Thursday, November 17, 2011

Redemption (and the book you NEED to read)

I know it's been, um, forever since my last post!  Life is crazy and full of school, report cards, birthday parties, book fairs, school lunches and a very active social life...and that's just my kids. As for me, you can find me on any given Friday night in front of an episode of Dateline.  Lucky me.  Anyway,  I promise I have a few coming down the pike very soon!  

Now, if you are a single mom and have a pulse, you NEED to read this book:  My Single Mom Life by Angela Thomas.  Buy It's $6.00 new on'll live (maybe) if you give up two cups of Starbucks to buy this book.

Ok, done?  Great.

So, when my ex-husband first left and I was in an unbelievably confused and stressful emotional state, my friend, who had been through a similar situation, recommended this book (big shout out to my fellow Queens girl, Rachel!).  It sounds a little crazy now, but when it first happened I was so worried about my kids.  Although I still worry about them, my worries are a little more rational now.  Back then, all I could do was picture them as adults on an episode of Intervention, sticking a needle in their arm and explaining, through high-induced drooping eyelids, that this all started when their parents divorced.  I've since learned that, although divorce is never what you want for your children, God is bigger than anything this world will throw their way! They are safe in His arms.  

Okay, Im going off on a tangent here...bear with me! As I was saying, I love this book so much that I have read and reread it numerous times.  Sometimes I read the entire book, sometimes just chapters at a time.  Today I picked it up and although  I had highlighted this portion before, it really blew me away today.  I believe it's because I am now 2 1/2 years away from what was probably the worst day of my life.  I am looking at it from this perspective now, instead of being inside it. I know I've made it out of things I'd never thought I'd make it through.  So, hold on to your hat and read this:

Making a trade (page 26)

Redemption is when you bring something of little value or which has become a liability, and an exchange is made for something better. You trade in wounds and consequences for astounding, lovely blessings, in spite of the negative, or maybe because of it. In the fullness of redemption, brokenness is mended by love. Aimless wandering becomes satisfied, visionary living. Lies are traded for truth. Mourning becomes dancing. A million broken pieces are rearranged into a vibrant, intact, beyond-your-wildest-dreams journey.

That kind of redeeming trade has happened for me.  And the exchange just keeps on going.  The One who is making the trade, the Redeemer, is the One I call Perfect Love, God, the only One who can turn broken into beautiful.  Apart from his faithfulness to me, there would never have been redemption.  I am convinced that His mercy is the means by which my life began again.  Without His precious love, I'm sure I'd be in an unmarked cave somewhere, probably all moldy by now and nearly blind from squinting in the dark.  Instead, I am incredibly grateful that God wouldn't let that happen, even to a woman like me.  And what He has done for me, He is ready to do for you.

He redeemed my soul from going down to the pit, and I will live to enjoy the light  - Job 33:28

Good, right?! I told you.  Oh, by the way, you should really buy the book.

Reading through it, again and again, made me focus on the ways I have experienced redemption in the past two years.

  • I used to cry  Now, I don't! Speaking of, do you ever cry at those new Fisher-Price Christmas commercials?? No? Me neither.
  • I'm not constantly consumed by who, what, when, where and why.  When everything first happened, I was completely obsessed with finding out the truth.  I never found out too much.   These days, I have learned to be okay with the fact that I won't ever know everything.  And that's okay.  Actually, I don't think I WANT to know much more.  Each little piece of information tears out a piece of your heart, and I've learned the hard way that the knowledge isn't worth the price.
  • The peace I have now is something I felt was completely out of reach for me.  
  • I'm getting a little wiser.  Wisdom is something I've really been trying to pursue recently. I've been reading the book of Proverbs and making a conscious effort to KNOW wisdom.  Proverbs 2:10-11 says "For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.  Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you."  Homegirl, I don't know about you, but I want my soul to be pleasant and I want my little family to be protected and guarded by wisdom. As a single mom, you need LOTS of wisdom. I'm definitely not a expert on wisdom...I let my son bring a water gun into the bathtub the other night. NOT wise.  However, I'm pursuing it and I know God has redeemed my worry for His wisdom.  What a bargain! 
  • My kids have survived thus far...and are happy and healthy.
  • I have survived my kids.  
  • I have had numerous people approach me with difficulties they are experiencing in their marriage. I have been able to offer them words of advice and pass on a little bit of the hope I have acquired in the past few years.  I remember how a few friends were my LIFELINE back then, and I am happy to be someone else's.
I can think of a hundred more, but I don't want to bore you. I want to know from you now!  Look back on your life. In what ways have you been redeemed?  Even if you dont want to share in a public forum, I encourage you to write them down.  I promise you that you will be so encouraged!

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