"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." (2 Corinthians 5:17)
This has been a characterizing truth for my life as of recently.
...Well, in a way it always has been. But for what seemed to be the longest year, I didn't allow that truth fully transform my life. I stared into the mirror every morning, looking at this girl who desperately hoped for a change and felt trapped in that particular stage of her life. I mourned my soul as if it were eternally lifeless. I convinced myself that there was nothing I could do to escape those chains, and I fell asleep every night with this presumption that the next day, I'd still be this screw-up of a person. I felt powerless, weak and guilty. For a long year, I gave up on myself. I let my circumstances define who I was -- I pointed my fingers in blame at my circumstances for "not letting me leave."
But the problem wasn't in my circumstances -- it was in how I allowed myself to think; rather, how I didn't allow myself to think (I wish ignorance was bliss at that moment, but it was far from it). I allowed myself to think I was weak, because I didn't claim the strength that Christ has always promised me as His child. I allowed myself to think I was perpetually enslaved, because I didn't fully acknowledge that Christ has already broken those chains. I allowed myself to think I was in a dark pit, because I didn't remember that Christ has lifted me high and above these problems.
I woke up one random morning late July, and the truth and reality of that verse, the entirety of the Gospel, hit and overwhelmed me. I'm a new creation in Christ. All of a sudden I saw myself in a different light; I was no longer a sinner stuck in her faults and mistakes, but I was a strong child of God who was already freed 2,000 years ago on a cross from all that tried/tries to hold me down. My sin stopped defining me long ago when Jesus clothed me in His mercy. I am now defined by the love of the Creator of the universe. I was never chained -- I was always free to run ahead to Jesus. I was always free to leave my old self behind. That morning, I claimed it. In His truth I became new again.
The old has passed away.
The new has come.
And that's the beauty of this verse; this completely redemptive statement. There is comfort and security in just knowing that Christ has made those who love Him a new creation with a clean slate, once and for all.
How often do we chain ourselves down to our mistakes and guilt? How often do we get distracted by the trials we think we've failed, and how often do we allow the enemy to trick us into thinking we're trapped where we are? When those feelings and thoughts leave you downcast, remind yourselves that when Christ gave His all to save your soul eternally, that also meant He's already saved you from this temporary thorn in your life. He's given you the strength to move on from this. All you need to do to claim that strength is believe in Jesus Christ.
Now it's time to live life with full confidence in Him. Christ in His love has given us a greater purpose in our new lives, and may each and every one of us diligently seek that purpose out and joyfully live in accordance to that. Let's dedicate all that we do to God -- our talents, our interests, our thoughts, even a newly launched photography website... if that's your thing too! Be empowered to know that you can move on and start clean from whatever poisonous or hard situation you feel stuck in.
Thank you, Lord, for redeeming me, for rescuing me because You loved me even before the foundation of the world. May I remember all that You've done to forgive all wrongs I've done. May I always see the beauty in this new life You've graciously given me, and may I live this new life for You and only You. May Your name eternally be glorified in my life. Amen.