Do not let the past AFFECT who you are and as you move forward do not let what you are EFFECT who you are to become. The reason I capitalized those words is because even though they sound the same (or we pronounce them the same), they are not. Affect deals more with emotional influences and effect is the result of something, the end. I know I started out as a sinner and continued to be a sinner even after I went down in the water. But I cannot let those sins keep me from my purpose that God has for me. I can let the guilt overwhelm me or I can let peoples who knew me then tell me now that I am truly not saved or I can simply keep myself back because of what I've previously done to spare myself from those staring eyes. Those are all hidden emotions that I once had.
In that above phrase, I am in the middle. I am on my way to becoming something that I can't even dream of thanks to God. I can just feel it. Change is definitely happening on the inside and it feels great. But I cannot let that great feeling effect who I am to become. I can take it all to the head and soak in it to then become so crinkly that I distort what I was to become or I can merely embrace it until God calls for me again. For right now I have to do what I can for others and myself. I have to show them what God has shown me and spread the good news. I have to just hold on.
That's my encouragement for you. Stand against the tricks of the enemy. He enticed us in our past so it can be carried with us to our future. But the thing is, it can only come with us IF we bring it with us. So let it go. I promise you, once you shed that and you are sitting in the middle of that sentence, it will get a bit easier.