Monday, April 21, 2008

A New Creation?

One benefit of moving to a new place, like when we moved to Irving, is that you have the gift of a clean slate. There may be a few people around you who know your life story, but largely, what others know about you is what you have chosen to tell them. Even if you're somewhat candid about who you've been, those people see who you are now - redeemed, restored, and renewed by the blood of Christ.

Coming home after four years away is making me face up to what I truly believe about my identity in Christ. It has been humbling. I've always had the abridged - appropriately vague when it needs to be - version of my testimony memorized, ready to share any time I might need to. I am all about getting my plunder from the enemy and giving God glory from what had been my shame. Of course, that includes the seriously good news that I am a new creation in Christ Jesus. And I believe that I am a new creation with all my heart, even though I know that I am only a season of missed quiet times away from returning to my old folly.

So, what do I believe about myself when I am in my new Sunday School class at my new-old church and someone in that group knew me back when? Oh yeah, and they haven't known a thing about me since. For all they know, I am still who I was. What do I believe then? Do I really believe I'm a new creation? Can I hold my head up? Will I believe that Jesus' blood took away my shame, or will I roll around in the ashes of who I was?

Well, enemy, even though I'm tempted to play your game and it hurts my heart that I ever gave you this ammunition to use against me, this isn't going to happen. Jesus gave me a crown of beauty to wear instead of those ashes, and those ashes don't really go with my fine linen, bright and clean, that He's given me to wear. So you can keep your ashes. I'll have my crown.

*Allow me to speak to any young woman out there who may be flirting with or fully engaged in sin. Stop what you're doing and please repent before the Lord. Share your struggle with a trustworthy friend. Let Jesus restore you. You have no idea how long your sin has the capability of affecting your life. Let today be the last day it reigns over you. I love you.
Amanda


2 Corinthians 2:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Revelation 19:6-9

Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:
"Hallelujah!
For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready.
Fine linen, bright and clean,
was given her to wear." (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)

Then the angel said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!' " And he added, "These are the true words of God."



Isaiah 61

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,

3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.

4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.

5 Aliens will shepherd your flocks;
foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.

6 And you will be called priests of the LORD,
you will be named ministers of our God.
You will feed on the wealth of nations,
and in their riches you will boast.

7 Instead of their shame
my people will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace
they will rejoice in their inheritance;
and so they will inherit a double portion in their land,
and everlasting joy will be theirs.

8 "For I, the LORD, love justice;
I hate robbery and iniquity.
In my faithfulness I will reward them
and make an everlasting covenant with them.

9 Their descendants will be known among the nations
and their offspring among the peoples.
All who see them will acknowledge
that they are a people the LORD has blessed."

10 I delight greatly in the LORD;
my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up
and a garden causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise
spring up before all nations.

85 comments:

The Preacher's Wife said...

Oh goodness.

That whole unworthy thing happens to me every time someone laughs their head off when they find out I am a preacher's wife.

Jesus even acknowleged a prophet had no honor in his hometown so if they scoffed Him, we sure aren't going to escape it...

Hold that head high, friend. I bet that girl you mentioned has her own junk and you'd forgive her of it if you knew, right? I'll bet she has you too....

CrownLaidDown said...

Well said, beautiful (inside and out) Sister!

And plunder? I believe you'll be taking a "bonch" of it from that enemy. Not only that, I believe that in each situation, He will supply the grace you need in it to get through it. That's my prayer for you.

Praying for other sisters out there, too--may they receive your words deeply and may they impact them fully.

Now for a shallow comment: Watched you and Melissa on BG week 5 last night. Your hair is darlin' and your outfit (red sweater that buttons at the top) is too cute.

Them Chandlers said...

That's exactly what I'm talking about :) Kingdom work :)

Lindsee said...

Amanda-

Seriously, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. You have no idea how much this spoke to me.

