If you grew up here in the eighties and went to Hoggard or Hanover, you went to one area at Wrightsville Beach. All summer, every day, we got to see everyone from either of the two high schools. At night we were right back down there walking from "house parties", Palm Room and Red Dogs. Because we did that we got to have friends from both schools. Most years we have a "reunion" at the Palm Room for all of us who hung out together.
I always enjoy reunions! It breaks my heart that some people do not attend reunions because of shame or guilt. People miss out on fun because of a bad choice or bad choices they made in high school. Some people miss out because they do not look like they think they should look. Some people miss out because they are not as successful as they think they should be.
"The butterfly does not look back at the caterpillar in shame, just as you should not look back at your past in shame. Your past was part of your own transformation." 2 Corinthians 5: 17, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" We can let all of our shame and guilt go! In John chapter 8 we read about a woman who was caught in the act of adultery. Caught with no way out. The men drug her out into town and made a spectacle of her. I thought it took two!
But then Jesus saw her! John 8: 11, "And Jesus said to her, 'Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.'” I am sure His gaze was not condemning and harsh. He blessed her with words of forgiveness. That same God is still doing the same thing for us. He wants to offer us forgiveness, healing and hope regardless of what we have done. In John 10: 10, Jesus describes two distinct patterns of guidance. "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." Satan wants you to carry guilt and shame and feel worthless. God wants to forgive you, heal you, give you hope and give you life to the full!
Don't let past pain rob you of today's joy!