Let go of the past that binds you by chains, and cling to the Redeemer who sets you free by grace!

I’ve been staring at the computer screen all day, continually typing and deleting. These are the words that came to my mind though. These are the words that I’m struggling to hear right now.

At the end of June I’m speaking at a young women’s conference at my church. I’m so thankful the Lord has given me a ministry I am so passionate about. I desire to share the gospel with young women because I am one. I know what’s it’s like to go through middle school and high school and need Jesus. I’m still figuring out what he’s doing in me in college, but nonetheless, I understand what it’s like.

These past few weeks I’ve been praying for the Lord to speak to my heart on what I should say to these girls. If you know me, you know I love to talk. So two nights is hardly enough time to share all the Lord has shown my heart. So the words I speak I feel must be perfect and impactful. Bold. Something that will leave them wanting more or Jesus. Thats a lot of pressure y’all.

I’m excited though! I want to speak the truth of Jesus Christ to the eager hearts of young women. But as I’ve been praying and seeking the Lord to lift me up and fill me with his spirit, I’ve felt this chain bounding me down. This chain is a combination of my past sins, relationships, heartbreaks, and failures. My past.

I can picture the room full of girls looking at me and ready to listen to what I have to say, seeing me as a woman they look up to. And that’s such an honor. But often I look in the mirror and see the girl I was. The girl I was before Jesus captivated my heart. And I fear these girls may see that girl, not the redeemed girl.

You see, they don’t know my past. They don’t know the pain and heartbreak I’ve felt because of my sin. They don’t know that I’ve made decisions I’m too embarrassed to admit. And they don’t know the relationships that haunt me or the guilt that keeps me up at night. They don’t know all of that, but I do.

The enemy knows too. He knows and he thrives on making sure I don’t forget. As I am seeking the Lord, the enemy is seeking me. That’s a scary thought isn’t it? The enemy likes to feed me thoughts of guilt, regret, embarrassment, and shame. He tells me lies. And sometimes… I believe them.

I believed I’m not worthy to teach about living a pure life for the Lord, because all too often I didn’t live that life. I didn’t always choose Jesus, but I chose to put him on the cross. I believed I am a hypocrite that will be speaking lies to a room full of young girls searching for something more. I believed if they knew what I knew, they’d never listen to me. How could I speak to young girls about self-image when this is something I still struggle with myself? I believed I wasn’t worthy. I believed my past defined me.

But there’s good news.

For when satan uses my past to keep me as a prisoner, Jesus breaks the chains and gives me grace. As satan tries to captivate me, Jesus tries to captivate my heart.

Jesus is moving in me. The Holy Spirit lives in me. Right now the Lord is sanctifying my heart. He’s starting a ministry though me. He’s giving me platforms to speak in His name. He’s giving me endless opportunities to love on people. He is taking the deepest desires of my heart and molding them to look like his. He’s taking everything of the flesh and replacing it with that of the Spirit.

So I tell you that I am not the girl I was when sin ruled my life. I am not the girl who lived in a lukewarm relationship with the Father. I am not the girl who strived to hold tightly to sin and salvation. I am not the girl seeking value in relationships. I am not the girl broken and burdened. I am a redeemed girl!

Hear me when I say I’m not worthy to speak to these girls. I’m not worthy of forgiveness. I’m not worthy of endless love and countless second chances. But that’s why this is so beautiful. Grace y’all. Grace is what makes me worthy. The Lord will use who I was and who I am now, to tell a beautiful story of this grace that saved my soul and I can’t wait to see what this looks like. Jesus came down to me in the midst of my deepest sin and said, “Angel, I love you. I desire you. I forgive you. You are worthy. Oh, you’re so worthy. And I want you, all of you. All of your sin, shame, and fear. I want it all.” Because Jesus said this, because He chased after me every time I ran away, that’s why I am worthy!

And that’s why you’re worthy too. You’re worthy because Jesus died so you could be.

It doesn’t matter what darkness is in your past, Jesus relentlessly brings light to your future.

So if you’re like me and struggle with your past and the chains that bind you, let Jesus break those chains. Don’t allow the enemy to tell you that you’re a slave to your past, but believe you are a child of a King!

Romans 8:15 tells us this,

 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

How beautiful is that? The spirit brings us out of slavery of fear and into the light with our Daddy, our Father. Cling tightly to this hope that Jesus redeems us and makes us new. Be filled with joy because our Father gives grace, unending grace.

The chains are broken and you are set free.

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