I share this same struggle in accepting my new job. (At the same church I've been attending my whole life.) I always wonder what people are thinking. Is SHE really taking that job? No. Can't be. Look at her back then.

But, I just want to scream and shout and show them what the LORD has done to this sinful, sinful girl. He IS the mighty reedemer. Amen!

So, thank you! It blessed me.

Lindsee

Nicole said...

Thanks for being so transparent. Your challenge to young girls is so good. I remember telling my husband of my WHOLE past for the first time(I was not saved until I was 23). It was before we were engaged and though I knew I was forgiven, I wanted him to know everything. After much confession and tears his comment was, "I know if you would have known what Jesus had for you, you wouldn't have done those things."
It struck my heart so deep. Your comment about - "You have no idea how long your sin has the capability of affecting your life" needs to be shouted from the roof tops to all young girls out there. Though I am forgiven and know I am a new creation, how I wish I could go back and do many things over.

Heather said...

This is so beautiful. I too struggle when I'm around folks who knew me "when". I was a mess and made some big mistakes and sometimes it is hard to believe the truth when you are with people who remind you of who you were not believing that God is big enough to have changed you!

Love the note to anyone who may be fully in or flirting with sin! So true! If I could have stopped earlier or gotten out sooner ... But then I look at how God has redeemed me and I praise Him!

Cathy Davis said...

I'm working through this section in Breaking Free right now and said a prayer this morning about wearing a crown of beauty instead of ashes! It's very easy for the enemy to get to us, and I'm very proud of you for showing him where to go (and us too!)!! I know I've been struggling with issues (that I'm trying to break free from) and this post helps. Thank you! Love love love ~ Cathy

Linda said...

Great post. I can relate. I totally find myself feeling unworthy when I see someone from my past that doesn't know the me that God has restored. Thank you for this post.
Blessings,
Linda

Amy Beth @ Ministry So Fabulous! said...

THIS young lady sure appreciates that word from you! :)

anita from kansas said...

Wise words for some, not so young ladies!!

Jenna said...

Amanda, thank you so much for this post. The way you share your heart, as well as your constant encouragement is so appreciated!

Cindy-Still His Girl said...

WOW. Powerful, Amanda. And timely for me. I have felt judged by and embarrassed in front people who knew me when... a different, more immature, more selfish version of me. I sometimes want to hide; I sometimes want to yell, "You have no idea who I am now; what He has done for me!" Mostly I want to hide. Thanks for reminding me that is exactly what satan wants.

The Barfuss Family said...

Thank you so much for the encouragement! Such a great reminder for me. :)

kittyhox said...

I find there are people (in my extended family) that I actually avoid because I don't want to deal with the old me vs. the new me thing. Ugh.

Nancy said...

You are so beautiful, Amanda. And your beauty is showing.

Thanks for directions to your favorite place to shop for fine linen and crowns!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for what you said...I've recently come out of my rebelious days. I'm a pastors daughter so I feel like I'm living in a fish bowl so to speak. Everyone is quick to point out your flaws but not offer any help. I've struggled for 7 years with an eating disorder and am starting to see the light. It's always encouraging when people who've "been there" reach out to the ones who are still in the midst of suffering.
Thanks for what you said today it means alot to me.

Rachel Harmon
clemsongirl86@yahoo.com

BethAnne said...

I sooooo could have written this post! I know there are people who think that Beth Moore's daughter could never have been anything other than perfect. It is great the you can stand up and say that you have strayed and urge people to come back to their first Love. You have it all together now and your testimony will be a wonderful encouragement to so many.

Prairie Rose said...

Thanks so much for posting this. I've been living in a "new place" for several years now and am also getting ready in the next couple months to move back to my hometown, and the church where I grew up, and I've entertained some of the same doubts and questions about fitting back in where people knew who I WAS but missed the growth in recent years so don't know who I AM... I can totally see me going this route, and I'll bookmark this post to reread it if the time comes so I won't stumble. Thanks again!!

