When I moved to North Carolina ten years ago I had no idea what was in store for me. I knew there was a cute boy that I’d be spending my time with. I knew that I would be in college. I knew that I would be working somewhere. Other than that, I was completely clueless. The life that slowly developed was one full of shallow friendships, late nights at work and in bars, and tears of missing home. My temporary friends and I would work until midnight then go out drinking and brag about who could consume the most. It was an empty cycle.
My boyfriend (who would later become my husband but that’s a story for another day) at the time tried to get me to go to church a few times, but I was adamant about not going. I had been “that” girl and I had lived “that” life already, and I was not interested in going back to church. I was addicted to my sin cycle and I didn’t want to give it up.
The night that boyfriend and I were arguing on a bridge in a park that ultimately led us back to church is one that I will not soon forget. The years since then have been learning what I believe and how to trust the Lord who saved me. I understand what my purpose is, so each day is only a matter of learning what that purpose looks like lived out. This life is much more fulfilling than the empty cycle that I was on before. However, I still look back sometimes; in those moments I believe the lie that life was easier and I was more free. Peter spoke to this situation:
“Therefore, with your minds ready for action, be serious and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance. But as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:13-16).
When I look back at my old life – the one before God burst open the doors of heart and I focused solely and proudly on myself – I sometimes long for it. Any enjoyment I had was selfish and temporary. That is not where I am supposed to focus. I am told to be an obedient child. My Father in heaven has given me direction and real freedom. I need to obey Him and not long for my former life. Nothing there is what I need or want.
Lord, I pray that I would be content in the life that you’ve given me, not looking back at what you saved me from as if it is better than what you have for me now. All to Your glory.