I’m Not the Girl I Used to Be

by | Mar 29, 2014 | personal journey

This post might shock a few people. It may be one of most transparent ones I’ve written.

Lately, memories have flooded my mind, and quite honestly, some haven’t been so great. They’ve reminded me of the girl I used to be.

And I’ve cringed.

I guess you could say I was a rebellious teenager, who at one point, was living a “double life.” One of being a good student, athlete, daughter, and friend during the week. And other of making wrong choices, attending parties, rebelling, pushing the limits with my parents, and sneaking behind their backs on the weekends.

Oh, how I wish I could apologize to my parents one more time.

(Get ready… incriminating photos!)

Below is from my senior year in high school. I’m no other than “Paul Stanley” (black star around the eye) in our KISS air band.

KISS high school

The “collage” below makes me laugh. It adequately depicts my double life… the left two pictures of my wilder side, and the right two pictures of my sweeter side.

Julie high school

(Sigh.) I wish I could have a “do-over” with those years I wasted. I wish I would have made better choices. I wish I would have honored my parents better. I wish… I wish.

As I’ve revisited those years, I can also see where God’s hand was upon me… protecting me, guiding me, forming me. I didn’t know Him then. I mean, I knew OF Him, but didn’t really KNOW Him. There is a difference.

Even though I wasn’t the “perfect girl,” God never gave up on me. He met me where I was, and began to change me. (Read My Faith Journey.) I’ve been a part of an organized Bible study for seventeen years. I try to read His Word daily. I can find God’s presence in any situation of my life. I talk to Him throughout my day, and specifically each morning and night. I don’t say these things to brag. I say them because the girl I used to be wouldn’t have done any of these things.

I imagine some people from my past read my posts and question…

“Really?? She’s writing about God? She’s the last person I’d ever think would do that.”

And back then, I’d have to agree with them. Or…

“What has gotten in to her? She used to be wild and fun. She must be one of those ‘Jesus freaks’.”

I may not be wild anymore, but believe me, I still know how to have fun. (Smile.) And I guess if people want to call me a “Jesus freak,” I’m okay with that.

As the cringing memories have surfaced, I’ve asked God to forgive me for each mistake, each wrong choice, each wild thing I did, as they’ve come to mind. He has used those past years to shape me into who I am today. They are a part of my story, and a part of the proof of how someone can change dramatically when they come to grips with who they are, and embrace a life with Jesus at the wheel. I’m still a work in progress.

If your past hasn’t been so stellar either, may you find comfort and encouragement through this post–you are not alone. Those years aren’t wasted when we give them to the One who can use them for His good. And He will! I’m living proof of that.

Whew! Being transparent isn’t always comfortable. Thank you for allowing me to share some of my journey with you.


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  1. Betsy

    Hi Julie, I also cringe sometimes when I remember things I did in high school. I’m praying my kids won’t do them!!!!But it is wonderful that we are new creations in Christ.

    • Julie

      Thank you, Betsy, for stopping by today and for blessing me with your words! I’m praying my kids don’t do them either. It’s quite possible God allowed them to happen in our lives to be a better witness for the next generation. Have a blessed day today!

  2. Ellen Chauvin

    Praise God that we are new creations in Christ! I have cringe memories also! Thankful we serve a Redeemer – redeeming all those wasted years!

    Thanks Julie!

    • Julie

      Ellen, you made me smile with your words “cringe memories.” I think we probably all have them. :/ His Word says He’ll restore the years the locusts have eaten. Praise God for that! Thank you for your encouragement!

  3. Tracy L

    This post makes me smile Julie, as I too led a bit of a ‘double life’ back in the day. And like you sometimes I wish I could go back and be different. But then I wonder if I might not be the person I am meant to be. Our experiences and our failures teach us so much. It is so nice to know God always loves us. He loves us for who we were as well as who we are now. Great post!

    • Julie

      Thank you, Tracy, for your encouraging words. Yes, you’re absolutely right…”He loves us for who we were as well as who we are now.” That’s a great sticky statement! 🙂 You blessed me today for visiting and sharing!

  4. R. Rodgers

    Hi Julie, I’ve just found your blog and I am enjoying exploring many of your posts. This one spoke to me. We all grow and change, hopefully for the better. I have certainly grown for the better and have a closer relationship with God than in years past. Although I’ve always been a Christian I haven’t always “walked the walk”. I’m doing a better job of that now, but still have growing to do (don’t we all?). When I reflect on my past, I am so thankful that He watched over me and loved me through all of my bad decisions and that today He accepts me despite my past mistakes.

    • Julie

      Amen, friend! I am so thankful for all those things as well. It seems the older I get, the more I appreciate God’s amazing grace. We all have growing to do this side of eternity, and we can be thankful we’re not who we used to be. 🙂 I’m so glad you stopped by today. Thank you for sharing your words here of encouragement and hope! May God bless you this week. I’ll be over to your place soon!


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