My recent connection with some old childhood friends has been amazing. It has caused me to dig up a bit of my past…looking through old photos, journals, and letters. And it’s been a bit of an enlightening adventure. 😉
Rummaging through these old treasures caused me to realize a few things.
Over the years, I had grown discouraged thinking I hadn’t really grown or changed all that much. My faults and failings daily glare at me. My irritability. My expectations. My impatience. My pride. My unbelief. It’s easy to see these and say, “Gee whiz Kim, when will you get this?! When will God work?!”
It wasn’t until I looked back that I realized how far I had come. Sometimes when you only look ahead, you only see how far you have to go. And believe me, I’ve got a long way to go. But God in His grace allowed me to turn around for a moment, to look back and say, “Wow! I am not that same person! God has done a serious work in me!” Not that I have arrived by any means, but there is progress! And for this I am truly thankful!
I was self-consumed and disrespectful. I was immature and insecure. And shocking though it may seem, I was a little bit cocky and even a bit of a brat. (Love you Mom and Dad!😁) Some of you may remember this. As I was browsing through these old remnants, I sat there a little bit shocked and thought, “Goodness, I hope no one ever reads these journals! 😄 I can’t believe I wrote this stuff down!”🤭
And then a sincere thankfulness swept over me that I kept these keepsakes so that I have the ability to look back. The patience and goodness of my Heavenly Father to walk with me through my whole life is a wonderful gift that I don’t deserve. Then there’s the love and acceptance of my parents and siblings. How did they do it? And I’m so grateful for those friends who also saw past all the selfishness and insecurities – for all those who believed in me, who believed God was able to take such a foolish, silly, young, bratty girl and break her and mold her into something better. I’m thankful for people who saw past the negative traits in me and who loved me even then. It’s astonishing. Really.
And when I take a good hard look at where this character development came from, two things I know. It wasn’t because of Kimberly, and it wasn’t through an easy, peasy life. I’ve been through some seriously hard stuff. And it broke me. It really, truly broke me. But in my brokenness, I turned to the One who makes beauty out of ashes. He takes those broken pieces and molds it into something new. He really does. If we go to Him. If we relinquish our so called rights and desires, He will remold us into something beautiful. He is the Master builder! Go to Him in your weakness and in your brokenness. Go to Him in your failings and disappointments. And keep going back. He will not fail you! He will do great things in you and through you, supernaturally, for His own glory, as you yield yourself to Him.
And keep a journal. Save those old letters. Hang on tight to old friends and family. And once in awhile look back, not to bemoan the past or live in regret, but just to see how far you’ve come, in His way, in His time, and in His strength!
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Phil. 1:6
It’s God who begins the work and God who promises to complete it! And we get to have confidence, not in us, but in Him who does all things well!
So, be patient with yourself and patient with those around you believing that God is at work and very much in the business of making us more like Him.
Thank you, God, that you are unchanging and that we are not. You truly are our only hope in life and death!