Take a minute and think of those closed off places that are yours and yours only. Places that are tucked away and left in the dark with the hopes that they are forgotten.  A piece of your past that has a way of haunting your feelings when left alone to fester in that dark, closed off place in your heart. When you bring it to mind right now, how does it make you feel? Does it fill your heart to the point that there is little room for real life to take up residence? I would like to challenge all of us to look at the hurts, mistakes and haunted past right in the eye and then look to God to learn how He takes every bit of ugly and promises to redeem it. We are redeemed in Christ!

Everyone has scars

As God’s child, I am finding that the lesson of redemption is one of the hardest ones to wrap my brain around. I carry those hidden places deep within my heart and lock them up for safety or so I think. I follow the out of sight, out of mind mentality and hope that I can keep the past tucked away. The deep, closed off places in my heart beg to remain anonymous as if staying nameless will cause them not to exist. I turn inward in a dance that sways back and forth but never crosses the floor. On my recent vacation, the time came to look inward one last time and reach outward in a final act of letting go.

In my world of moving on, closing off the past and masking my emotions, it was time for forgiveness and healing. The dance of life was ready to begin again and a new partner was ready to take my hand. It was time to engage in a conversation to lay my sins out in the open and ask for forgiveness. Words rushed out as tears flowed and lined the sides of my face and love filled in the gaps of my heart that were pouring forth. As my new dance partners surrounded me in a hug, prayer flowed from the mouths of the ones I loved the most as my heart cracked open and the past tumbled out. The beautiful prayer wrapped around me and spoke of God’s promise of redemption. Three beautiful thoughts intertwined with each other as God’s words and endless grace became the prayer.

Redeemed in Christ

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. Ephesians 1:7

A new creation

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:17-18

Love

You, Lord, are forgiving and good,
abounding in love to all who call to you. Psalm 86:5

Everyone has scars that help tell the stories of their lives.                                                    Hilary Yancey

This quote speaks volumes of who we are as children of God, but He erases the scars as we become His new creation. Jesus’ scars from the nails and His selfless act of dying on the cross for us is our redemption. We need not keep a strangle hold on the past because God has promised us a new life in Him. We are new and the past is past and our life in Christ is now stretched out before us. I pray we may all feel like a new creation in Christ where we are not identified by our past but a child of God with a beautiful future.

On this particular day on vacation, I was blessed with the gift of being redeemed in Christ. Forgiveness and love came together and allowed a piece of my past to be erased. My loved ones shared this gift of redemption with me. Our redemption in Christ was not meant to be hoarded but is a gift that we have the responsibility to set free in the lives of others.

May our redemption cleanse us of the past we hold onto so tightly and free us to be the new creation we are promised as God’s children.

In grace and peace,

Mary

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