After I graduated high school, I spent the following two years in a discipleship program. I remember dreading God's call to go into this program, because it went against all of my other plans. Doesn't it usually? I remember praying about going to college or this program, and weeping in my room when I felt deep in my soul that I was to stay and attend. I gave up my dream of moving to New York. I gave up my dream of studying to become an opera singer. I gave up my dreams in exchange for His. At the time it was the most difficult thing I had ever done, but looking back, it was the wisest choice I could have ever made.
I stayed in my little hometown in New Mexico and it was probably the hardest two years of my life. My friends had moved away, I moved in with a family from the church, I had to break up with Elisha (we weren't allowed to date while in the program), and in every sense of the saying - God was my everything. He was my friend, He was my family. He was my life; all consuming and ever present. I learned how to love Him to depths I could not imagine. These were the years He would pour out my foundation.
I often think back to this time to remember where I began. Because most days I felt like I was unwinding and falling apart, but God was actually putting me back together. I felt like a spool coming undone with it's thread thrown about on the floor, getting all knotted up and displaced, but God was removing the old threads to place me back on the spindle and replace it with new golden thread; thread that was strong and sturdy, beautiful and priceless. Yes, this was my unmaking. And it was also the moments that made me exactly who He wanted me to be.
I remember my graduation night. We were asked to prepare a speech of what the year had meant and I was terrified. I knew what God had done, but I was so scared to share it with the world. It would mean explaining that I wasn't perfect before, and that God had had to do some major work on who I was. I had to admit that I didn't have it all together and what they had previously seen was a lie. So with all the courage I could muster, I wrote my speech and I did so with complete honesty and openness. I talked about who I once was, and how I thought I didn't need changing. Then I talked about how hard it was to come to terms with the fact that I was broken and in need of my loving Savior. And finally I reached the end and shared four words that truly changed everything... I'm a new creation.
And I remember being both humbled and proud in that moment. Humbled because I knew I couldn't have gotten to that place without Jesus, and so aware of my own inadequacies. Proud because I was now standing in front of friends and family a new person, who could admit to my own faults and had learned that my worth was in Him alone.
I was thinking back on this moment as I was reading my Bible today and I came across this very verse. Taking in all of those feelings yet again. Back then I had thought that the period at the end of my sentence meant that it was over; I had become who I needed to become, in order to do what He had called me to do. But truly I had become only the first of many versions of who God was sculpting me to be. I was indeed a new creation, but daily I was becoming new, different, more mature and wise through both the painful and wonderful. I can say today that I am a new creation, and I know tomorrow I will look even more different. And the truth is, I am so satisfied in knowing that I will always be changing. Because I want to grow, and I want more of Him. I want to never lose my sense of awe and wonder at what He has done, and what He promises to do.
So today I hope you'll be encouraged in this - He's not done yet. Yes, He has made you a new creation, but there are still countless facets of His being that you have yet to see. Aspects of your own character that you have yet to let shine. He is drawing out more of who you are, each and every single day.