Everyone started out with the same. We were like a blank page with no marks, cuts, or holes. We had not made any mistakes, we had our whole life ahead of us, and we had nothing to regret or for which we should be ashamed. There were no great deeds we had done, nothing great we had yet accomplished; we had so much potential. We had not been hurt by anyone; no one had taken advantage of us; no one had sworn at us or thrown their fist into our face. We did not know whether we were rich or poor, whether we had loving parents, or whether we were illegitimate. We did not know if the people who brought us home from the hospital were our biological parents, our stepparents, or our adoptive parents. We were new with no marks or indentations, and we had our whole lives ahead of us.
In just a few short years, however, some of our pages began to be written on with incredible ink that would last forever. Some of you came to realize that not all people are honest and good, and in fact, they sometimes act very selfish and evil. Your blank pages began to be marked up by those who you thought loved you. Maybe a father took advantage of you or a mother beat you when she got drunk, or you were sent to foster homes at a young age. Very early in life the pages in your book began to be cut apart and shredded with every evil device imaginable, and often you wished that you had known a better way or a better life.
Others of you (like myself) grew up in godly Christian homes where your page was patterned with love, prayers, and laughter. Parents who loved you, taught you right from wrong, and tried to shield you from evil and hurt. Your page stayed clean and unmarked by sin, that is, until you began to mark it up. You see, the love from godly parents and leaders was not enough for you. You wanted to do things your way and see what sin was like. You did things your way, and slowly you began making marks on your page. Maybe you tried drugs or alcohol or messing around with the opposite sex, and for a while, it was fun. But then came the car accident or the call from the doctor’s office that you were expecting a child who would never know his father, and you realized your page was torn and ripped beyond repair.
Maybe you are in the first group of people and have seen a lot of hate and bitterness in your short life. As just a teenager, many of you have been rejected and feel that your entire life is worthless. You do not know what true love is, and you are desperately searching for answers to your pain. You do not feel that God loves you, and you hate yourself. You do not understand why you were placed on this earth. Maybe you are even thinking that it would be best to end it all because you no longer feel that life is worth living in your situation.
Those of you in group two may think that you are enjoying life, but deep inside, a gnawing emptiness exists that tears away at your soul like a knife. You would never admit it to anyone, but you do not have the answers. Every party you attend only leaves you with more loneliness and regrets than you previously had, and each time you let down your standards and morals, you despise yourself even more. You too are looking for the answer, and though you know where it is, you do not want to find it.
God gives each of us and empty page to fill, and it is called our life. He has a special plan for us, yet He lets us choose how we will fill it. Some of you are filling it with good, and others are filling it with evil. It is our choice because God does not want to force us to serve Him. He allows things to come into our lives for a reason, and whatever happens to us will work together for good if we will let it.
No matter how marred or torn your page has become, God has a plan for your life as long as you are alive. It may not be the perfect plan God once had dreamed for you, but there is something special He wants you to do. My Grandpa Hyles used to say, “As long as a person is alive and breathing air, God can use him.” God uses sinners, and I am so glad he does because that is exactly what I am.
To those of you who have not marred your page but have kept it clean and whole, please do not destroy it with sin and bitterness. God has so much He wants you to do, and you have your whole life ahead of you.
The greatest gift you could give to God and to those who have invested in you is your life. Don’t ruin it with sin and rebellion, for it is not just your life you are ruining; you will also ruin the lives of your husband/wife and your children and those who are coming behind you someday.
“Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful;
May the fire of our devotion light their way.
May the footprints that we leave lead them to believe,
And the lives we live inspire them to obey;
Oh, may all who come behind us find us faithful.”
Keep you page clean so that those who come behind you will see the love of God and the joy of serving Him instead of hurt, pain, and bitterness from a life that is beyond repair.
by Jaclynn Webber
(Author of Do It Right The First Time!)
I am Elizabeth Bennet of Pride & Prejudice! I am intelligent, witty, and tremendously attractive. I have a good head on my shoulders, and oftentimes find myself the lone beacon of reason in a sea of ridiculousness. I take great pleasure in many things. I am proficient in nearly all of them, though I will never own it. Lest I seem too perfect, I have a tendency toward prejudgement that serves me very ill indeed.