I am sure you have seen a meme saying “Your past doesn’t have to equal your future” or something of the sort. It was February 3rd of 2013 where I sat in a non-denominational christian worship service feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders. I was listening to a very successful businessman share his testimony on what God had done in his life. I remember sitting there sweating through my shirt literally feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders and feet. I was hunched over the entire time, completely 100% engaged in this mans story. There were about 2,500 other people in the audience. The air was a bit chilly despite the sweat pits forming underneath my shirt. I could literally see myself in this mans story.
At the time I was an atheist who would tell you to your face that there is no God. Yet I was hearing this mans story of how God transformed his life and completely engaged and open. He struggled with a lot of the same things that I was struggling with at that point in my life. Sex, alcohol, depression, anger and much more. I felt imprisoned by desires that I knew weren’t right. Yet at that moment I was fighting the urge to change my life because I didn’t know if it was really possible to restart my life. As he continued to share his story it felt like the weight on my shoulders got heavier and heavier. I was so engaged with this mans story that I guarantee that there wasn’t anything that could break my attention.
I was at a point in time in my life like many of you might be, where we want to change but we don’t know how. Nearing the end of his testimony he asked if anyone in the crowd wanted to come up, pray with him, and give their life to God. The weight got heavier. It was like my feet were glued to the ground. Could I really leave my past behind, and start a new life walking with a God I don’t really know exists? Was I really enough? Could this so called Grace he spoke about really change my life like it did his?
I was scared. To go from being an atheist to a bible believing christian in a moments notice was going to require a lot of explaining to my friends and family. After about 30 seconds of letting these questions run through my head and this fear to completely control me, I stood up and basically sprinted down to meet him. Within only a few seconds of being up in front of the stage there was a puddle of tears in front of me. I knew I had just made a decision that was going to forever change the course of my life. I had made a decision in that moment to turn my back to my past and to end the cycle of one night stands, treating women wrong, excessive drinking, pornagraphy, daily feelings of depression, and so much more in my life.
It hasn’t been all rainbows and butterflies since that day. It has been a lot of struggle to fully accept the grace I get to live in today. Its been a daily battle of layering brick by brick a foundation of completely turning my back to my past and accepting the ridiculously incredible future God has in store for me. I am not 100% there yet however God has done an amazing work in my life. I actually do not recognize myself from five years ago.
If I am guessing correctly there is a part of your past that you are not proud of that you feel imprisoned by. Maybe it was a divorce or previous relationship. Maybe its drugs abuse. Alcohol abuse. Pornagraphy. Depression. Maybe you were abused sexually or physically by someone. Maybe you got an abortion. Whatever it is, I want you to know that you can turn your back to your past and restart. You can change your life in a moment. For you are Gods handiwork created in christ jesus to do good work which God planned in advance for you to do. You have a future that is greater than your past if you choose to live in the same grace that was available to me on the morning of February 3rd, 2013.