I can completely relate to the stories because I have a past that I am not particularly proud of. Not just because of choices that I have made but circumstances outside of my control. Well, I have found the only thing that hiding from our past provides is oppression. For many years I have been in distress as I try to prove that I am more than my past. I am more than the “poor” kid in school who got the garage sale hand me downs from her classmates, I am more than a child of a disabled mother, and I am more than a child of an alcoholic father. I am more than a teenager who made negative life choices and I was for sure more the place I came from.
The truth is I have nothing to prove and never have. Jesus already knew who I was going to be and the choices I was going to make before I even made the decisions to do them. Just like how he predicted Peter would deny him three times. “Then Jesus answered, “Will you really lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!” (John 13:38, NIV). Even still, Jesus chose Peter and continued to love him anyway. God put Peter's story in the bible for everyone to read. He didn't want it to be a hidden fact that Peter denied Jesus. Instead, we can use it as an example to learn more about the loving nature and acceptance Jesus provides.
Jesus's acceptance is exactly what I needed to overcome my need to hide my past. Like with Peter, Jesus doesn't want me to hide parts of my story. He wants me to use them to give him the glory. I am who I am today even in all of my brokenness because of the person I was, the lessons I learned, and the choices I made. God has used them and is continuing to use them fulfill his purpose for my life. I truly believe that I am a better person (not by any means am I saying I have it together- I have A LOT of work to go) today for having gone through the things I have rather than if I would have been given the life that I thought I should have had. I am no longer hiding it! I am no longer ashamed and I am no longer worried people will find out “who I really am.”