I think this was taken early in 2000

Have you ever found a picture from when you were younger and it made you stop in your tracks? A few weeks ago I found this picture of Aaron and I from almost 15 years ago and I literally was taken back to this day. I can laugh at our clothes and my awful hair cut I was sporting, and the way Aaron looks, but I also see something much deeper.

When I look at that woman there I see someone who was quite shaky. I see myself and I remember the insecurities I was feeling. I remember the feelings of inadequacy I walked around with.

During this time in my life I was running towards Jesus. Just the year earlier I had been running from him. It was literally as if he was chasing me down and I was running and then it changed. I began to want to run after him and run with him. I turned my life around and started running towards him a few months before I started dating Aaron.

I see a woman there that is falling in love with a man and scared to death of it all. At this point in our relationship I haven't told Aaron about all my baggage that I would be bringing to “us”. He doesn't know, but yet he is still loving me and pursuing me. I lived in so much fear of him declaring me not worthy to be his wife. I wondered if he would be able to handle what my life looked like before I met him and started following Jesus. Aaron was the nicest, most pure man I had ever dated, and I often wondered if he would want me when he knew all about me.

I see a woman full of insecurities. Insecure about her faith. Insecure about her place in this world. Insecure about her boyfriend. Insecure about lots of her life. My faith was so new that I felt so shaky in it. I knew a lot about faith, and God, but my faith was new, and that was scary for me. All of a sudden I was surrounded by people that loved God dearly and had been walking with him for years and I felt so insecure. I wish that I would have just owned my newness and not been afraid of it. For some reason I felt like I had to prove myself to everyone watching. It was all false. No one asked me to prove myself, I did that to myself.

I see a woman that was feeling so inadequate to serve. Not only was I a new Christ follower, but now I'm dating the youth pastor at our church and ministering to students. Young people were asking me questions. Young people were asking me for advice. I felt useless. Inadequate and as if God had somehow placed me in the wrong place. I thought I would have been better off loving on women in prison, or teen moms, but he placed me right where he saw fit; in a room full of teenagers that didn't have a need in the world and I got to share with them about Jesus.

This picture is a physical reminder to me of where I've been. I look at this photo and I'm reminded of how far God brought me. Of how long he chased me, and of how deep he had to go to bring me home. I see a couple in this picture that didn't have a clue what love was, but we were loving each other as best as we could. I also look at Aaron and remember when I shared my past with him and how gracious he was and loving. Not one time making me feel any less of a person for my actions.

I am thankful for this snapshot of my life fifteen years ago. The picture makes me laugh at myself, and reflect on where I have come from.