CrownLaidDown said...

You don't have to post this, but the sweater...was black with a fuschia shirt underneath. It was very pretty on you!

Sunni at The Flying Mum said...

Trading your sorrows, trading your shame, your laying it down for the Joy of the Lord. Love that song! And when the enemy tries to get me down in the dumps about myself, I love to sing those lyrics.

4 days, sister soldier!

Amanda said...

Bethanne, I definitely don't have it all together, but thanks to the Holy Spirit I am living in victory through dependence on Him. Christ in me, the hope of glory, amen?

Stephanie (Ocean Mommy) said...

You know what? I think Jesus is all over you and I believe they see the difference. Keep that crown on and don't you dare let that head of yours droop in shame, look them in the eye...they'll see HIM!!

HisTreasuredPossession said...

Needed to hear that! Thank you so much!

debra said...

Such a good post. Thank you for sharing these scriptures. I am going back to read them again.

debra

Natalie Witcher said...

preach it. my friend Kim always says "It's a plunderful life!"

sheltonfamily said...

So good and something I needed to hear today. We just moved to TX a while back and it has been tough in some ways to feel like I have to "fit in" and I realize I just need to be myself and the Lord will bring me the right friends. Thanks for your encouragement.

Kelly @ Love Well said...

Beautiful Amanda.

Keep listening to the Voice of Truth.

Mommy Dot Com said...

Arise shine for your light has come and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.

We love you Amanda!

Corrie's Blog said...

Good, good word...Glory! Thank you! :)

Amanda Rooney said...

Amanda,

"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that YOU may be filled to the measure of ALL the fullness of God."

We serve a BIG God! And His love is so much bigger than our past! Honey, EVERY saint has been a sinner. We all fall down...and then get up. Everyone has a past. And each one of us could tell of many experiences that we are not proud of.

I too live where I grew up. And though I run into people (even at church) who remind me of things I did back when...I CAN be proud of who I am now. And so can you. You are the mother to your precious son, Jackson and a wife and life long partner to Curtis. The good here definately out shadows the bad!!!

May you be blessed today.

PS. I LOVE the Angel Care monitors! Ethan is officially in his own bed now! (See blog for proof) :)

Shelley said...

Thank you. Two months ago, my husband and I moved away from our families and where we grew up. Since then, I have been experiencing such freedom and growth in the Lord.

And then last week we went back to visit family. It was so awful and I couldn't figure out why. I have been running it through my mind and your post really resonates with me. I will be back reading this post again, when I have more time to really soak it up and figure out how to deal with our next trip back to our families.

Fran said...

I've got my 20 yr HS reunion this SUmmer and I'm scared. The difference in the old and me is just night and day....thank you Jesus! Its going to be tough to go "back."

Cheryl said...

Oh, I can so relate. I have recently gotten reacquainted with some sorority sisters through facebook. The last time I had contact with these girls, well, we were fully enjoying sorority life...enough said.
Now, I'm the wife of a pastor!
And I am dealing with the exact same issues. I'm not the same person I was back then! I'm a new creation and I'm praying that I will be able to convey that message to them!
Thanks for sharing!

Spiritmom said...

Satan often whispers to me that I"m not worthy of my wonderful husband (who does not have a colorful past) and certainly not good enough to raise a daughter to become a godly woman. Today I choose not to believe those lies. Today I am redeemed, loved, forgiven and blessed. Praise You, Jesus!!!!

Hillary said...

Thank you, Amanda!

BethAnne said...

