Thursday, April 26, 2018

Fighting for Redemption

Sometimes I write blogs in my head or draft them out completely and never get around to posting them. I recently found this unpublished post and decided this one was worth it to come back to, even though it's dated. I wrote it over two years ago, right in the midst of our mess. I should say one of our messes. One of the spaces where I was desperately praying for my husband to believe the Gospel and wondering if our marriage would survive his unbelief. A season where I literally felt like I was fighting for our lives. 

I'm not sure why I never got around to hitting "publish" on this one. Maybe because it felt too vulnerable. Maybe because we were in the thick of it and it's hard to be that honest on top of all the other feelings when you feel so raw and tired. 

And I'm not sure why I'm hitting "publish" now on some of these brief thoughts I had awhile ago. Other than as a reminder to myself and those who might read it that fighting for redemption is always worth it, even if you don't know how it will work out in the end...



Disclaimer: I'm using these words to preach the gospel to myself today.

Our family is in a tough season. A hard space where all of the stuff you always talk about happening and preparing for "just in case" we're actually living. I’ve hesitated to share much of our family’s last year on the blog. But we're right in the thick of it: in the midst of heartache and healing.

There are unknowns and we're unsure of a lot of what the future holds for our family and our lives. In this constant state of uncertainty, it can lend to feelings of fear, loneliness, and even despair. But there are truths that are just as true today as they were last week, and last year, and hundreds of years ago. God's promises of faithfulness and loving kindness are some of the only things I cling to and that make sense in the midst of this kind of chaos.

Redemption is beautiful but long. We've been in this season for years. A dear friend recently described it as long-suffering and I feel every ounce of those words. Merriam-Webster defines long-suffering as "patiently enduring lasting offense or hardship." Admittedly the patient part of that doesn't resonate with me as much as the enduring hardship does. But knowing that God promises that our suffering is not meaningless changes everything. God's promises that "suffering produces endurance produces character, and character produces hope" (Romans 5:3-4). In this space I am banking that this kind of suffering is valuable and meaningful.

Redemption can also be lonely. I've found our family's healing has come in ripples. It starts with Jamy's heart, moves into our marriage, then our kids, and eventually out into our extended family, friendships, and church community. It's easy to get overwhelmed at all we have ahead of us. There are relationships to heal, forgiveness to ask for and to extend, and hard conversations to have. If I'm honest, I'm not sure some of those relationships are still there or will be fully restored. In the midst of waiting for the ripples, sometimes I feel stuck in the middle of where the pebble (or bomb) originally dropped feeling very alone. It's during these times I rest in the Psalms, especially where I read that God is close to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18) and a constant refuge and help (Psalm 46:1).

My prayer is that someday in the future,  I can look back and see redemption in this long and lonely space in our life.

But if not, he is still good.

In this time, he has been good and faithful, generous and gracious, kind and so, so near.  He has been enough for our family.

He has been enough for my husband.

He has been enough for my kids.

And he has been enough for me.

I'm learning redemption can look different than the way I would like it, or picture it. As agonizing as it can be, I want to trust Jesus for redemption and restoration, even if I won't see it fully this side of Heaven...



Two years after this original post, I can tell you that the Gospel transformed (and is transforming) our marriage. But reading my own words, I know that the real miracle isn't a transformed marriage. If you're reading this today and your future is unclear, know that your fight to hold on to Hope, to trust God's promises to you, and to believe the Gospel is always worth it. You might not know how this season will end, but we already know the end of the story.

God always wins.

He always gets glory.

And He never leaves or forsakes us in the midst of it.




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