Today I cut ties with my former self. For years I have been trying to soothe the wounds of the girl in my childhood mirror. Loud. Obnoxious. Fat. Gross. Victimized. Although no one around me knew this is how I felt, this is who I saw her as—this is who I saw me as.
For the past 20 years I have been trying to “comfort” her—to justify her behavior and coddle her shame. I have been trying to cover her, and yet every day she seems to uncover herself through my identity. But today, as I read the healing words of Jesus in Acts 10:15, which say, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean,” I am hit with revelation.
This is it! This is the key! I have given my childhood self a name. I have named her Impure (and by “her,” I mean me).
You might be wondering why this is such a revelation, as you also may have called your former self by the same name, but the revelation came by realizing that in calling out the name of the girl I used to be and by allowing her past to speak into my life, I was giving her the right to live!
Growing up as a pastor’s daughter and now being a minister’s wife, I have wholeheartedly believed 2 Corinthians 5:17, which says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” Yet somehow I had failed to let go of the old creation—the one I had created. I had not taken to heart the second portion of this Scripture, which states, “The old has gone, the new has come” (emphasis added).
I was still holding the hand of my former self. We were in essence new creation attached to old creation—my present self being new, and my former self being old. I had never let go of the broken me. I simply attached it to the new me. Still to this day, I have had to self-comfort because of her lack of security. I have had to self-soothe because of her self-loathing.
I have had to make excuses for her past behaviors. I have had to battle the ghosts of her anxiety. Today, for the first time, I was able to say good-bye to that girl I despised so much. I was able to let all of the grossness she encompassed pass away. I no longer need to call her by name because she is no longer here!
I don’t need to excuse her anymore because Christ has already excused her. I do not need to justify her anymore because Christ has justified her. I no longer need to call her Impure because Christ has made her clean (and by her, I mean me!). No more coddling. No need for self-comfort. No need to hold on to the responsibility of her former ways. And certainly no need to cover her shame.
Perhaps you have allowed your former self to have a voice. Perhaps you, too, keep calling her by name. Today let the old pass away. Cut the cord. Refuse her shame a lifeline, and receive the lifeline of Christ, which draws you into His beautiful image. The girl I used to be is no longer here to be called Impure. First John 3:1-3 declares our truth:
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called children of God and that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure” (NIV).
This very day I have a new voice! Because of Christ, I now say, “So long, Impure. You have been laid to rest to be soothed no more!” Today I recognize my new name. I am called Pure.