Okay, maybe you dont have it ALL together (none of us really do, do we?), but in the eyes of young women (and maybe some old ones too ;-) you are a great example. They see you as a real person who has a real testimony, not just "Jesus talk", but you have experienced God's grace and have been brought out of a sinful season with your faith in tact and praise on your lips. (hey that sounded pretty good - I think I might need to write that one down - hahahaha)
I said I could have written that post because, while I am not the daughter of a 'famous' Bible teacher, I am the daughter of a Director of Stewardship at one of the largest Southern Baptist churches in the south and I, too have lived through season(s) of sin. I always say I have been to the dark side and it "ain't what its cracked up to be". I am constantly aware that there are people who look at me and say "She's leading Bible study?" or "She is involved in Womens ministry?" So, I can relate to past history causing present distress.......you said it well when you said, "I am all about getting my plunder from the enemy and giving God glory from what had been my shame".......that is a concept that many young women need to grasp...........good job explaining it and thank you for sharing it!

Becky Kiser said...

Girl I know what you mean! Coming back to HFBC after being gone for four years was exciting at first... but then became embarassing/frightful/etc. I was worried that people would still see me for who I was then (a 16 year old just trying to figure out Christianity and making lots of mistakes doing so). It was awkward running into people, wondering what their looks meant. It was so humbling. But it also was so neat to see how far the Lord brought me. In God's time they will see it too. Until then, accept the opportunity to be humbled and reach out to those in teh same situation. Welcome back! :)

Dionna said...

Amanda -
I'd love to have you share your testimony on your blog with us sometime. The abridged version is fine - :)

Tessa said...

Amen.Amen. Let it be King Jesus that we all would walk in our identity in You alone. Help us to remember that You change and mold us and in that we are new. Jesus thank You that we are new creations and we are clean.

I had a friend tell me this past weekend, "You are different. A lot more mellow. And it is easy to talk to you." I have not seen, nor really talked to her in 8 years. She does not know the Lord and is very into the feminist movement. Her name is Andrea and I ask that you all pray for her because on Thursday I will be seeing her one last time and I pray that Jesus would open the opportunity to verbally share.
I am praising my Lord that He has and is changing me when I don't think that He is. For someone to see and tell that they see a difference is all witness to Our Lord. Praise Him, Praise Him all ye children. God is Good. God is good.

Heather said...

I so needed that this morning. Isaiah 61 became my favorite verses about 8 years ago thanks to your mom. Now I use those verses to pray over Jude.

Love you!

Dana said...

I have my "ahem" 25th high school reunion this year, and these thoughts have been running through my head as well. Thanks for the reminder..I just might go now!

Blessings,
Dana

Erin said...

perfect timing sister, just PERFECT...I really needed this.

Grandmamitz said...

Thank you Amanda for sharing. God has called me to teach, listen, mentor five Jr. Hi. inner-city girls who I have grown to love. I have nothing in common (being 57 yrs old and they 12-13 yrs and I don't know what makes young things tick or their "language") with these girls but long to see them embrace Jesus and be pure, godly girls/women. I often wonder if I make a difference in their lives, but I keep coming back every thursday. Your post encouraged me to keep loving them and keep letting them know they can be new creations in Jesus Christ.
I wish I could write/communicate like you and your mom but I think you get what I'm trying to say. If you could just say a quick prayer for Lesley, Laura, Grizelda, Gabby, Shauni, I would be grateful.
--Mitzi

Lauren said...

Amen and hallelujah. What a good word.

I think this is also especially true with family members sometimes. You change and they may not realize or accept it, remembering everything you were for many years.

Heather said...

