Don’t let the past ruin your future



This is another “Anti-Abby” column.


She or they give out some boneheaded advice from time to time and although I am not syndicated, I hope to provide a little wisdom here in the valley of the sun.


On August 6, Abby responded to an expectant mother, who had a past of prostitution and involvement in pornography. The writer had moved back to her small town, was now married, pregnant and had a wonderful, restored relationship with her mother who lives close by.


The writer’s concern was for her daughter, yet to be born, growing up and possibly hearing bad things about her mother. Abby’s advice was to jump ship, abandon mom and move.


This is the Abby’s non-Christian thinking again, showing the rubber hitting the road. When in doubt, run from problems.


Rather than helping to solve the problem, Abby suggests leaving where her parents live, to hide from her past and protect her child. Bad on several accounts!


A few common sense questions:  What about her parents? The Bible says honor your parents and they will need help, and if they move, the daughter will not be around.


Also, the grandparents are often such a blessing to the grandchild. Why let pride or irrational fear interfere with their relationship. It is so convenient when healthy grandparents are nearby. Not only to babysit, but to be involved in their grandchild’s life. See past Rural Reader stories of evidence of happy grand parenting.


So what is the “town slut” to do?


What Abby could have said is that if you have changed your life, you can handle the conflict. The other thing is most of us know an addict or alcoholic who has changed, or someone who has been in prison—we have respect for the person who has turned over a new leaf on life.


Another thing that Abby assumes, is that people’s belief about others are static not dynamic. If mom were to get involved in her church, and share her past, she might help young women.


There is also much education going on today on the topic of “human trafficking” and mom could be an advocate for change, rather than a chicken hiding out.

Love covers a multitude of sins. If mom became a chronic volunteer, she would be evaluated for her current activities, not her sordid past. If she were to love on the community, in many ways, her twisted love in the past might be forgotten or at least its significance would shrink, as it should.


Church is always an option, but a person can serve the Salvation Army, Boys and Girls Clubs, schools, Soroptimists, victim service programs, women getting out of prison, etc.


The other thing is that Abby assumes the worst about small town folks is we are small-minded, gossips who look for opportunities to beat people down.


What about forgiveness? What about evaluating people based on who they are today, rather than what they did in the past.


I am not boasting in me but in Christ who changed me. I was a thief, drug dealer, adulterer and all around knucklehead!


As a recovering person, I am not proud of what I did, but that is not who I am. I have gotten several awards and served in prestigious positions, since my youth and adult transgressions.


My past has made me the good, (not perfect) guy, I am today. I learned from my mistakes and it has GROWN me in many ways.


Wanna know? Call me and I will buy the coffee.


The Bible has two great stories related to this Abby letter. The one is about the Prodigal Child I Luke 15:11. The other is where the church leaders brought the “town slut” to Jesus in John 8:7 in a small town.


I am not going to explain these parables, but God’s forgiveness is great! And sometimes, so are His children, and many of them live in small towns!


  1. Well said Mr Shinn. I really don’t read her any longer since it isn’t her but I know several young women with dark pasts who are loved and well accepted in our little corner of the world.

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