Several years ago, I wrote a story for the Yu-gi-oh! fandom (fanfiction) that I, at the time, adored. This story was basically a rewrite of the entire series, and it introduced plenty of my own characters (OCs) and plenty of plot twists. It was a pretty lengthy story, and if it were an anime, it would have run for fifteen seasons or more. The title was Yu-gi-oh! Recreated: A Pharaoh’s Last Will.
On the surface, this large fanfiction project sounds fairly decent, right? If I told you a little more, you might even want to read it. But the truth is that it is filled with impurities. Filth. Junk. Sin. Whatever you want to call it, it’s bad. BAD.
I’ll just say that there was a time when I wrote things that I shouldn’t have. That alone should give you an idea without me having to explain much more. The bad news is that this story is not the worst story I’ve written. The good news is that I destroyed the worst story already, probably in eighth grade, which is probably when I wrote it. The better news is that not everything I wrote was bad. This holds true for Yu-gi-oh! Recreated as well.
There are redeeming things within it, yes. It has a good intention…sort of. It’s a shell of something good. And I know that if I were to purge it of its horribleness, I could save those few good things. But there is so much horribleness inside it’s ‘good’ shell that I can’t even look at the story to try saving it. I turn away from it. I dare say I’m ashamed of it.
But…I still ‘love’ it, if only for sentimental reasons.
I think this can be directly applied to how God looks at us. On the outside, we may be able to pass off as being good, innocent, harmless; but on the inside, in sin, we’re hardly innocent at all. Even if there is some good in us, when there’s so much horribleness, I think it makes God want to look away and say, “I’m ashamed of them. I created them for good, and they’ve strayed from their purpose.” Even so, it doesn’t change his love for us. It might be a poor example, but I think that the analogy shows well: like I still care about my story despite all of the junk it has, God still loves us despite all of the junk WE have.
And just like my story can’t fix itself without my help, we can’t truly fix ourselves without God’s help. I know from experience that once you really take a good look at yourself and acknowledge your problems, your sin, and DEAL with those things, you can repent from them and give them to God. You can ask for forgiveness and finally let them go. And trust me, you WON’T MISS THEM. Life is so much freer when you don’t have to carry all that junk around.
Still don’t believe me? I’ll tell you a little bit about my experience with this.
The Yu-gi-oh! story that I have been mentioning throughout this blog post really describes my past self like a mirror, because it is how I was living. I was a shell of innocence with a sour core–the sourness caused by my own sin. From sixth grade through ninth grade, I carried that dead weight around with me, and it only got worse because I knew I was doing wrong, but I refused to let it go because I thought it was too interesting, too exciting to let go. Sometime in eighth grade I realized that it was destroying me. It was making me into someone I didn’t want to be, someone who wasn’t me; someone I didn’t like at all. So I prayed to God to help me stop it. And you know what? He DID.
I knew it wasn’t going to be an overnight process; in fact, it really took about two years for me to finally let go of that junk I’d held onto. But I took it one step at a time, you know? I started getting rid of some of the fanfiction and pictures I’d done in my sin, and limited myself on what I read. Slowly, I began to heal. Slowly, I began to feel better about what I was doing, because I knew that I was heading for that point I was aiming for–to completely rid myself of ‘the horribleness’. I kept telling myself, “I’m getting there. I’m getting there.” By the same time in ninth grade, I was much “better”. I still wasn’t completely free, but in my mind, I had definitely severed many of the chains holding me down to the awful things that I wanted to put behind me. After leaving public school and making the choice to homeschool, I continued the ‘purification’ process, and by the end of tenth grade, I was completely free.
Even though I knew that, after being baptized on July 4, 2010 (Independence Day!), my freedom became real to me. My past is now completely behind me, completely cut off from my present. I have no fear of coming across those past things again because I’m safe. I’m SAVED. I can’t be touched. And thank GOD, because now I can tell others about my experience. I can understand BOTH sides. If you’ve read this far, thanks for reading! It can be hard to confess these things, especially when you’re perceived to be a pure/innocent person. It’s like “WHOA! You were really like that?!” The truth is for those few years, I was like that Yu-gi-oh! story: innocent on the outside but sinful on the inside. For those few years, I just wasn’t myself. I was depressed, though I didn’t know it, and I tried to either appeal to everyone or shove them away.
I’m very grateful to God for helping me out of that horribleness, and saving me. I’m thankful that he loved me even through those times, even though he probably didn’t even want to look at me.
And I’m thankful to you for reading this. I really hope you were able to learn something. I hope it encouraged you. If you’re being held back by your own junk, it’s time to face it! Let it go, give it to God, and take it step by step. If you’re already on the path to freedom, don’t stop; keep going! You’re getting there.