Just over a year ago, a friend invited me to do a guest post on her blog. I really hadn’t delved into the world of blogging, so I was a little nervous  when I hit that “post” button for the first time. In honor of that “momentous” occasion, I thought I’d share it again on my own page! I did a total of two posts on her blog before I was brave enough to start my own. I’ll be posting that second one in the near future, but in the mean time, here is the first ever blog post I ever wrote! Flaws and all 😉

Do you ever feel like you’ve left your past behind only to look up and realize it’s still sitting right behind you? For me, a couple weeks ago I turned to literally see someone from my past sitting right behind my husband, oldest son and I in church. It was family Sunday, so not only was this person behind me, but so were three of their kids, and their spouse. I’ve come a long way in the last few years, so I was proud of myself that I didn’t immediately try to hide in the bathroom until the service was over and the coast was clear. Mercifully this person didn’t seem to remember me, which isn’t shocking considering our friendship was based solely on the amount of alcohol we were consuming at the time.

Seeing this person started a whole deluge of thoughts and feelings, and I’d be lying if I said I heard much of the sermon that day. I was distracted, wondering if I should say hello, or if that would just bring about an uncomfortable conversation I would rather avoid. At some point I realized that I was letting myself be pulled back to a place that I didn’t want to be anymore. God had hauled me out of a dark pit a long time ago, and I had zero desire to hover at the edge again. I started to pray, thanking God that this person was even in church. The last time I saw them they were about as likely to willingly go to a service as my kids are to offer to take a time out. We had both been lost to say the least.

The worship team stepped up to lead us in the last song, and when the words appeared on the screens my heart skipped a beat. At first I tried to sing along, but I finally gave up when my tears wouldn’t be held in check anymore.

Alone in my sorrow dead in my sin
Lost without hope with no place to begin
Your love Made a way to let mercy come in
When death was arrested and my life began

When death was arrested and my life began. That line hit me like a sucker punch. My life started over the day I finally accepted His forgiveness and let him start to heal me. The best part is that we get to experience that feeling of a new life, a new beginning every time we meet him in that place of forgiveness.

Ash was redeemed only beauty remains
My orphan heart was given a name
My mourning grew quiet my feet rose to dance
When death was arrested and my life began

Only beauty remains. My heart was given a name. My feet rose to dance. The tears came a little harder with that stanza. I was not meant to stay in a state of mourning, but to dance, the ugliness that was my life was erased, and he named me.

Yes we’re free free
Forever amen
When death was arrested
and my life began

Forever we are free. In theory this concept is simple. Mind boggling, but simple. In life, it’s hard to accept that you no long need to look over your shoulder and contemplate what to do with your past. That Sunday morning God watched me struggle, heard my soul stir in disquiet and spoke peace and truth with those words. We struggle, we fail, we start again, and forever we are free.

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