I recently found an old journal from High School while packing up some things. Lime green with the words “It’s all about me” on the front—it was pretty telling of the state of my heart as a teenager. You should have seen the inside though. Actually, I’d rather you not. It’s bad. I’m not just talking about the (obviously really good) songs I wrote. Sadly, there are worse things written in there than lyrics like, “my tears you’ll taste.”
Anyway, the journal told the story of a girl who was overflowing with idols. One who craved to be understood and known. Her happiness rose and fell based on her relationship status. She’d experienced more trauma in her childhood than most people experience in a lifetime but tragically sought refuge in everything except God.
She was me. And I was her. And yet, praise be to God for the “was”—for transformation and death to life (Ephesians 2). In that journal, I received a glimpse of a heart untethered to the Lord. It was wild, but it wasn’t free. I read enslavement on every page. The shackles of envy, lust, self-hatred, depression, self-focus, and rage choked my ankles and my wrists. Idolatry upon idolatry. Sin upon sin.
Though my husband and I laughed at the absolute drama-fest among the pages, I was grieved at the girl I found hidden in there. I was so lost—a lover of my sin yet drowning in it. Then I remember how, just a few years after penning those words, as I continued grasping for men to love me rather than use me, Jesus rescued me from myself. Since then, he has radically changed my life. Jesus doesn’t just save, he sanctifies (John 17:17). Praise the Lord!
I’ve been pondering these things the last few days, and it’s moving me to worship my King. It’s given me hope in my current struggles with sin that he is still working. The Holy Spirit is still making me into the image of Christ (Philippians 1:6).
Friend, where were you when God saved you? Maybe you don’t have an old journal, but you have your memory. Recall who you were when Jesus stepped in to save you from your sin. Maybe you were in youth group, pretending to love Jesus when really on the inside you didn’t even know him. Maybe you had just made the biggest mistake of your life when God called you out of darkness into his marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9). You might have been a young girl, a teenager, a young adult, or 50 years old. Who were you then? Who are you now? Recall God’s transformation of you! Recall how he poured out his grace on you! Remember his faithfulness today.