Recording artist Brandon Heath wrote a song that became a number one hit on Christian radio the year I became single after almost thirteen years of marriage. I turned my ignition the other day and out of my car speakers blasted the chorus, “I wish you could see me now, I wish I could show you how…I’m not who I was.”
Isn’t it funny how a song can time travel us to mental places we haven’t been in years? That happens to me all the time at the YMCA when they blare songs from my high school days over the loud speakers. I try not to sing along with John Cougar while the wall of mirrors not-so-gently reminds me that I’m no longer in high school and “Jack and Diane” are probably grandparents by now. Whether it’s a song or the mirror, the world often reminds us that we aren’t who we once were. But, this morning, my Bible also reminded me that I am somebody new. I love the thought, found in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if Juliet is in Christ, she is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
Yay for me! I’m not who I was. Yay for God! Because of Him, I’m NOT who I was. I like the me I am now better than the me I was back in 2007, when my little world came apart at the seams. From this vantage point, almost seven years later, I can see that God is doing what He promised to do. He’s finishing the good work He began in me. No, He’s not done yet. But, just like when I faithfully visit the gym, there is progress. And that makes the journey worth taking. I’m not in charge, He is. One. Day. At. A. Time.
So, if you’re one who has committed to praying me through this project, here’s how you can pray for me this week as I write the chapters that deal with the end of my first marriage: I need to “go there” in my mind so that I can relive the experiences in order to write well. I want my writing to be authentic and real. But I don’t want to dwell in the dark. So, please just pray that as I go back to who I was and where I was in the couple of years leading up to 2007, that I can write from a place of forgiveness and healing, with the knowledge that I am in Christ. I am a new creation. And may my words inspire others to persevere, because one day they, too will look back and be able to sing along with Brandon Heath at the top of their lungs, “I wish you could see me now, I wish I could show you how…I’m not who I was.”