Those are just a few words I can use to describe the girl I was about 11 years ago. I can’t even really form complete sentences to describe what my life used to be like. I lived in that pit for about 8 years. No one who knows me now can believe I could have come from such darkness. But I did.
About 2 years ago, my mom was cleaning out her basement and found a box of my old things. In it, was probably 20 of my old journals. I started writing when I was in 6th grade. The journals stayed in that box in my basement until yesterday morning. I pulled them out and slowly started reading. It was like a train wreck. I hated what I was reading, but I couldn’t stop looking.
Those journals are the only remaining tangible evidence I have of who I used to be, save for maybe a few pictures I haven’t ripped up, burned or thrown out yet. They are the only things that link the woman I am today with the reckless, lost, mess of a girl that I used to be.
I know I wrote about it one time before a few years ago, but it bears repeating. Jesus has changed my life. He flipped it upside down, turned it around 180 degrees. One day I was living in darkness and the next day I was walking in the Light. Simple as that. He called my name and I answered. I did an about-face. With a pivot of my heel, I began walking in a different direction, and I’ve never looked back.
Sometimes I’m just left speechless that this is my life now. This. This beautiful, wonderful, grace-filled, joyful, blessed, good life is mine. I’ve done nothing, absolutely nothing, to deserve the life I have now. Every day, every single day I am grateful. I’m grateful because I’m His. Because I’m whole. Because I am saved. I’m grateful because I know what I’ve been saved from.
And if anyone ever tells you that Jesus doesn’t have the power to transform, redeem, pick up the pieces, save, change lives or free someone from darkness, you just have them come talk to me.
The past 24 hours I’ve been wrestling with whether or not to keep the journals. They’re sitting in the garbage right now. Part of me doesn’t want the filth that’s in them sitting in my house any longer. Part of me wants to keep them, after all, they’re the proof, the physical evidence of the change that’s occurred in my life. I sort of want that tangible reminder of where I’ve come from, how far I’ve come.
But at the same time, keeping them makes me feel uneasy. The devil wants to use those pages to inflict fear upon me. I’ve already heard him whisper “you’re just a few bad choices away from going back into that pit, girl.” He wants nothing more than to demoralize me, drag me down and bind me up in darkness again.
I guess regardless of whether those journals stay in my basement or at the bottom of a landfill, I know the truth. I know where I’ve come from. I know that I am forever changed. The last 11 years are not just tangible proof, but living proof of that. I’m living proof that Jesus changes lives.