Fifteen years ago:
How did you talk and think? Where was your time spent? What did you stand for?
If you're anything like me, some of the memories that come flooding back are cringe-producing. Others are nostalgic and warm. I can still remember the feeling of excitement as the world was opening up and life's possibilities seemed endless and wide. I could just as easily have been pining for something silly like homecoming court, as standing up for the new student who was being bullied in Spanish class. I was insecure and selfish, but energetic and driven too.
Mostly I was just young.
Very few of us remember specific words that were spoken to us back then, but we all remember how the people in our lives made us feel, don't we? It's like they're frozen in time when we picture them. We're oblivious to the fact that laugh lines are inching their way onto all of our faces. Age and change doesn't discriminate. This story comes to mind:
Jesus told them, “A prophet has little honor in his hometown, among his relatives, on the streets he played in as a child.” Jesus wasn’t able to do much of anything there—he laid hands on a few sick people and healed them, that’s all. He couldn’t get over their stubbornness. He left and made a circuit of the other villages, teaching. (Mark 6:4-6, Msg.)
His own hometown couldn't even accept a sinless, healing Jesus. We humans just get stuck, don't we? And being stuck and stagnant smells like "pigeon". We create steadfast, partially-truthful stories in our minds. We remember the mistakes of each others' youth and forget that the majority of us change, mature, and gain wisdom throughout the years. Surely the childhood bully is now a vicious adult! The one who broke our heart back then is probably still a cheater!
I don't know how you describe yourself now, but I'm certain that you are not the same person you were fifteen years ago. Neither am I. Today, I look at myself in the mirror and accept the face I see staring back at me. I'm somebody who's forgiven herself for the messes. I believe that there is a God who loves me and that there are people who love me too.
He did that.
In this season of graduations, weddings, reunions, and unexpected summertime run-ins, can we give one another some grace? Can we see our brothers and sisters with a fresh set of eyes? Loving ones? Kind ones? Maybe we could even giggle a little bit at the memories...or make altogether new ones!
I can't wait to see how much God has worked in us in yet another fifteen years. How about you?
Nice to meet (the new) you,
"When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me." (1 Cor. 13:11, NIV)
"Run away from infantile indulgence. Run after mature righteousness—faith, love, peace—joining those who are in honest and serious prayer before God. Refuse to get involved in inane discussions; they always end up in fights. God’s servant must not be argumentative, but a gentle listener and a teacher who keeps cool, working firmly but patiently with those who refuse to obey. You never know how or when God might sober them up with a change of heart and a turning to the truth, enabling them to escape the Devil’s trap, where they are caught and held captive, forced to run his errands." (2 Timothy 2:22-26, the Msg.)
Photo Credit: Ludovic Francois
Believer. Wife. Mom. Writer. Marriage and Family Therapist. Accidental Speaker. Crossfitter and Total Book Nerd.
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