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.