Amanda,

I have been reading your blog for awhile now, and I feel like I need to leave a comment thanking you for your post. I think we are about the same age (I'll be 29 in about three weeks), but unlike you, I didn't grow up in a Christian home. I spent my entire young adult life going through one big season of sin. God is faithful, however. Looking back over my life, I see that God had been pursuing me the entire time. There were three distinct times that I can recall being drawn to church--when I was 3, 13, and 17. The first two times I found someone who was willing to take me to church, and the third time, I went by myself. That third time I walked into a church a very scared, very alone, pregnant teenager. For whatever reason, nothing ever "stuck" with me for very long. People told me about Jesus, but not very much, and no one ever reached out to me to disciple me in any way. Anyhow, it wasn't until my 9 year old son (he'll be 11 this year) expressed interest in going to church, that I even considered going back. I mean, after all, it had never really worked out for me anyway. And, I thought that was because I was so dirty. I wasn't like the people who went to church. But, because my son wanted to go, I found a church to attend. Glory to God, I accepted Jesus last year as my personal savior. And, not surprisingly, I wanted to become very involved in my church. As soon as I did, though, I hit a wall. The women in my church didn't reach out to me, and I felt I wasn't like those women in my Sunday school class or the women who attended the women's Bible Study. There were so many days, the thought would cross my mind not to go to church or Sunday school. I thought, "You aren't like them, you're never going to be like them. They're good, and you're not. Look at you, you're still a mess. You are still dealing with so much sin. They're never going to like you." And, if it hadn't been for my son, I probably would have never gone back. I did go back, though, and I've made a couple of friends. I still struggle with those negative thoughts, but thanks to your post, I will remember that I am a new creation!

I'm sorry that this comment is so long. And, it probably contains way more information about this stranger than you ever needed to know. Thank you so much for your post. It really did mean a lot to me.

Oh, and before I forget, I'm sure you hear this all the time, but your mom has been a huge blessing to me. Believing God was the first Bible study I had ever done in my entire life, and it was during that study that I accepted Christ as my Savior. I will be forever grateful to her for that.

I hope you have a wonderful rest of your week. Sorry for the novel. But, thank you again for your post!!!

Deb said...

I wish a thousand times over the teen girls I teach would realize that it is harder to stand against the crowd but so worth it! To know that the reputation follows us in man's eyes, and we have to prove to them (and sometimes ourselves) that we are a new creation. Oh, to live without that baggage is awesome!! Thanks for sharing your heart!

boomama said...

"Will I believe that Jesus' blood took away my shame, or will I roll around in the ashes of who I was?"

God has really been convicting me lately about this very thing. If He's been gracious and faithful enough to give me victory, I'd better dang well live like it. Yes ma'am.

Cindie said...

You are wise beyond your years sweet sister in Christ. I think that it is something we have all struggled with at one time or another.

The enemy and some folks, even in our churches would like to keep us chained to the past. Praise God that he has been able to make us new and that we have his forgiveness and can hold onto His promises.

I thank God for His mercies which are new every morning. Hold your head u high and know that His good work shines in your life.

Fonda said...

Amen!

Marilyn said...

Amanda....this post was so needful....not only to young women but to us older women as well. I especially thought your proclaimation... "I know that I am only a season of missed quiet times away from returning to my old folly" ....was SO full of wisdom! That's where we all are......only a season of turning our backs on the Lord and there's no telling where we would end up! Thanks for reminding us older Christians of that! There's no time when we can think that we have it all under control and can sit back and rest! Satan is just waiting until we relax to pounce on us!

Continue to hold your head up high and rejoice in who the Lord has made you Amanda!

God bless you.
Marilyn in MS

Anonymous said...

So beautifully written and obviously a testimony many of us could have written. Just remember, His power is made perfect in our weakness. If you'd never gone down a wrong path, it would be easy for people to look at your life as Beth Moore's daughter and think of you as just a really good girl with a perfect life who has it all together. When you've been in the pit in that place where you absolutely can not rescue yourself and Jesus has pulled you out and set your feet on higher ground, that becomes a testimony to His AMAZING power and grace.

Thank you for your transparency. May God prosper you and Curtis in your new life in Houston and rain showers of blessings upon your family.

jennyhope said...

oh Amanda how I have struggled with this. Amen for the warning at the end. I have played with fire and gotten burned and I say the same STOP and TURN. It is not worth the repercussions.

What a beautiful post. How I need to remember daily when that voice of condemnation comes that I am a new creation. Even for the sins that I have committed when I knew better and had a walk with the Lord.

