Clean Slate

Thursday, April 26, 2012 Posted by Sara

Pin It, be warned, has the potential to suck hours of your life away. I discovered this last year when my dad uncovered an old letter amongst my grandmother’s things.  This fragile letter, dating back to the Civil War, sent my sister and I into a tizzy.  We painstakingly transcribed the script in a Word document until we had enough information to attack with a fury and see what stories lay dormant in our family history. 

The letter was written by my great-great-great grandfather to his wife, Wilhelmina Bradford. Her name triggered in me a ferocious hunt to see if we might be related to the incomparable William Bradford, the governor of Plymouth.  I’ve always been fascinated by his story.  Sleep took a back seat as I searched records that journeyed back closer and closer to the man in question.  I convinced myself that this would explain why I loved forging new territory, and pioneering new visions- I was a Bradford at heart.

It was an incredible moment when that little green leaf showed up and low and behold…we were direct descendants. 

For a few weeks, at least.

Until my dad tried to get us into the Mayflower society and the fact checking revealed a misidentified son in the line. Back to the family tree drawing board, I began to journey through other branches and discovered a far sturdier link to the Mayflower. Though Bradford was not on the other end. 

Miles Standish was.
Do you know him? Perhaps not. He was in charge of the defense and military operations of little Plymouth, and best known for his brutality towards the Native Americans.  Um, yay. 

It’s easy to accept your woven tale of legacy when your ancestor is the father of a nation, less so when he’s the one remembered for being a trite too bloodthirsty. 

But here’s what I’ve discovered in Christ.
Your past does not dictate your destiny.

He likes to wipe our slate CLEAN.  Clean from the mistakes of our ancestors – or the mistakes we made yesterday.  He is making all things new, and His mercy is fresh every morning.  I’m a daughter of the King, and that’s the best lineage around!  And because of this sweet gift, I am forgiven, I am clean, and I am free to forge a destiny with Him. 

And so are you, my friends. So are you.

"...Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless." Ephesians 5:25-26

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