I felt sick to my stomach! I had just realised what I had done and I was panicking. What was I thinking, why did I do this? But it was too late, it was published as an eBook and I had already started getting pre-orders for the paperback. I suppose I could have withdrawn it from print. Oh my goodness, what I had I done, what will people think of me?
I shared my panic with Eric as he sat in bed giving the book one more read before we finalised it. I looked at him and fear hit me. What if he didn’t realise what I had wrote? What if after this final read, he changed his opinion of me? What if he thought that the 'old' Angela, the person in the book, was the present Angela?
Earlier that morning a good friend had started probing me, asking if there was anything I wasn’t telling her. She had been reading the chapter snippets I had released on my blog and she seemed concerned. Her concern was that I was writing for cathartic purposes and I sensed she was even more deeply concerned that I was trapped in some sort of sin that I wasn’t telling her. My concern was that she thought I was still capable of such filth! Perhaps I was reading too much into her email, perhaps those were not her concerns at all. Perhaps I was panicking for no reason.
Passion & Purity is an intense book containing great deal detail about my sordid past. I knew it would be a difficult story to admit to, but until that morning I had not doubted that it was a story that I had to share. I watched Eric read the pages yet again. What was he thinking? What if he realised what I had done? The ‘what ifs’ began again.
“Darling, do you really have to read it again? It has been edited, I am sure it is fine and ready to print.”
“Yes, I have to read it slowly just to be sure there are no mistakes. We don’t want to rush like we did with Hope’s Journey, look what happened with that one!”
Ashamedly I recalled how Hope's Journey was printed with quite a few errors. I agreed that we should not rush the editing process.
“OK, but can’t you skip the first two chapters? It can’t be nice for you to read all those details? Will you still love me?”
“Well.... I don’t know,” Eric said with a sly grin on his face. He was teasing me of course because to him it was a silly question. He gave me a big hug and said,
“Darling, I know who you are and nothing will change that. I will always love you. I have read your story, I know your past and I know that that is not who you are now.”
With that beautiful reassurance I walked away remembering the truth. I know who I am, Eric knows who I am and God knows who I am. I write my stories about the filth of my past so that others can be free from their past too. I write so that they can see my struggle and see how God set me free from all the guilt and shame. My story is important. I am free from my past, truly free. I know who I am today and I know that the person I write about is a different person. All things have passed away, they truly have.
I am free indeed, the only kind of freedom that truly lasts forever – the ‘indeed’ kind as mentioned in the Bible in John 8:36.
I am a new creation, truly a new person, a new being, not a better version of the old person. I am created again – a new creature, old things have passed away and ALL things have become new. Those words are in the Bible in 2 Corinthians 5:17, I didn’t make them up, God said them! It is in this knowledge and from this freedom that I write my story, my testimony. Eric continued to read through my story and I stopped panicking because I remembered the truth. The truth that once set me free is the same truth that continues to keep me free. I am free indeed. Are you free from your past? Have you become a new creation? Are you sure? You see, I thought I was free for many years, until I ended up like a dog returning to its vomit !
What was the difference between then and now? Grace! The first time I rebuilt my life I tried really, really hard. I worked at it. I did my best. I stayed focused. I earned it! When I ran out of strength and couldn’t keep it up any more, I fell back into my old ways. It was then, in the filth of my fallen state that I realised that no matter how I hard I tried I couldn‘t do it myself. It was then that I asked God for his help. He responded with such love and mercy, with tenderness and grace.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
Find out how I found true freedom from my past in my new book, 'Free'. More chapter snippets will follow soon, full details about this book are available here
Are you truly free from your past or are you trying really hard to be a good girls? Share you thoughts in the comment box below and I will share more of how to find true freedom in the amazing grace of God