Your Past or Your God?

Fourth of July has always been one of my favorite holidays. All American BBQs, playing in the water, family, friends, fireworks, the central theme is freedom - what's not to love?We'll post Abercrombie travel pics soon, but this central theme of freedom strikes me. Driving the back roads of NC, spending time with amazing friends and family, hearing stories and updates on my hometown made me thank God for freedom.I love this country. I am a woman with the right to vote, the right to choose, the right to a voice, with limitless opportunities. I understand the freedom I have been given in our country carries great responsibility. Around the world, women have no vote, no choice, no voice, no opportunity.And sometimes, in the silent oppression of homes across America the same rights are threatened.I also love Jesus, lover of justice, people, freedom and grace. He has given me a new voice, a new song, the right to live free in Him. I am telling you, if ever I forget the grace by which I have been saved, a trip to my hometown will cure it.Inside every person is a strong desire for significance. We all want our life to count, to matter. I'd venture to say even those at the end of their rope, are often wondering, "Do I matter? Do I count?"Regardless of where we come from, or where we are right now, we count. We matter. If we don't matter in our hometown and if we don't count in our own home, we matter to God. We count in eternity.I was born in Eden, NC, population 15,908. I was raised in that little home above, although it was white when I lived in it. I was a medium size fish in a very small pond and I am confident if I was lined up with other candidates, the top dogs would not choose me for destiny and purpose. There are people in my past who worked overtime to squash my destiny and purpose.And God still chose me. He still gave me a chance. He still called my name. He went to the cross and broke the chains that were binding me. He called out my purpose and potential. He led me into freedom.According to my past, I am not special, only very, very ordinary, but to God, I am uniquely created, specifically designed. I am His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that I should walk in them.And you know what, I am bold enough to believe Him. Brave enough to believe that I am a new creation in Christ, that old things have past away and new things have come. Naive enough to believe God can use someone like me to matter, to count, to make a difference.What about you? What will you believe? Your past or your God?