The other day, I found an old song that I wrote that described the reality of the day when we will look like Jesus —sanctified and completely pure. This reminder was a gift because recently, it seems I have been walking through a season of being made more and more aware of my sinful tendencies selfish ways. It’s a daily battle to speak aloud that I am clean, no longer dirty. But even when I am making progress, I constantly sit under the lie that tells me that my previous decisions and former selves have built up dirt that still rests in the cracks of my bones, and that the residue leftover from the buildings of my own past kingdoms are permanent stains.

In one of my graduate classes, we’ve talked about the concept of growth, and the idea that within each of us, there exists thousands of other selves that have grown and developed over time. I’ve been thinking a lot lately of the decisions I used to make, the foolish ways I used to act, and the multiple versions of myself I used to be. Part of me wants to forget those Calahs because I didn’t like some of them.

Some of them weren’t very kind or caring or wise or humble. Some of those previous Calahs were insecure, selfish, or doubtful. But, I’ve been realizing that without those other versions of myself– the good, the bad, the messy, the sweet– I wouldn’t be the current Calah, the one who has been saved, who is new, clean, alive in Christ.

For a while, I figured that if I could just forget who I used to be, then my dirt stains would disappear. But this theory is flawed for so many reasons.

First, But I’ve realized that forgetting my previous Calahs does not cleanse me. Jesus does. And I’m already clean.

Second, remembering who I once was does not harm me, but only identifying myself as my past self does. In fact, it is this recognition of who I used to be that makes His grace even more worthwhile.

So today, I talked to those previous selves, thanking them and telling them that I won’t forget them, but I’ll remember them and I’ll remember the beauty that is found in messing up and the miracle of sanctification. Thank you Jesus for changing me to look more like you, but give me grace for the versions of myself that didn’t.

Praise God for the hope that we have for a day in which we are void of our human tendencies and our broken ways. But until that day comes, may we keep coming back to Jesus to let his grace teach us, mold us, and shape us more and more into his resemblance.

“One day, I will be clothed in compassion, steady in the truth

One day I will see everything that’s happened, until then, I’ll keep coming back to you.

Until then, I’ll keep coming back to you.

Until then, I’ll keep coming back to you.

One day, I will see beauty was around me

When I thought I walked through barren land

I will see the fear shedding off of my shoulders

I will see the glow of this new skin

Until then, I’ll keep coming back to you.

By your grace, I am what I am

By your grace, one day I will be

Just like you

Until then, I’ll keep coming back to you.”