Every now and again I am reminded. I hear The Voice, or I see a familiar face and I am reminded. Sometimes I will catch a glimpse of a sideways look and I am reminded. I am reminded that I am imperfect, unkind, unworthy and sinful. It's instantly accusing. It's immediately convicting. It's crippling to any joy I might be experiencing and it robs my confidence in one felled swoop.
While I am grateful to be reminded that everyone is fallen, everyone needs Christ's grace and love, I must remember that my past does not control or define me. I have been freed and forgiven. I walk forward, looking ahead and upward for guidance, not behind as if chased by demons of the past. I can never shake the consequences of my previous choices, but I can learn from them. I can use them to look upon others with grace and understanding. I can and will share my mistakes with those who desperately crave the knowledge that Christ isn't waiting for them to be "good enough."
My mistakes have shaped me, but they don't continue to describe me. My Bad Girl doesn't get to rule my heart and mind, but she's a valuable asset to lead lost hearts to be found. I refuse to pretend that she isn't there, just below the surface. No one is picture perfect, least of all me.
I am learning to measure my wounds of the past against what they can do for my future. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." (Romans 3:23, 24 NIV) Be comforted that Christ refused the sterile life and placed himself instead in the midst of prostitutes, liars, thieves and tax collectors. It is the broken that need Him most - And Friend, we are all broken!