Okay I had to write another post about redemption because I realized I had more to say. I just love redemption so much and I’m having new revelations about what it means in my life. I just love the trade of pain, fear, judgement, or some negative experience for comfort, peace, acceptance, forgiveness, and freedom. No longer is redemption just a fancy church word to me but it has real meaning and experience to my every day life.
So I’m talking about redemption again and naturally I have to tell a story to explain it.
Another little story the Lord brought to me was when I was at the tender age of 15, where everything was simultaneously ‘a big deal’ and ‘of no importance.’ I had a crush on a boy and we were talking about cool new songs we liked. I had recently watched a movie and liked a song in it. I looked it up and it was from The Cranberries. I don’t think I so much as liked the song but rather the words, which I was trying to use as a weird hint to say I liked him. Not knowing in my 9th grade wisdom that The Cranberries were a 90’s band, I stated that I liked one of their songs.
And this boy says “No, The Cranberries are not cool.” And our conversation came to a screeching halt. It may have even ended at that point, there was nothing else to be said.
In the context of our friendship, music was the only thing we sort of had in common. I thought that everyone had to agree with me to like me. I was super crushed. I thought it meant I wasn’t cool – which was something I was desperately trying to be.
I thought a lot of different lies about myself all from one tiny remark. Obviously it was a pretty harmless thing to say but I had no framework to deal with people disagreeing with me when I especially wanted them to agree.
In this story the Lord reminded me that even in my hurt in the moment, he was there. And the best part came years later while driving down the road with my husband.
We were out driving for one reason or another. The sun was beginning to set and it was a warm summer evening. A Cranberries song comes on the radio and he IMMEDIATELY turns it up and says ‘man I love The Cranberries.” A surprising little tear came to my eye after he said that. I had never told him the story before. The weird emotions I had tied to that song were lifted. I just had to smile with my twinkling eyes as we drove around with the sun setting and the song playing and soaking up the redemption of that moment.
Past, Present, and Future Redemption
Before this year, I really didn’t think much of redemption besides the fact that everyone has fallen short of God and he will redeem us fully in heaven. It’s exciting to think about EVERY bit of pain, anguish, trouble, grief, and taste of hell we get in life will be redeemed, renewed, refreshed, soothed, and healed in heaven. But as I am seeing, we get a taste test of heaven here on earth too.
So as the past 6 months have unfolded, God has simply walked me down memory lane and then showed me that He was there with me. Whether it was making sure I didn’t die like I mentioned in my last post, Redemption Of The Small Things or simply saying ‘I sat there with you, you were not alone. I heard what was said to you. I saw everything that happened and I am grieved too.’
It allows me to let those memories go, the memories I didn’t know I was holding onto. It also makes me so how strongly He loves me.
As I have looked back at memories and saw the Lord’s redemption, it has changed my perspective of other negative experiences. I am EXPECTING God to be in my painful memories now. I go back to look for Him.
As I expect to find God in my past pains, it has made me expectant to see Him in my current pains as well. His redemption has connotations for today, my every day life. When I have a day where all I see is crap, when my marriage is disappointing, when a friendship goes south, when I make a bad decision as a parent, when I’m riddled with anxiety – I can at least call out in my pain ‘how are you going to turn this one around God? This one is too big. This one is fresh and painful and I can’t even handle it so how can you?’
And as of yet, I have yet to be left without an answer. I have had days end on an overly joyous note that started so crappy. I have laid down in peace or comfort just when I needed it. I have had my whole day turn around and feel completely different from the beginning to the end.
I am learning to expect redemption. And guess what? Thats what God wants. He wants expectancy. He wants us to know that He shows up in the worst situations. Maybe thats why he wanted me to walk through crappy memories – so that I can expect redemption from Him in my past, current, and future life.