Growing Up

By Hayley DiMarco

Growth-sunflower

The person I am today looks so much different than the person I used to be. One of the great things about God is that he’s always changing you, making you better, if only you will let him. For years I thought I knew it all and what’s more I thought everybody else didn’t. And so I started writing books, why not, if you now it all you’ve got to share it with the world? Right?

But boy was I wrong. Every year that I live I see how much I didn’t know then that I do know now. And it’s the same for everyone who surrenders their life to God. Once you surrender your self-will, your self-righteousness, and your know-it-all attitude to God and embrace the notion of humility, of dying to self, and stopping the self-obsessed preoccupation with your opinions, you are set free. Set free to love, set free to serve, and set free to grow.

There was a time in my past when I was merciless. When the law was my high horse. When being bombastic was a delivery system. When I was so certain that I knew it all that I forced it all onto others.  But God has been kind to me, he has taught me much, brought me through great trials and much humility, and shown me the depth of his grace. The grace I’ve been given has set me free from my past and it can set you free too. If you will only decide today that who you were yesterday doesn’t define you are today or who you are becoming, but it is just a step on the path to becoming more and more like Him.

I haven’t let the failures or embarrassments of my past derail me, but have accepted God’s grace for myself and have learned to extend it to others, even those who would define me by my past. Be set free today, don’t let the you of the past be the you of the present. Once God saves you he never leaves you the same, but brings you daily, yearly closer to the image of His son, and deeper into a life of humility that says, “I don’t know it all, but I love the one who does and that’s enough for me.”

In the age of the Internet and social media, your past is inescapable. Imagine if you had written over forty books over a ten year period all on how to live life! For anyone that has read my first book compared to my last, you know how God has changed me. As a loving, caring, Heavenly Father, he is with me (and you) as we grow up saying, “your past does not define you, my love defines you.” Never be shamed by the past, or anyone. You are valuable not because of what ‘rules’ you follow or don’t follow but simply because of His love for you.

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