Thank you!

Becky said...

Well said!

I have been struggling with this same issue. I am starting a bible study with some girls who also share in my "past". I want their heart to be captivated by God's word, and the truth. We are going to be doing Believing God. I have started it online, and it is LIFE CHANGING. Thank you for your honest words. I am a new creation too!

Deborah said...

So true, so rich, so encouraging! :) Thanks for sharing!!

Marla Taviano said...

Bless you, girl! This was so sweet.

Have you had a chance to look at the book yet? (Changing Your World One Diaper at a Time) With the way things are going around here, I probably never even sent it to you. Sigh.

Please let me know if I didn't. And if it got lost in your move, I GET YOU. We've moved 10 times and who knows where all our stuff is??

Anonymous said...

Amen and amen, sweet sister! Renewing the mind is a thought by thought, moment by moment, present active participle act of believing God, isn’t it? Yes, ma’am, your mama taught me insurmountable truths through her study of Believing God, and praise Him, my eyes are seeing and have seen what He saw. Raise that shield of faith and wave that sword of the Spirit and you will demolish any lies Satan tries to throw out there. One of the reasons I love not living where I grew up is all of that was in the past and stays there! I can’t fathom the challenges of it crossing your mind. And Satan thinks he is so crafty, but God is full of all wisdom and power! Thank you for this post!!
Amy in OK

Becoming Me said...

That was a beautiful post Amanda. You have such wisdom at a young age. You aren't really that much younger than I am, but I feel like I've grown so much since I left my 20's and hit mid thirty hood. I too have and still have these very struggles. I hope I have finally thrown out those old tapes.

Kelly said...

This is an equally worthwile reminder to us to be careful in how we are looking at others. Do I allow my sisters in Christ to grow in their walk, or am I guilty of freezing them (in my mind) where they used to be. It is easy for me to ask for grace from others, I am sorry to admit that I may not always be as generous in giving it.

Great post!

HIS daughter said...

AJ,
Thank you! When I stumbled upon your blog through someone else's blog, I was shocked that it was "you".

I thought you really must need some privacy! BUT, I see others have found you here. Perhaps they are all "real world friends" and I am intruding...BUT, I have to tell you - You became "REAL" in a beautiful way through that post!!

I thought when GOD planted me back in the very tiny, "everybody knows you and your business" town that my husband and I had committed adultery against one another and GOD'S laws, HE must have made a terrible mistake!

Surely HE had to have planned for us to live in the lovely town 40 minutes away, even though our Insurance Agency is in "Tiny,Southern,Everybody Knows Your Sins" town! HE had a plan to prosper us in the other town! YES, and I was claiming that promise of being new.

New Creation, but not new location.
HIS divine will, that I bent my knee in sobs over was perfectly ordained.

To show forth HIS glory, my husband and I were called upon to walk out our new faith; our newness of life in HIS salvation - in front of the same people we "glorified" the enemies plans.

Everyone that "knew us when" asks and The Father is glorified by our sharing of HIS grace, power and yes, MIRACLES..even today! Praise You Lord!


In this humbling, yet wonderful lesson in being obedient to HIM, the very town where I wore the letter "A" on my forehead, I now walk with a unseen seal of my Savior.

I adore you for your transparency as someone who is "well-known".

That is how Our Father receives HIS glory and not anyone else. Not your Mom, as godly and as wonderful as a mom can be. Beth always says all the glory goes to HIM.

You are giving HIM just that in your situation, bless your sweet heart!

I will pray for you. I know you didn't commit the heinous sins I did, but I understand what you are saying exactly!

Forgive me if this is a place for friends and family - I just had to reply to your "heart laid bare" post!

Blessings and Prayers,
Teri

dreamingBIGdreams said...

Oh my goodness do I relate to this one. I dread/fear going anywhere where I might see someone from high school or first 3 years of college. DREAD it. why? because I'm not who I was then. I was a Christian who hadn't sold out to God. I was good 4 days out of the week and bad the rest. I did not represent the God that I represent today.

