I recently came across a post in a private Facebook group that was discussing previous relationships and the number thereof. Naturally as I read the post I knew in my heart that my past relationships didn’t matter. It was my present one that shined brightest after all, but as I later contemplated to myself the vast number of broken relationships left behind I felt that all too familiar twinge of guilt for mistakes I had made once upon a time.
I wasn’t the good girl always. I had not been brought up adhering to religion, rules, or responsibility for my actions. Instead I was the carefree seeker of temporary happiness, even though at the time I hoped for something more concrete. I had made a million mistakes, told a billion lies, and even blushed at my own memoir when I reread the brash, honest words. My past wasn’t just colored. It was 3D. It was hard to move past.
The thing about a broken girl is it’s hard to find the pieces. They’re not in big chunks, but rather small slivers of crumbling, porous shards. You don’t get a quick fix all at once. You spend years picking up the fragments and trying to heal. God is good, and His love mends hearts, but human minds take a little more convincing. Even if you get to a point where you finally believe God has forgiven you, you realize the harder part is forgiving yourself.
I’ve been around the world and back when it comes to letting go of past mistakes, even the deplorable ones, but I’ve discovered that it’s not an open and shut case. It’s a place you revisit, sometimes daily, when you dig up a new pain or realize the splinter has gone far deeper than simple surface skin. The past leaves its mark, kinda like a burn, and despite a new sweet spirit through redemption, the scars still remain.
Have you ever noticed that scars tell a story? They tell of not just pain, but also perseverance. They’re not simply ugly, but moreover a beautiful reminder of survival in the face of unequivocal obstacles overcome. The scars that remain show how fire came, but it didn’t overcome the person underneath. In fact, the scars make them who they are. The scars are bravery amidst battle, strength amongst stress, and victory over adversity. Yes indeed.
I may never completely move past my past. It may be a daily cross I bear, a place of remembrance I visit on occasion, perhaps to remind me not so much of where it was that I once existed, but just how far I have truly come. It’s not looking back with regret as much as glancing over my shoulder in awe at just how much God can change a life with His tender mercy.
When you’ve been broken the pieces may never come back together to the initially intended vessel, not on this earth, anyway. But perhaps the new creation forged by fire, spirit, and salvation will be a stronger one for Kingdom purposes. That’s what I’m going with anyway.