Redeem-able

crown-of-thorns-golden-crownOk, well I just finished an entire blog post with this exact title and when I inserted this picture it deleted the entire thing. I am going to take that as a sign that it wasn’t supposed to be shared and try not to be sick right now.

So redeemable? You can see the crown of thorns and then the golden crown right text to it in the above picture. What does that mean to you? To me it signifies Jesus bearing our sin, or shame and our humaness, so that we can be redeemed and worthy of being princes and princess in the kingdom of Heaven.

I shared my testimony last Wed night and talked about my own sin. Most of you know my story and if you don’t then I will share it with you at some point but the jist of it is this; teenager has boyfriend for 2 years, said couple has sex, gets pregnant, married and is still living life as a family today. I don’t want to talk about that today, but felt that it was necessary for you to know where I was coming from.  I mostly want to talk about what it is like to wear your sin where everyone can see it and then what God can do in his faithfulness to us, when we are faithful to him.

Dan and I had many choices ahead of us but our first choice whether we knew it or not was to decide Gods role in our lives. We were Christians growing up, Christians while we were dating and still Christians in our married life and current. I read back in my journal from when I found out that I was pregnant and it said that we really wanted to make sure that this baby always knew God and knew his love for her. It had been important from the beginning.

I was a senior in high school for 6 1/2 months of my pregnancy, so I was showing. I was walking around wearing my shame everywhere I went 24/7. Most people that I went to school with knew that I was a Christian. I never had a problem being open about that. Most of my family knew that I had said I would stay pure until I was married. So I was of course a hypocrite. This isn’t the part of my story that I want to share right now, what I want to share is Gods love at work. Gods forgiveness and Gods ability to redeem his children.

I prayed often during this time of my life and I tried to do what I felt God was telling or showing me to do. I had already fallen short of his glory by sleeping with my boyfriend, but now I wanted to live his plan instead of my own. I felt that God was telling me to share my own story. It was ok to be ashamed of my sin, but there was no reason to be ashamed of the child God entrusted to us. I asked permission to share with each of my classes my situation and my teachers all agreed. God allowed me to use myself to protect myself from gossip and whispers and self doubt. God taught me that day that there is a difference between being proud of our sin and owning the responsibility for it. God took Dan and I into places and situations that we never thought we would be in. People were watching us to see what we would do next. God never left our sides. It was hard and scary but when I look back I can see him every step of the way. Every trial he was redeeming us piece by piece. We can’t redeem ourselves, we don’t have the power, but God does.

Some of the family wanted us to go to adoption counseling, even if only to know and understand all of our options. God used this as time for Dan and I to work out our plans, figure out the life that we were going to have and to put a passion for children without a home into my heart. He also made it abundantly clear that this was our baby to have and to raise. This was his plan for our family, his plan was that we all stay together. There were no doubts! How amazing is Gods love? We go to this scary unknown and leave feeling more sure than we did before we ever entered. God is amazing.

There were so many people who doubted. People who were literally betting against us. This wasn’t a deterant for us. This is God giving us the push and the drive that we needed to succeed. Dan stepped up and became the man that he needed to be for our family to survive. God showed me that I was going to have to learn to be more patient, but because we knew we had people watching and waiting for us to fail. We were determined not o allow that to happen. We knew we needed God, his word and his power. We knew that in him, all things were possible. We knew that if we kept him in the center not only would our marriage succeed but it would be full of love, passion and friendship that can only come from Christ himself. God was with us every step of the way.

I struggle still with what our wedding was. This is the one place that I kind of say, ok God where were you in this? Why couldn’t I have what I wanted? Why did I have to sacrifice “my day” to make other people happy or more comfortable? This is a hard topic for me, but the more time passes and the older I get I start to realize that God is still teaching me through our story. I didn’t need a big fancy wedding. That wouldn’t make my marriage better or last longer. As I grow I think that I am starting to see God saying, “look who you have. You have Dan, the one that I chose for you. You have happiness, laughter, love, passion, friendship, you have all things good. I needed you to see that you already had everything you needed. A big wedding wouldn’t have added to any of that but it would have taken away from the things that you needed more at that time.” God was always with us!

There are so many things that I have learned during Dan and I’s journey so far and I want to share of few of them with you: God is always there for you. So many times we think that God turns away from our shame, our sin, our embarrassment, but that isn’t it. It is us that turns away from him because we don’t want him to be there for our shame, sin or embarrassment. We only want him to see the good things and be apart of our successes. God isn’t the church, the church is a gathering of humans that are trying to live more and more like Jesus each day but continually failing. God can redeem us through all of our sins. No one is irredeemable! God always has a way for us to get back on our feet if we allow him to help us get there. Marriage can be a lot of work, but it is also worth every second. Marriages can succeed when Christ is living in the center. My husband loves me unconditionally and I him. God loves both of us more than that, more than we can even begin to fathom. Gods love redeems and restores all.

I didn’t always feel whole or worthy of Gods love. I was afraid, ashamed, sad, sometimes lonely, confused, angry. I was a lot of things negative for awhile. We all go through times that we just feel we let God down. We feel lost and maybe like this time we just went to far. Remember that this isn’t the case. You can’t be too far from Gods love and mercy. We are surrounded by it. Gods love and mercy started way back in Genesis with Adam and Eve and it is never ending. If you feel unredeemable please open your eyes, raise them to the Heavens and ask Jesus for forgiveness and then ask him, what next? Where do I go from here? Which direction do I need to go to get you back to the center? God I’m ready to blossom!

If you believe in God the Father in Heaven and have asked to have a personal life with Jesus Christ then you are a prince or princess of the kingdom. God takes our dirt and then plants flowers in it when we allow him to work in our lives. If God can take my sin and turn it into a beautiful family full of love for each other and love for him, then he can create flowers out of your dirt as well. You are redeemable!

Please pray with me:

Father God you are amazing! There is nothing that you can’t do. We know that we stumble, or fall flat on our faces and that so many times we want to lie there and hide from you instead of let you see us and pick us up, but your love can cover all our mess if we allow it. Thank you for sending Jesus for us, thank you for suffering so much to save us from ourselves. We love you Lord. Please help us to look up, to see you and hear you, to allow you to work in us, to be our gardener. Please help us to know that though our sin is of free will and not your plan for our lives, you are always here, never faltering. We love you God, you are truly everything.

In Jesus name, AMEN!

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