Recently, I saw someone from my not so distant past. Today I spoke to someone from my VERY distant past. In my mind I am constantly wondering "what did they think? Can they see I am different? Do they remember who I was?" In a town as small as Christchurch, the past is always just around the corner, or sitting at the end of your pew. There's no escaping it.
"Time takes time" according to Ben Folds, and he is right. The past is pain, at times, and it's hard when the pain is introduced into the new season, by the people who carry it with them. I made a fool of myself in my past, and when I see those people who saw it, I am reminded (and humiliated).
But, why be negative? I am changed - not remade, but reborn. I am free from the past and its constraints, and I am not that person anymore. I am also free of other people's expectations and judgments of me. What is important is God's expectation and judgment of me...and also, to a lesser degree, my own.
When I see these people, when the intial torment subsides, I am AMAZED at what God can do, and at what HE has done in me. Surrender to him, I beg you. Not in word only, but in deed. Tell Him, do what you will with me, whether I want you to or not. Give Him permission to do in you, what you would not have him do. He is GOD after all, God the uncreated, God the Faithful. What is there to fear? "For our present troubles are quite small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever!" (1 Corinthians 4:17)
All For Jesus.