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History repeats itself

September 29, 2010

I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t like me, and I know I wouldn’t like myself. “How can I know this?” Well, I’m a history buff, and my love of things ancient stirred my curiosity to explore my own history… “pre-me.”  I hoped to find noble, compassionate, wise, and gentile habits. After all, I’m a “Virginian,” the state that produced 4 of our first 5 presidents and was settled by Europeans in 1607. Since my family arrived in the first quarter of the 17th century, shouldn’t I find something worthy of a page in history? I did. Perhaps that’s why famous Virginian Thomas Jefferson said, “I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.”


As I explored my heritage, I discovered some shining moments, but mostly sin. Instead of a story destined for greatness, I confirmed what the Bible said all along, “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags” Isaiah 64:6.  Translation:  Instead of enduring heirlooms, my inheritance as a human being was just filthy rags. The generations before me walked a sinful path, with few turning to God. Since history repeats itself, I was clearly destined to follow in their footsteps. The further back I went, the more certain I was I’m cut out of sinful cloth.

My own story took a turn when my parents’ marriage skidded dangerously close to the edge and my mom went to church as a last resort. A woman in a stairway noticed she “needed a friend” and said so.  Doing more than smile, though, she took my mom to where she could hear the truth, to where God’s Word could change us one at a time. Until then, we repeated patterns of generations of empty people who defaulted to anger, abuse and addictions. I was on track to fit into THAT family album, and as a history lover, I KNOW I would’ve become just like my lost ancestors. But God changed our story (MY story) as we heard the gospel.  Our home was transformed by His truth. I’m so glad that “where sin increased, grace increased all the more,” Romans 5:20.


His grace changed generations of ugliness and rerouted my future. At five, I knew I wanted Jesus’ gift of life for me. Before I even understood my future was guaranteed to be bleak, God set me on a new course and spared me much of the pain I read in my history.  My heavenly Father offered me a future as His daughter, with a heavenly inheritance, so Thomas Jefferson was right! I really do like the way the future looks “post-grace” rather than the past history without God.

If you accepted Christ as a child and ever wonder “how bad it could’ve been,” just check out your family history.

I’m still a history buff. It’s evidence of who I’d be without Christ Jesus, and it’s evidence His sacrifice can change lives. The more I learn about the past, the more I know sin has always increased, but God’s grace increases all the more! What’s your history?

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. September 29, 2010 8:20 am

    Thank you Julie! I love our Redeemer’s redemption stories!

  2. stephanieshott permalink
    September 29, 2010 8:27 pm

    Julie ~ What a beautiful post of how God’s love collided with your story and made it His. I never really thought about the backstory of the salvation (or lack thereof) of my genealogy. What an amazing God we serve! Thank you so much for pointing out something that never entered my mind. It has made me even more thankful for so great a salvation!

    • Julie Sanders permalink
      September 29, 2010 8:54 pm

      It has helped me to realize that God has been at work through generations to bring me to Himself, and it has helped me to see myself as part of a much longer “story.”

      Julie Sanders http://www.comehaveapeace.blogspot.com

  3. September 29, 2010 8:50 pm

    Beautiful post….I love your blog and can not wait to read your past and future posts.

    • Julie Sanders permalink
      September 29, 2010 9:23 pm

      Thank you so much for that sweet encouragement. We hope you’ll be blessed as you read! We hope and pray our readers feel like we’ve been sitting down for coffee to chat and talk about our faith and life. Our real passion is that we dig into the truth of God’s Word and work it into our lives together.

      Julie Sanders http://www.comehaveapeace.blogspot.com

  4. Shelby Titus permalink
    September 29, 2010 9:20 pm

    To my daughter – thanks for sharing our story! Isn’t it amazing that God is at work
    all the time in the redemption story saving people by His Grace and Mercy?

    • Julie Sanders permalink
      September 29, 2010 9:27 pm

      Yes it is amazing! And I’m so glad He changed our course with that great grace. So glad to share that story with you and the fam.

  5. September 29, 2010 9:31 pm

    Wow Julie- what stands out in your story (besides God’s amazing grace) is the woman who befriended your mom. What a “small” act that had a huge impact. May we never overlook an opportunity to share the gospel!

    • Julie Sanders permalink
      September 29, 2010 9:48 pm

      I’ve thought the same thing, and I’ve been convicted about how many times I’ve “talked myself out of” obeying God’s prompting because of what someone would think. The woman basically said, “You look like you need a friend.” And she did! Not only a friend with skin on, but an eternal Friend. I’ve been so thankful for her initiative that ultimately changed MY life.

      Julie Sanders http://www.comehaveapeace.blogspot.com

  6. Lisa Devault permalink
    October 9, 2010 2:51 pm

    Thank-you,Julie, for sharing you story.God is amazing,isn’t he? I just thank him for his divine sovereignity in my life. He is in the life changing business!

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