13 Reasons Why There’s Hope… Chapters Don’t Define You

 In 13 Reasons Why There's Hope, Kelsey Smith

The other day I was looking through my Facebook profile pictures, and I realized I had around 80 profile pictures. WHAT THE HECK? I began to look through all of them, and boy oh boy were some of them not flattering in the slightest. Do you remember when there was the phase where you had to update your profile picture on a weekly basis? I’m glad that’s over. Once I find a good picture now, I stick with it for months on end.

Do you also remember when you would add anyone and everyone on Facebook? Whether you had known them for five years or five minutes, you added them. Once again, I’m glad it’s not like that anymore. Now, unless I am personally friends with you, I probably won’t be adding you or accepting your friend request.

What about those silly band bracelets? Or the WWJD bracelets? Or when bumper stickers were a thing?

Needless to say, trends and phases come and go. We are not defined by what made us “cool” or “trendy” in the past. And thankfully, we are not defined by the chapters in our lives. How amazing is that?! Each day we have the ability to start fresh with a clean slate. That’s the power of forgiveness. Jesus doesn’t hold grudges or remember every little thing we did in our past. We all go through rebellious seasons, seasons of doubting, periods of not going to church, and days where we forget to pray. But guess what? It’s okay! We’re all human! This is not a three strikes and you’re out system.

Grace. Forgiveness. Love.

In my 25 years of life I have made mistakes, done things I am not proud of, and had my fair share of things I wish I could take back. There are chapters in my life I would rather just keep to myself and forget that they ever happen. The beauty of it all is that those chapters absolutely do not define me. If anything, they helped shape me into the woman I am today. I can see where I came from and know where I want to go, and maybe more importantly where I don’t want to go. I can use my old chapters to write new chapters. I can use my chapters to help others write their story.

Peace. Understanding. Healing.

Don’t let your past hold you back from your future. Jesus isn’t holding anything against you, so why should you? Learn from your past, learn to ask for forgiveness, and learn to forget. I am preaching to the choir on that one friends, because I can forgive but struggle with forgetting. Maybe this next chapter of my life is about learning how to forget.

There is always hope.

“Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!” –Great is Thy Faithfulness hymn

Author: Kelsey Smith

Kelsey is chasing her dreams in Music City. She’s one of those people who will tell you that Texas is the best state and Nashville is the best city. She works in the music industry and serves on the digital media team at Cross Point church. She is fueled by Jesus, Chick-fil-A, and coffee.

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