Not Where I Used to Be

“I may not be where I need to be but I thank God I am not where I used to be.”― Joyce Meyer, speaker and author

That quote finally had made an impact on me at this point of my life. Why is it so? Let me explain.

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In the past days I've been writing about my life during my third year in high school, which I've centered around my unsuccessful leadership as the elected president of the section where I was in. I've sought my journals to weave a draft day by day. As I've read through my (almost) daily accounts, recollecting sudden happenings in my life made me reflect how hard life has been at that time, and how much I learned from the year-long burden.

My eyes and heart, undergoing an ongoing "coming-of-age", were opened to many things, especially the reality of life.

"Hand to Face 1" by Tim Patrick
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Among those realities, this stands out: leading is not an easy job, especially handling a large group of people where tensions tend to regularly spring up; and at this point I am doubtingly ready to take that role again. Reading a biography of Martin Luther King, Jr. emphasized that reality further. The difference is he got through, and I've gone moribund.

Reading through my journals also made me realize my multitudes of faults and my bulk of immaturity during those times. Not only had I a novice's journey through presidency, but also a struggling entanglement with sins and selfishness. I related with people in very poor, silly ways. I dealt with problems as if I've lost my sense of thinking and humility. I've been too soft, and at the same time too callous. Even after third year I was still quietly bitter, brought by the harsh life I faced.

But praise God! I'm glad I've thrived through all of these. Though I realized the reality of life, I further knew that God continues a good work on me. I've been officially a believer since pre-grade 6, but still I failed so much. Yet going on with a walk with Christ, I have grown further in the faith, and I have learned greater things alongside it.

I realized, especially while I'm checking out of high school and gearing up for college, that I should let go of the bitterness I accumulated. I need to forgive, and by God's grace I did wholeheartedly.

Furthermore, reading the Bible frequently and memorizing verses really helped me a lot in my ongoing growth. Here's this verse I am really glad to know:
"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."—John 8:36 (NIV)
And because He already has set me free from sin, through what Jesus did on the cross, then why should I still be imprisoned in sin?

I learned to look up to God, and shake off my sins—relying on His immense ability and not on my own vain effort—for I'm already free through Christ.

For real, God goes on working great things in me, such as amazing changes: a wider devotion to God's Word, an expanding commitment to prayer, a heightening longing for fellowship with other believers.

And that's how I say I'm not where I used to be. I am not a professional yet, and I still face many challenges, and I'm not perfect; but I'm thankful I'm no longer a prisoner of darkness, someone found but still lost—where I used to be.

With the faith I'm holding on, I'm going further with life with God, who has great plans for me, for all of us (Jeremiah 29:11). The best is yet to come.

"Project America - Martin Luther King Jr." by Franco Fasano
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Postscript: Change can also be done in you, dear reader. Let God drive your life, and let Him take you to where He wants you to be—a blessed, abundant life.

He loves you so much He wants you to be with Him. What Jesus did is enough. The gift of salvation is already there. What's missing? You. Your choice. Decide to have faith, accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and you have already made the most important decision of your life.

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