, this failure to break you. No, I'm going to use it to MAKE YOU!"
I'm aware of your battle strategy, Ifida. One that rigorously fights to keep my focus on what's behind so that I'll forget to look ahead. Because, truthfully, what's ahead are the actual fragments of my past that God has restored, redeemed, renewed, and made into something quite beautiful.
You see, Ifida, God takes my mess and makes it into my message. He takes my grievances and makes them into my joys. He takes my sadness and turns them into laughter. He takes my sin and makes them into my calling.
Yup, there's just no room for you any longer Ifida. it's a new year with a new start. And God is waiting to do immeasurably more than all I can ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within me! (Ephesians 3:20)
Farewell to you, if-i'd-a.