I am thankful that I'm a new creation and so thankful that I can hold my head high and proclaim how God has changed my life and I live differently now.

Isn't God good!

:)jamie

CrownLaidDown said...

You know I just read on BooMama's site that she went to bed with this post on her mind. You know what? So did I.

In fact, I was thinking aboout how hard it HAD been for us living in our home town for nearly ten years after we had been away for about 6 in college. It was hard. And we often would quote Jesus saying, "A prophet in his hometown is without honor."

It wasn't a bad thing, though. It was really very good!

Still chewing on your post today, Amanda.

twinkle said...

I guess you know that post qualifies as an "epistle!" It was so powerful!
Listen, I don't do this very often but I would really like your input on a MEME on my blog. I think you would bless us all with your thoughts...so I'm tagging you! Come visit and see!

Natasha said...

That was awesome! Thank you so much!

Lisa in Ft. Worth said...

Wow, Amanda. This is a powerful post. I also returned to the church I grew up in and now serve in a ministry there that takes me into the elementary school I attended and later taught in. So, there's a lot of running into people who knew me "when." I find it hard to relate differently to some of them, even though I know how much God has changed me. Those old patterns kind of creep in and take over before I realize it.

Your classmate will no doubt see glimpses of what God has done in your life in time. But, what's important is that you keep pressing ahead in Truth with the Lord. He'll take you far beyond where you are even now! Your post is a great reminder for all of us.

I love your transparency and wholeheartedly echo that word to younger ladies and girls. Oh, to be able to go back and do some things differently... Thank God that He redeems it all!

My cup runneth over... said...

What a powerful post...I've struggled with this one at times, too. Wishing I could somehow speed up the time it will take them to see and know the newer, much different me. You are wise to bring this struggle to light and claim the promises of Christ, our only remedy...PRAISE GOD! Thanks for being so real.

Blessings,
Tracy

Abby said...

"I am all about getting my plunder from the enemy and giving God glory from what had been my shame."
....i have been trying to do this but not really grasping what it meant..
and then last night at church our pastor did a lesson on Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead and explained to us (in a good Baptist "point" sermon haha) that not only did Jesus call Lazarus to be raised from the dead, but when Lazarus walked out from the tomb, Jesus insisted that he take off his grave clothes. because Jesus is not only the resurrection, but also the LIFE. and you can't LIVE bound in the same clothes that you were once buried in.

for years i've just been a dead girl walking...raised from the dead out of my sin, but not fully alive because i never took off my grave clothes--things that still had me bound to that previous life.
thanks for this amanda...your wisdom never ceases to amaze me...and i'm honored to be in the good fight with you

Jennifer said...

Thank you for sharing. I like what someone once told me... When Satan brings up your past, remind him of his future!

Sam McClure said...

My heart so resonates with this, Sister! After moving so much my whole life, I know what you are saying. And yes, the enemy wants to play the game with us. I am so proud of you for claiming what is yours! Love you!

Michelle Bentham said...

Beautifully said Amanda, and a poignant reminder that we must get up and put on our new identity everday, no matter who we might encounter - friends old or new.

Blessings.

I'm giving away a cd over at my blog for anyone who is interested:

My Free Give-Away Post

Leslie said...

So true. Memories of my past failings can be so difficult to deal with. But I've found that the one good thing about remembering my failures is that it reminds me that I'm no better than anybody else. I need just as much help and grace as anybody. And then it doesn't bother me so much.

Jungle Mom said...

We are all unworthy! Thank God he is still working on me!

Rachel in Louisiana said...

