Your Past Doesn't Define You

i saw this quote while having some down time [cough cough- wasting time] on Pinterest. i pinned it and then kept thinking about it. then had a few conversations around this quote and finally now blogging about [basically how every blog post forms haha].

Jesus died so that we can live in freedom. full freedom. and it doesn't matter where you've been or how far you've gone. you're forgiven and you are called to live in freedom.

shame is not of the Lord. conviction for your sin is. shame isn't.

people have made me feel so guilty about "my past." countless people told me i wasn't Godly enough to date mark or to be in full time ministry. i've have someone approach me worried that because of all the boys i dated in high school i couldn't be effective now. its crazy to believe, but lets be real and honest for a minute - it hurts a lot and i can start to question my effectiveness.

Satan wants you to live in shame. you aren't that effective for the gospel when you are living in shame. God is all about conviction for our sin and transforming us, but shame is not of God. when we screw up, God longs for us to come running to Him first, not running from Him.

God wants to use all of you to bring glory to His name. every mistake, every season of your life God can use for good. please hear me out on this.

there are consequences for our sin, but God will use you mightily if you let Him.

looking back, do i wish that i hadn't dated so many men or struggled with female porn or an eating disorder etc etc… sure… but now, i wouldn't want any story but my own.

i love my story. i love the way i had to hit rock bottom in some areas to fully experience God's strength and love and grace. i am so thankful for my story because it serves as a purpose to glorify God.

i am so thankful for my dating life because i've been able to share with so many younger ladies about finding your worth in God and not in their boyfriends.

girls have been able to open up to me about their weight and eating problems because they know i won't judge them because i've been there.

even a few weeks ago when i posted about female porn on this blog i received over a thousand hits and over ten emails that led to incredible God conversations about female porn, porn and masterbation. i am so thankful for my story of struggling with all of this because now it serves as a purpose to connect with so many and bring glory to God in it.

i am thankful for those mistakes years later in some cases because God is using them so tangibly to bring honour and praise to Him and Him alone. he's made me approachable in my mistakes to love and serve on others who are struggling with it now. 

i've allowed these mistakes to not define me and let Christ define me. this is a journey i'm still on but each month its easier as i long for Christ to define me and not my mistakes and what others think of me.

there is nothing you have done that God won't forgive. you just need to run to Him and let Him do the work. you can't do it. you can't fix the mistakes, only God can. 

then once you lay them at God's feet you'll be able to see how He will use your mistakes to bring glory to His name.

want proof of this?

read the bible. there are countless examples in the bible where people have screwed up yet God has used mightily. read about David. slept with another mans wife and had the husband killed- yet was a man who God loved and used. Solomon was the wisest man yet had 700 wives. Paul killed Christians [have you done that?] and God used Him to write so much of the New Testament. Peter denied Jesus three times, yet He was the rock who God built the church on.

lets not live in shame anymore! lets repent of our sin and mistakes and walk in the freedom that Jesus Christ died for.

its the most freeing thing knowing that my mistakes don't define me & people don't define me. 

lets use our stories, our past, our difficult season as purpose to go and make disciples and love and care on people who Jesus died for.

sending so much love your way and walking this journey alongside you.
would love to connect if you ever want/need prayer or just to talk: madeline_hockley@hotmail.com


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