"Fear not; for thou shalt not be
ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame:
for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember
the reproach of thy widowhood any more."
really like the idea of "thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth"
here. In the chapter, God talks about forgetting a couple of types of
shame. I am not sure what the reproach of widowhood is, unless it is
like the reproach of being single... you don't really fit in with the
married masses. Whatever it is though, and all the other types of
shame, in the chapter and probably in the world... we get to forget. We
get to move on, and be different people, and not worry about those
things anymore. Maybe that doesn't initially seem like a big deal, but
how often do we dictate our lives by the past... what we've done, or
felt, or how people look at us, or what they expect of us? Letting go,
in this deep way where God says it, and not just us, means that there
isn't anything at all that can possibly hold us back from anything good
that we want... it's kind of like screwing up your life when you were a
teenager, and having a felony on your record. That kind of thing stays
with you forever. It's hard to shake. You can change a lot of things,
but people still expect you to be that person. It changes where you can
work, who you can date, what you can study in school... all because of
one mistake in the past. And maybe with our personal shame it isn't
just one, and it wasn't that long ago. But to God, it doesn't matter.
Someday, all of that will be gone... won't affect us at all. On our
side, repentance definitely helps the process go forward, and speeds it
up, but interestingly, this verse isn't even about repentance. It is
just talking about the last days, and how things will be different.
Maybe someday we as a society won't hold things over each other's heads
anymore. :) Maybe we'll all fit in. Maybe we won't judge people by
their pasts. ... And you know... it already IS the last days after
all. Maybe, even now, we can move on from things that we regret, embrace each other for who we are trying to be, and support each other as we become new.