Your post hit a nerve with me. I've felt the same way. And I only go back to my hometown once in a blue moon because my family doesn't even live there anymore. We're a military family and I've found that I actually enjoy moving sometimes because I get a do-over.
I know you posted it, but your verse said it perfectly, you are a new creation in Christ, old things have past away. Sometimes we are our own worst enemy. Don't let the Devil get a foothold in God's victory. I keep thinking of that song, "He who the son sets free, is free indeed." You are so far from your past Amanda, no matter where you live, because of what you've allowed Christ to do in your life. And just think what a blessing it will be to those who new you to see how you've changed. My husband always tells the kids not to brag about anything, because if you're good at something people will figure it out by watching you and there's no need to be arrogant. It's the same way in our daily Christian life....those people who knew you before will see your different just by watching you.

Sun said...

Oh how I can relate! GREAT post! Sunshine

Laura said...

Amanda,
How wonderfully spoken. So often that not being good enough can really hit you right in between the eyes. That is Satan's thing. He wants to destroy us, take us down but we are his forver. But that sometimes he doesn't give up there. He will distract us with thoughts about us and I might not measure up.
I am his child forever and NO ONE can ever take me out of his hand.
Love,
Laura

Tenille Rauls said...

I have just started trying to get "really real" with myself and others on my blog and at first I was even scared to do that in case someone would think I was trying to sound like I am a "goody goody" which is the farthest from the truth. Isn't is just awful how the devil can snag us while we are having the best intentions! Anyway, thanks for the encouragement....it is great to get a word! Tenille Rauls, http:\\tenille.blogplot.com
Is it ok for me to post where my family blog is? I read along the way in comments I needed your permission...

Lisa Kay said...

That is the most precious thing I have read in a long time. Thanks so much for sharing.

Long timer lurker,
Lisa Kay

Erica said...

I am so very grateful that the Lord can trade my ashes in for beauty, and then that beauty can be used to bring encouragement and hope for others still in the fire. Thank you for transparently offering your insight to the Word! I love having a clean slate!

Katie said...

Amen! LOVE that Breakin' Free Scripture- break free from those thoughts, girl! Amen. May we all stop ourselves in those moments and do the same!

(Isn't it hard to STOP and recognize what you're doing and make a choice about it instead of just going into auto-pilot?)

Katie said...

Amen! LOVE that Breakin' Free Scripture- break free from those thoughts, girl! Amen. May we all stop ourselves in those moments and do the same!

(Isn't it hard to STOP and recognize what you're doing and make a choice about it instead of just going into auto-pilot?)

fAiThFuL cHiCk said...

Oh, I relate to this post more than I wish.

It seems that there are even some people who WANT you to be the person you used to be. Ugh.

We just have to cling to the promise that we are new in Christ.

Great post.

Mary B said...

Amanda
Thank you for your beautiful words. I live in the town I grew up in. My sister still goes to the church I grew up in and I find myself there once or twice a year for various functions. It is always a struggle for me to show that I am a different. But, I feel like I am put in a box as to who I was. This really helped me to see that I can shed all the bad stuff and put on a new coat. Enemy gone!

Darla said...

AJ, Love you sista! I do know what you are talking about here, and the enemy is relentless in trying to make us stumble or feel shame...we are forgiven, redeemed, loved and accepted...blessed, and adopted in the beloved...


hey wondering if you got to bring your new door from your old house?? I know how much you loved it..but I am sure being closer to work and the ones you love makes up for it...haven't been here for a while..geeeezzzz 70 comments!!!

Tracy: said...

OH great insight! I think...no I KNOW, we have all been there and felt that before! So glad we are a new creation....

Amy T said...

Amanda, very well put. My 20 year hs reunion is coming up and in "meeting" everyone again online, the different paths everyone has taken is amazing. And some whom I had nothing in common with before, we now have Jesus! So cool! And there is one guy that is now a preacher that everyone is surprised, but it's cool because everyone has been so excited to see what God has done.

Fancy Delights said...

This was a beautiful post and just what the Lord wanted to say to me today. Thank you for being honest and allowing him to work through you.

Blessings, Michelle