Allume 2014,  Messy Faith,  Personal and Spiritual Ramblings,  Redemption Stories

Redemption Stories {A New Blog Series}

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I laid in bed on October 1st. 31 Days had just kicked off.

Having most of my posts scheduled for the month before the series ever started, it left me wide open to think about the future. November, December, then beyond into 2015.

The word redemption came to my mind.

I had picked out a song to sing in church three weeks later.

I’ll build an altar with
The rubble that You’ve found me in
And every stone will sing
Of what You can redeem

I thought about how those words had shown themselves so vividly to me. When someone whose story had intersected with mine in a very negative way contacted me about my legalism series…reaching out…reconnecting. And how she just so happened to receive an autism diagnosis for her son on the same day that we received an ADHD diagnosis for Ezra. How she became a friend and confidant. And how a very dark part of my story had been redeemed.

I thought back.

Back to the hurt and the anger. The one steps forward, ten steps back ebb and flow of recovery. The raw feelings. The feeling stuck.

Then forward again.

During October, the new host of Five Minute Friday was sharing one-word prompts every day in October. I visited in hopes of finding inspiration for November content.

Day 1 was move. Day 3 was new.

I know that – as beneficial and needed as whitespace has been and as much as you can’t rush grief and healing – I don’t want to stay in this place. I’m sensing that I’m ready to move forward.

I don’t know how.

But I know that if God can redeem one part of my story, He can redeem the other parts too.

There is beauty in brokenness, but there is also beauty in being a whole person.

And again, I’m not sure how to get there. I don’t know how to start over with God. I don’t know how to move forward in broken relationships with people who refuse to understand the depth of what I’ve been through. I don’t know how to pick up my Bible and not feel guilt wash over me. I don’t know how to feel safe in church. I don’t know how to not feel insecure.

But I want to try.

Not with some will power. But by surrendering to God’s redemptive power.

I’ll be 28 next year. And my twenties have been hard and painful, but I don’t want my thirties to look like this too. I want to see my wounds healed. I don’t want to wear my scars on my sleeve and wallow in the pain anymore.

…even though I’m free
Heal the wound but leave the scar
A reminder of how merciful You are
I am broken, torn apart
Take the pieces of this heart
And heal the wound but leave the scar

I don’t know where 2015 is going to take me. I might get to the end of the year and find that I’m still in the same place. I don’t know.

But I’m asking God to help me move on…move forward…do a new thing in me.

I’m asking for redemption.


I wrote the above draft on October 3rd, feeling out using the word redemption as my one word for 2015.

Then I went to Allume, where the message I received was this:

Heal first. Seek Christ and HIS redemption for the hard parts of your story. THEN, write, honoring those in the wake, respecting people’s stories instead of using them for your own personal gain.

I know I haven’t been doing this in my blogging.

Maybe, the shift in focus I need to find is in viewing my story differently. Maybe the focus should be less on the pain and the struggle and the storm and more on the empowering brightness of redemption and healing.

And as I processed these thoughts further, I came to the following conclusions about the direction of my blog in this post about a shifting focus:

I think I feel this shift coming – this dichotomy between what my blog is and what it could be. And not in terms of followers or stats as much as how it could be an extension of personal growth and maturity, and better help others.

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”

I think that it might be time to shift focus: to focus less on the mess and more on the beauty.

For the last few weeks I’ve felt unsure how to move forward. Until this morning.

And then it all came together in my mind.

I was in the car listening to Christmas music. I was happy. I found myself trying to answer the question my husband had asked me last week:

“Why do you like Christmas music so much?”

It makes me feel safe. It brings back good memories. And yet Christmases of past have held some of my darkest, most painful memories too. So why the happiness? Why the feelings of safety that this music elicits?

All of the sudden, the answer was so clear: redemption.

Because what was at one time the painfullest of holidays became the happiest of holidays just a few years later…and then even happier a few years following that. {A whole post about this will be forthcoming.}

And as I thought about that story I thought about so many others. So many things that five, seven, ten years of perspective have helped me to realize the truth behind verses like Romans 8:28 and Genesis 50:20.

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.”

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

I think that there’s still a way to keep telling my story. To keep sharing openly and vulnerably. To shift focus more onto the beauty and still honor others in the telling.

I’m starting a new blog series. It will run indefinitely, whenever I feel inspired to share a part of my story. A part of my story that God has redeemed – where I can look back onto the past with eyes of perspective and see what God was doing, the bigger picture. The redemption. The restitution.

The beauty.

Here’s a few I’ve already written that fit perfectly into the series:

I prayed for his wife

Hopeless no longer

An answered prayer, the moment I fell in love with the military, and two guest posts

Everyday us {and more little bits of our story}

Plenty more to come!

Redemption Stories: A Time of Need and the Friendship I Gained

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  • Anonymous

    I have been wondering, lately… do you think there is truly a way to heal from this kind of hurt … permanently… this side of heaven? I have thought, time and time, again – thank you, God! My wounds are finally healed! Breakthrough. I am scarred, but whole! And, then, months later, the same wounds were ripped open, again, by yet another trigger.

  • Racquel Sommer

    That is just beautiful! I have been on a similar journey the past 7 years….I have a 7 year old son who has special needs and I’m also an occupational therapist. I have spent the last 7 years feeling like I was suppose to “fix” my child, I’m in the profession that should know how to do this, but year after year would go by, with no fix and I just got more depresses and wondered why God would do this to me….I didn’t have much of a relationship with God at this point because I was too busy with trying to fix my child myself…about a year ago I was at my lowest point, my sister invited me to a contemporary non denominational church, that day changed my life forever…for the first time in 7 years I realized I don’t have to do this alone, in fact I dont have to do anything, but trust in Him! It has literally changed every aspect of my life!

    • Aprille

      Thank you so much for sharing your story. It’s so easy to get in the habit of feeling like you have to “fix” your kid when there’s special needs involved. I know I’ve dealt with those feelings a lot too! I’m so glad you are in a loving church environment now!

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