(Journals) Redemption

So, I’m sitting here on the couch of my new loft apartment looking out the window at the world going by below me while I drink my tea and write. The redemption of God is amazing.

I can truly see the work of His hands. I’ve struggled for so long. To now say the struggle is over would be facetious; I know hard times will always be here. But now I’m breathing fresh air on my own for longer times than I used to.

I feel like I’ve spent years trying to breathe. Once in a while I’d catch my breath, but most of the time I couldn’t find the oxygen. But now, now I breathe deeply for moments at a time. And when I feel like the world is strangling me once again, I can take a gulp and refill my lungs. I can sing to God, “It’s your breath in my lungs, so I pour out your praise,” and mean it. I know what it feels like to be filled with the breath of God and be so fully alive.

Here, as I sit watching the James River flow and the cars and lives of people moving quickly 7 floors below me, I know I am living a life of redemption. I know a good, good Father says I’m His. Says He’s with me. Says He loves me.

I think of all those nights I questioned God, those nights I provoked Him to anger. I think of the times I’d stop for a second and mock, “God, can you stop this? I’m doing it.”

Not taunting out of hatred, but out of hurt. Out of a mindset crying, Please, God, save me from myself.”

And I remember hearing, “I LOVE YOU! I love you! I LOVE YOU!”

And I doubted and ignored.

“I wish.” I’d think to myself. And I’d leave my lonely bed in exchange for a warm body that could love me for moment. Because I was tired of hearing a God love me from afar that I felt I couldn’t reach. I was tired of believing in someone that didn’t seem to want to save me.

But God. He has continually spoken to me, guided me, and opened doors. And here I am, sitting at peace, so content after the best weekend ever.

My parents and sisters were here, and they got to watch me play ice hockey. I’ve never been more in love with the sport than I was this weekend. Even though the games were only a sleep apart, I loved every second. I could hear the words of God again speaking, “I LOVE YOU.” And I don’t doubt.

God was speaking to me, Can’t you see? I love you. I brought you to this. I told you to play, and I gave you a love. A way to worship. A group of friends. Can’t you see my love?”

And I can. I can so see the love of God. From my summer trip to Europe to now, God gave me a new gift of love and I’ve spent an entire season unwrapping it.

Having my family here to witness it meant the world to me. Tears keep coming to my eyes when I think of it, because I’m so tangibly seeing the goodness of God and feeling His LOVE. I’m fully aware of the redemption taking place in my life through Jesus. Tonight, I am thankful.

“Praise the Lord, my soul;     all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul,     and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins     and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit     and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things     so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

Psalm 103:1-5

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