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Usually when I pick Reagan up from school I ask “What was your favorite thing today, Reagan?”

And usually she responds with something like “the playground” or “stations” or “devotions.”

But Friday when I picked her up, before I had a chance to ask, she goes, “Mom, you HAVE to hear the story Mrs. Hickey told us in devotions today.”

That’s quite an opening, and indeed, I HAD to hear!

It was the story of Saul who became Paul from the book of Acts, and her telling of it went something like this:

“Once there was a man named Saul. And he was not nice. And he didn’t like the people who talked about Jesus. So he trapped all of Jesus’ friends in jam (translation: jail). So a bright light shined on him and he couldn’t see. And Jesus told him to go see…I can’t remember his name (that would be Ananias). So he went to see…I can’t remember his name. And that man told Saul to go do what’s right. And THEN…

Mom, this is my favorite part

And THEN…God changed his name from Saul to Paul!”

Don’t you just love that?

Because she’s right. That’s the best part of the story. It’s the best part of my story. God revealed Himself to me through Jesus, called me to follow Him and changed my identity.    Like Paul, I was a hater of God, doing what was right in my own eyes, but God chose me and made me new. I am no longer that person. And though my name wasn’t changed, my heart was.

Too often we lose sight of who we are and look back to who we used be. Like the Israelites looking back on Egypt with longing, forgetting that Egypt was slavery and that being in the presence of God is freedom. Because the journey is sometimes long and hard, what was old looks easier, more appealing.

BUT

“We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”

I’m so grateful for the reminder from my little one that my story, like Paul’s, is a story of God changing a heart, and I get to live in the joy of that “favorite part” of the story every day.