“I am redeemed….you set me free…”
The familiar lyrics flooded my ears and I instantly remembered a time when I would so shakily sing them, my voice breaking during that second verse every time, hoping my heart would believe them one day. “Lord, please let this be true of me. I need it to be true.”
I came back to the Lord in a serious way six years ago…and there are certain things that can take me right back to those early heart aches. I wanted so desperately to be the new creation the Bible promised…to have my new heart…to be different. That hasn’t changed, I still desire so badly to be like Jesus…to be who He created me to be…but it’s a bit different now.
Back then my heart was so hard…prone to wander I’d wandered so far and I could feel it. I’d created so much distance when now I wanted so desperately to be close to God. So full of shame for all the things I’d done… struggling to forgive myself let alone believe a holy God could forgive me.
So I choked out songs about grace, redemption, and not being who I used to be with tears streaming down my face…had colorful scripture phone backgrounds reminding me the old things have passed away and promising God was creating something new within me…but for so long I couldn’t feel it. So my immature heart full of pain and trust issues didn’t believe. So I cried out in pain over and over and over.
“We gage so much on emotion, or lack thereof, yet love cannot be measured by what is felt.”
Dana Chandler-Deep Unto Deep.
Hindsight is a gift. I can reflect on the years and see all the ways God was working when I couldn’t see or feel it. The journey…the process creates such an intimacy with the Lord when you keep seeking Him even during ‘dry’ seasons when fruit isn’t showing yet.
Six years later I hear that same song and I can sing it…with strength and boldness and no tears of disbelief. Six years later I still struggle with shame but it’s a different struggle…because so much progress has been made in the that process. Six years later I have different scriptures defining my season as my phone background.
Six years later I can testify that I have a new heart…I am a new creation. Still a work in progress but if I could hug my younger self and say just keep singing…just keep speaking…this grace, this redemption, this heart softening you are crying out for is so real and you’ll be able to feel it soon, I’d do it. If I could hug you and do the same I would.
Keep singing. Keep clinging. Keep praying. Keep seeking. Don’t ever give up. God hears you, sees you, and is working His perfect love in your life even when you may not see or feel it.
“Jesus I’m not who I used to be, cause I am redeemed. Thank God redeemed.”