The complete and perfect restoration not only of what is believed to be lost, but of a new creation which far exceeds what existed originally. Redemption. It might look something like this:
A fourteen year old girl walks up to the front of her class to give a speech. With no warning whatsoever she experiences a panic attack right in front of the class. She suddenly can’t breath or speak as she stands alone beside her perfectly constructed poster. Whereas she has never had anxiety issues before, they rule her life now. She wakes up every morning crushed beneath the weight of this new boulder, barely able to lift her head. She doesn’t tell anyone. Previously all A’s, she begins to take a zero on any grade that requires a presentation.
The fear rapidly spreads to her musical studies. She refuses to participate in piano recitals and begins to tremble even during her piano lessons. She begins to think about dropping out of high school altogether and plans not to go to college because she understands that part of the core curriculum is public speaking. She also decides that she might give up piano since she won’t be able to share it with others. Her entire body shakes with tremors just at the thought of being in front of people.
Yet this girl’s spirit was not created to be crushed, but to persist and flourish by a power not her own…for the glory of a God who is much larger than the enemy who is the source of all fear. So although every inch of her body and mind scream with resistance, she discovers and acts upon this verse:
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7)
She decides to carry these words in front of each class regardless of how fearful she may feel. The grace of God abides in her, and the enemy realizes he can no longer oppress this girl using this method.
“Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
By her senior year, she has reclaimed the piano bench with such a fervor that she decides to pursue performance in college.
Redemption might look something like this:
Ten years later, this same girl looks into the mirror after being tossed in the trash, rings and all, by the one who said till-death-do-us part. A voice she hasn’t heard in quite awhile says, “I have snatched you out of the darkness, I need to use you. Don’t worry, I’ve got a better plan.” So she seeks first the kingdom of God. He begins to create in her a new heart, the full one that he always intended for her. When she cries, he captures her tears.
He teaches her and listens to all of her prayers. She is recreated in his image. She is not bitter or hateful towards the people and circumstances which have caused so much pain, but filled with forgiveness and love as she begins to understand what happened on the cross and how the Father is always waiting with arms open wide for his children to return. For the first time, she begins to seek out and claim the promises spoken over her in Scripture.
The enemy comes on full force because he sees how the Father has snatched her back, but his old tricks just don’t work anymore because no weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper (Isaiah 54:17). She learns what it means to firmly grasp freedom from anxiety and depression. She decides not to worry.
“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” Matthew 6:28
Yes, I am that girl. My redeemer is alive and near. He has taught me what it means to be his bride, to be loved completely and unconditionally, to live a life that is rich in mercy. The aisle is rocky and narrow, but his faces shines for me at the altar.
Rebecca Ryan is a twenty four year old Birmingham native with a heart for music, nature and the written word. When it comes to life, she has decided to put the pen down and let the true author take over, as His story is the only one truly worth reading. To read more of Rebecca’s BoP Bio, click here.
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