Jesus, my stain-remover

Written by Nikole Hahn

Nikole Hahn is a recovering perfectionist blogging at "Life Upside Down" at www.thehahnhuntinglodge.com. She is also the publisher of The Relevant Christian Magazine (@TRCMagazine). She is a member of Word Weavers International, a book reviewer, writer, and coffee addict.

August 15, 2011

Some people think you can’t start over; that those guys you slept with, those drugs you tried, those divorces you had, or ______ all say it’s too late. You’re the clean laundry that fell from the cotton line and now is stained by mud. No stain-remover is strong enough to remove those memories.

Yet, Jesus says you can start over.

Let me dispel some myths about Nikole Hahn. You know me from my blogs. Some of you have sat with me at church or have known me for years. Well, here’s my dirty laundry:

I slept with more than one guy before I married Tony.

I was irresponsible with my money growing up, accruing $10,000 worth of credit card debt.

I have gossiped.

I have lied.

I have cussed (and still do once in a great while).

I barely graduated high school.

I rarely did my homework.

I ate too much and became obese at one point.

People approach the Cross with similar, if not worse, dirty laundry. A blogger once said, “You can’t throw a caterpillar into the air and expect it to become a butterfly.” Change took time even after I accepted Christ in 2002. Reading and studying God’s Word made my crooked path straight. But not everyone views church in this way.

Some don’t want to hear about your dirty laundry. We either have expectations of others or of ourselves when we come to church. That’s where the term “plastic smile” comes into play because in Christendom we are all coming from different generations and those generations bring different expectations of each other. Others consider the love of Christ, forget most of His Words, and continue to live in sin because no one wants to approach them and tell them with love that in order to have a right relationship in Christ they must rid their life of sin; this includes, gay and lesbian behavior, sleeping together out of wedlock, stealing, lying, etc. Sin will always create a battle ground within. Yet, some attend church out of habit or tradition and do not welcome the transformation that Christ will bring. Allow Church Fellowship to help you fight sin. Staying in sin won’t add to your life.

While sleeping with other men, I lost respect for my body and people lost respect for me. In spending money I didn’t have, I became close to losing everything surviving on canned refried beans and rice. The gossip and the lying only decreased my self-respect. Because I didn’t do my homework, I barely graduated high school and achieved nothing noteworthy in my high school years. Those are regrets. But God is a God of second chances and new beginnings.  New beginnings are like standing on top of a mountain and surveying the landscape. You’re feeling the cool wind and you can see the edge of the horizon. You feel free from the ugly voices that call you back and the chains of your past; those that can’t forgive you; and those who love you just as you are like Christ loves us. I can’t remove the memories, but I can now live apart from them.

So when I ask you at church, online, or by phone if I can pray for you, I mean it. I, too, have experienced pain, loss, and grief. I, too, know what it’s like to feel unworthy. I am a depraved human being forgiven by a big God. There are no words to explain that kind of second chance. Jesus became my stain-remover.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

Describe your transformation.

14 Comments

  1. rupzip

    Your honesty is refreshing. Once we realize we have a stain, then we can go about removing it. And you are well on your way.

    Reply
  2. Crystal Rowe

    Thank you for this post. Too often we hide our dirty laundry as something to be ashamed of, instead of celebrating that Jesus wipes it all clean. I admire and appreciate your authenticity!

    Reply
  3. Melissa Brotherton

    And you’ve just given others the gift of going second! This is truly what the church needs to be, not casting stones, but taking them to build bridges towards each other. 

    Reply
  4. Nikole Hahn

    Amen to all three of you, and thanks! :o) It was difficult to write this.

    Reply
  5. @bibledude

    hey @NikoleHahn:twitter, as i read this for the first time i was thinking, when did i write this. then i remembered that i didn’t… what you wrote here is ALL of us… so there’s no shame in being real. in fact, i think there’s more healing than anything else.

    i’m not sure if you saw it or not, but i just did an interview with @marydemuth:twitter and we talked a little about good storytelling, and she talked about not being afraid to tell the nitty gritty stuff… and how there’s little value in trying to look all put together when we’re not.
    thank you for the great post.

    Reply
  6. Laraj

    Until we are real with each other Christianity has no credibility. Thank you, Nikole, for being real. You are white as snow. 🙂

    Reply
  7. Lisa notes...

    I love how you have thrown yourself out here. It’s a true beauty mark of who you are NOW in Christ, and it opens others up to you and to Him. You refresh my heart!

    Reply
  8. Ann Kroeker

    Nikole, I’m glad that David featured you at The High Calling. Your honest story is the kind to break down facades and invite real communication as we all seek to know one another and trust God to change us into His likeness, whether it happens quickly or over time.

    Reply
  9. Amy Hunt

    Raw honesty is beautiful worship. Your life has such purpose and Grace is clearly evident. Rich blessings, sweet Nikole. I so appreciate stopping by today. 

    Reply
    • Nikole Hahn

      I’m glad my story has touched you. It is my hope that people see Jesus through it.

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Jesus, my stain-remover

by Nikole Hahn time to read: 3 min
14