At a young age, I was scared to spend eternity in Hell, so I decided to follow Jesus. I thought I had been rescued from Hell and gained entrance to Heaven, but nothing else changed. I was still depressed, struggling to feel loved, and living a life apart from God. But now, I’ve become a new person. I’ll explain what happened.
Years after my decision to follow Jesus, I read this.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV
What did this mean? I still didn’t fully believe it. Nothing was new about me. I was still making the same wrong choices and living the same old life. But that day, quietly and gently, I sensed God speaking to me for the first time. “You see yourself as a dirty, stained shirt that can never look new again, but I have put My robe on you! My robe is stainless, and it is stain-proof! Your stains cannot define you anymore—bad or good.”
This was a turning point in my life. I realized I had tightly held onto my past mistakes, rather than embracing my new identity as a new creation in Christ. My old life hadn’t left because I wouldn’t leave it. And isn’t that exactly how it works? You can’t take hold of something new if you won’t let go of something old. I began to embrace my true identity as a daughter of God in my new robe. The old had gone and the new had come!
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV
I encourage you to forget the former things that try to shame you. Realize that God is doing a new thing. Can you see it? Surrender your old identity so that you’ll have the capacity to fully embrace your new identity. People can remind you of your past, but you will never be the old you again! Your past cannot contain you because it is not who you are! You were born again, and you are now planted permanently into your new family—God’s family! You are His daughter. His mercies are new every day.
Say this out loud today, “I am His new creation; I am new.”