“Who do you think you are?”

I hear that question in my head every time I’m writing or talking about Jesus.

I really love Jesus. I try to live my life for Him and with Him.

But I also have things in my past that sometimes feel haunting.

Sure, my past could certainly have been “worse.” And I’m sure if I shared my story, some people would say, “Oh, that’s nothing.”

But if I’m honest, there are people who would probably have some not-so-good things to say about me.

I’m sure people could tell you stories about me that would make me want to crawl into a hole and never come out.

Heck, there are probably pictures and videos out there of me to prove it.

Thanks, camera phones.

I always tried to be kind, but I can tell you there were years I wasn’t exactly a shining example of Jesus.

I pray about this often and Jesus reminds me that when He looks at me, He doesn’t see my past.

He isn’t shaking His head in disappointment. He reminds me that I’ve been made new, that I’m forgiven.

Yet, sometimes the thoughts creep back in and I hear a voice asking, “If people knew everything about you, what would they think?”

Sometimes this question makes me so scared I want to stop writing altogether. I want to isolate so I can’t be “found out.”

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But then I hear His voice. “This isn’t about you, Kelli.”

This whole writing thing, this whole sharing Jesus thing, this whole LIFE thing . . . it isn’t about me.

It’s about Him.

I might not have been a shining example of Jesus years ago.

But I am absolutely an example of how Jesus can change a heart. I’m a perfect example of what His grace and forgiveness can do.

And that’s what life is all about.

Allowing Jesus to use our past to show others how incredible HE is. Not how great we are.

It’s always about Him.

So to the person who has a dream on their heart or is feeling a nudge . . . 

The one who wants to start a ministry.

The one who wants to write or speak.

The one who wants to try church out again.

The one who wants to share their testimony.

The one who just wants to declare they follow Jesus without worrying about what others think.

The one who wants to break free from their addiction.

The one who wants to live differently.

If your past feels too heavy or you don’t feel good enough, if you don’t feel like you meet the “criteria” to live for Jesus, I want you to remember:

It’s not about you. It’s about Him.

He wants to use you.

He wants to use your entire, messy self to bring Him glory.

And He can. He does this all the time.

Nowhere in the Bible does it say, “Jesus didn’t use him/her, because they weren’t good enough.”

There isn’t a single one of us who’s good enough.

And He uses our past, our weakness, even our sin, to bring glory to Him.

Let Him do that. Let Him use you as a light.

You do not need to be perfect or put together.

Because it’s not about us.

He’s the perfect one.

He’s the one who should be glorified.

He’s the one we should be praising because even in our brokenness, He still chooses us.

He’s it. He’s everything.

Less of us, more of Him.

Originally published on the author’s blog

I’m going to talk with my teens about my wild past—here’s why.

Kelli Bachara

Kelli Bachara is a wife and mom to two sweet kiddos. She is a mental health therapist, writer, and podcaster. Kelli loves her Goldendoodle, coffee, and this beautiful thing called life. You can find her at www.kellibachara.com.