There’s something a little hazardous about growing up online, and I’m not just talking about online predators or getting a false sense of security by your number of friends or followers. I’m not referencing the horrible dialup noise we all had to deal with in our early internet using days that could have damaged our eardrums for good but thankfully didn’t.
I’m talking about the pain and cringing that comes when you look back at your old self. Like how I went through my pictures on Facebook about a year ago and took any pictures down before I had all my adult teeth (that would be the end of eighth grade, folks. Those eyeteeth did not want to make room for the adult ones). Then, when I put my blog address on an application a few weeks ago, I wondered, should I start taking down old posts? Like the ones from my senior year of high school?
Some of them are real cringe-worthy, folks. And for good reason – I still haven’t figured out who I am and how to be and how to write about both of those, so naturally, I was even further behind in high school. My writing has gone through more scrutiny and refining since then and has gotten a clearer purpose, so even though I haven’t made it in that sense now, I was a few more steps behind then.
The sun goes down so quickly. One minute, it’s up and lighting up the sky and shading the clouds all pinky
then it’s gone, and it’s dark all around. It had been leaving the sky since noon, saying its goodbyes and heading to the other side of the world for twelve hours and leaving the moon to keep us company. The change in light was so slight we didn’t know it was going til it was gone and we were clearly in a different time of day.
When did we grow up? Was there one moment where everything got dark and all of a sudden we didn’t speak like a child or think like a child or reason like a child? Or is our sun at midday now, casting different shadows and shedding more light than before, so we see our prior selves more clearly? Is that why we want to leave them behind?
If I’m in Christ, the old is gone, the new has come, but that is talking about my sinful nature, the part of me that cleaved to… darkness. Is maturity about lighting the areas where there was darkness and breaking the chains of misunderstanding? Can we become mature without Christ?
If there’s no shift between am and was in me, I’m still waiting to become who I am meant to be, and the catalyst of that shift is breaking the bondage of death that had a hold on me. That’s where I was, awaiting second death, but now I’m living in life and awaiting more of it.
Who I was can’t shame me, not as a writer, not as a sinner, not as a girl who didn’t know how to do her hair. I wrote like a child and perhaps still do in comparison with what I’m becoming. I sinned like a spiritual child, not knowing the life that awaited once I gave up my small enjoyment of darkness for the abundance of light. I’ll keep those posts and those reminders of where I’ve been as a testament to how I’ve been changed and shaped. In ten years, I’ll look back on this year as childish, but it’s still a testament to the process of becoming.