When the Past Sneaks Into the Present {Book Club}

As Angie said, we’ve all done something in our past that we wonder, if known, could impact a part of our life we hold dear—whether in a relationship, or a job, or where we serve. Reading chapter 6 in  What Women Fear by Angie Smith I can understand why work-based salvation is, at times, easier to believe and live out than grace-based.

Work-based, though tiring, at least means that I can atone for past actions, beliefs, or choices. Grace-based keeps me totally dependent on God. And yet what freedom when we truly, down to the bottom of our toes, grasp that we don’t have to keep hustling for our worth.

That is not to say that parts of our past might not have consequences. I have a friend who had a child before she was married and decided not to marry the father of the baby. It was the best decision to not compound a situation. Does God love her and her now teenage daughter? Absolutely. He delights in them! And. And the biological father has consistently made life difficult and recently has been into game playing with telling the daughter flat out lies about her mom, trying to triangulate and build a “special bond” between father and daughter.


So, yet, we are set free from our past and yet we still function in a world of cause and effect. In our small group, as we finished studying the book of Philippians, this situation with the dad and daughter came up. How do we live in the truth that we are set free from our past when parts of our past may be so very present in the present?

I had been wondering when to share this video because it hits on so many of the fears we have talked about. Today is the day! Probably some of you have seen this American High School state cheerleading competition on Facebook. What room does fear have?

You know how many of us have a chosen word for the year and that Velvet Ashes’ word is commune? I think God may have picked a word for 2016, too. The these of the retreat that will be next week (woot woot!) was laid on the leadership team’s heart a year ago: God wants to set people free from fear. Then to have a high school cheer team do a routine this year around the theme of being set free from fear and then it went viral—last I looked it was seen over seven million times, it may be more by the time you read this. I think God is serious about us fearing the Lord and nothing else because He is coming at that message from so many angles.

I’ve mentioned before, but I love a good back story! So, in doing research for this post, I found the back story to this cheerleading performance. Super cool. If you have 23 minutes to watch it, do, if not, I’ll hit some of the high lights below.

Long story short, the cheerleading coach is a Christian and teaches at a public school in America. When her cheer team had seen this “poem” performed on youtube they wanted to do it for their state competition. The coach pointed out the problems: 1) It has a Christian message and we are at a public school, 2) the original was longer than the time limit for the cheer competition, and 3) they didn’t know how to get the original voice over tracks. The girls agreed and then said, “So, can we do it?” God opened many doors and they were able to get permission to use the voice over track and the music track.

The year before they had won State and their performance had been seen almost 4,000 times on Youtube. The morning of the performance, as the coach was reading her bible, she heard in her soul, “Today, I will be the winner,” and thought it was a bit prideful to think that way and then realized it was God saying He was going to be the winner. The girls got eighth place in State this year. One of the moms put it up on Youtube and by Sunday night it had already been seen . . . 4,000 times. More than an entire year of people viewing when they were champions.

Have I also shared I’m a sucker for a good sports movie?! So, this was double bonus for me. I even bored my family by retelling them the video and making them watch it :). You’re welcome. You’re my family too.

This chapter made me think of our January book Wild in the Hollow. Did it remind anyone else?

As Angie wrote, “The Lord has delighted in the grace that washes you white as snow.” Amen!

See you in the comments.

Amy 🙂

P.S. Next week we’ll discuss chapter 7. I’m working on our summer reading — what would you like included?! Suggestions.

If you haven’t, there is still time to register for the retreat!


Disclosure : Amazon Affiliate links included in this post.  If you click through to Amazon, any purchase you make supports this site. 


  1. Jodie April 11, 2016

    I was really struck today by the contrast in my Daily Bible, that the Old Testament reading was about the consequences of Achan’s sin–pretty serious. Death. And the New Testament reading was about the prodigal son. He deserved death but got grace instead. And then thinking of the woman caught in adultery mentioned in this chapter of the book. She was sure she was going to be stoned. But Jesus did not condemn her. I like what you said, Amy, about the difference in a work-based framework where we try to hustle for our worthiness, and a grace-based framework where we are completely dependent on God.

  2. Hadassah April 12, 2016

    “How are we supposed to do this dance of grace?”  This quote seems fitting, considering the video you shared, Amy.  What a beautiful testimony of how God used these girls and their innocent desire in a mighty way to witness for Him:)  I’m thinking of the best forum to share this with our high-school students, and when I do, I’ll let you know.  Thanks for sharing!


  3. Clarissa April 12, 2016

    Great video Amy! Thank you for sharing the story!

  4. Elizabeth April 16, 2016

    That testimony was AWESOME Amy! Thanks for sharing it!

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