If you had told me nine months ago that today, I would be the girl who is so excited she's unable to sleep over the thought of getting to go back to church, I probably would've laughed.
Heck, if you had told me two years ago that I would go back to church this year at all, I know I would've laughed.
But yeah. That's where I am. That is just beyond cool, and that is why today my gratitude is for His redemption.
He's redeemed so much in my life. This whole story of me finding my way back to church is just one example, but it's a big one and a good one. Few places or times in my life have I felt this kind of comfort, this kind of knowing that I was just home. For a big part of my life, I didn't think I'd ever get over what my hometown church did. I think a part of me didn't want to get over it; part of me liked having a tangible outlet for all my anger at God. If God were human, God would have a legitimate excuse to have a major grudge against me.
But He's not.
God is God. And God redeems things I didn't even know I wanted redeemed. He took all the years I spent feeling furious and hurt and abandoned and betrayed and molded them into a story that's got me to right here, right now. He led me straight to a church that became family the second I walked through the door.
And friends. Never in my life would I ever have imagined that I would have the support system now that I do. God took all of my fears about being loved and trusting people and sent me people who could love me through it. He made me believe I am as worthy of being loved as anyone else, and showed me that the parts of me that annoy even me are parts that the people who know me best love. It was when I found my security and self-worth in Him that I was able to find secure friendships, ones where I wasn't constantly paranoid about people leaving.
This is basically why I picked the new title and Scripture for my blog that I did. My story, my entire life story, is a story of redemption. The ugly parts of my past are clean. My life was bought with a price.
My sins were paid for.
In the sermon today, Sean was talking about how Christians have this problem of thinking God's obligated into doing what we ask Him to do because we're good people and we think we deserve things to go well for us.
We don't deserve any of this.
We don't deserve God's grace, love, forgiveness, mercy, saving power, ANY OF IT.
What we deserve is what Jesus stepped forward and took for us.
I don't deserve to have God redeem all the pain that fills my past. But He did, anyway. And that's why I'm thankful for His redemption today.
I finally found my security in Him, and it's because of that security that I have the faith to live out whatever life He has planned for me. I can do that because I know He'll take care of the details. It doesn't have to make sense to me. Even when things don't make sense to me, they make sense to Him.