Estimated reading time: 5 minutes 🙂
This morning my house was quiet (which is rarer than a unicorn), so I made myself breakfast and sat with Jesus for a bit. I thought about what He’s taught me this week, and it’s a lot.
Flipping through my notes, I noticed a resounding theme: Redemption. Which I thought was a curious theme right before Christmas. And I asked Him if I should talk about that this morning, and He said yes.
So here we go.
I have a hard time trusting God will redeem things in my life.
I don’t have trouble believing God will bring good out of a situation. But I struggle to believe He will redeem and heal broken parts of my life. And yet He has so many times.
I’ve shared this before, but my relationship with church was very broken for most of my life. I hated church, I didn’t trust church, I was skeptical of church, I was hurt by church, and eventually I felt abandoned by church. But slowly, the years dried my tears and God redeemed my relationship with the church. And now I go every Sunday, whether people join me or not, because I want to.
So I have this shining example of redemption in my life, and yet I still struggle to trust.
One thing I have a hard time believing God will redeem are my feelings.
Here’s something I wrote last weekend at a low point ~ and here’s how God responded:
“Hey God. I’m feeling that lonely holiday blue feeling again. I know it’s because I just watched an ultra cheesy Christmas rom com, but it’s been hard all week.
It’s so easy for me to think at Christmas time I need a boyfriend. I beat myself up for being THE most awkward human being with too wide a face and too much acne and greasy hair and yellow teeth. I can’t flirt to save my life because I’m scared of getting hurt, so I have these tall ugly walls all around me and I feel hopeless to find the right person.
There are times I still feel lonely even though I KNOW you are enough, and I get so mad at myself for betraying you like that. I want to be fulfilled in you completely, and I am, but there are nights it’s so hard to be single. And I knew it would be hard ~ that’s okay. It’s just ~ my mind is a mess.
The devil takes hold of the way you designed me ~ to be fulfilled in you and yet still needing fellowship, and twists it. Christmas is his specialty, because it’s perhaps the best time of the year.
But I let myself wish I had someone who would laugh with me and understand me ~ and then I forget I have YOU. God I have you. And it breaks my heart when I realize how depraved and sinful I am, so sinful I don’t even think of you first when I wonder, ‘who understands me?’
I long for intimacy, and yet you’re here. I long for companionship, and yet you’re here. I long for someone to just say I’m beautiful because I won’t tell myself, and yet you’re here. I’m so sorry God.
But I made you with feelings.
But I feel like I’m betraying you with them. Like my feelings make me think you’re not enough when you are.
Annabelle, you think that changes how I feel about you?
Peace, be still, and know that I am God. Where your feelings are broken I will redeem them.“
I think I’ve read that 10 times this week. Makes me tear up every time hahaha.
I keep forgetting this: God doesn’t just intend to redeem you.
He intends to redeem every piece of you. Your body. You feelings. Your relationships. Everything.
God doesn’t do a half-ass job.
So often I believe, in my disrepair, sitting in the fragments of my shattered past, that God won’t piece it together again.
I’m scared God won’t redeem my emotions. I laid them out in the open like laundry when I was younger, and the wind picked them up and ripped them into shreds. I opened up like a flower, and the sun scorched me. Now I can’t seem to open up at all anymore.
I’m scared God won’t redeem my relationship with certain family members. I’m scared He won’t redeem my relationship with myself. I’m scared He won’t redeem my beauty, my view of myself, my desires, my ugly selfish mind.
I’m scared God won’t redeem my body. I mean, just this week, I was so discouraged I wasn’t feeling well. I was sick all week with this annoying cold ~ I mean, I couldn’t breathe, couldn’t talk for a day, couldn’t move for another. And I remember in the middle of it, sitting on the couch and just being grumpy one day. And God asked me,
“Do you believe I can heal you?”
And I remember thinking, in my stupid sarcastic selfishness, “the real question is will you?”
And do you know how He responded?
Annabelle, when have I ever forgotten to redeem you?
When have I ever forgotten to redeem you. I wrote it in my notes and felt shame drip down over my face.
God doesn’t just intend to redeem you. He intends to heal every inch of you.
By His stripes we are healed.
And finally, I see why God is teaching me this hard lesson now. Right before Christmas. Because:
Not only does He redeem us from our brokenness, but He became our brokenness so that we could be redeemed.
He was born in the dirt so I could rise from the ashes.
He was born in the dark so I could touch the light.
He was born in ugliness so that we could be made beautiful.
He was born to die so that we could live.
Emmanuel ~ God with us. God with us wasn’t so pretty. And yet His intentions to redeem each one of us were so sincere, so intense, He stepped from beauty to ashes in order to bring us from ashes to beauty.
And that’s what Christmas is, isn’t it? To a weary world, it’s a reminder that God redeems. That God sees you. That God sank low to lift you up. That God took this first step toward death so you can take your first steps toward life ~ toward Him.
Isaiah 44:22 says, “I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.”
You are redeemed. You are healed. And God’s not done redeeming you and healing you yet.
Going to share a handful of songs because I CAN’T DECIDE THEY’RE ALL SO GOOD.