© Jason Gehrman | Dreamstime.com
He will cover you with his feathers.He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
All hell has broken loose, yet I find myself in a tranquil peace. A surprising and gentle peace. Despite the ragings of the storm. And they, the human storms, are raging against me. Because I won't bend in the fierce and familiar winds, demanding that I bow to their reality. Which is and has been for a very long time different from my own.
Instead, I find comfort in the cleft of the Rock, which shields me from the storm. And where He whispers to me words of peace and comfort. Words that build and bring life. He finds me lovely and acceptable, no matter what. He values me, because He uniquely created me. It brings to mind a message I once shared...
A beautiful vase with intricate details. Shattered. Who would mourn the broken state of this vase the most? The bystanders who saw it break? The place where it had been displayed among other vases? Or its creator who painstakingly put together this one of a kind piece?
While others might sweep up the pieces to throw out and declare it damaged beyond repair, the creator still sees the amazing, original handiwork and design. The creator alone, with his artistic genius, still sees the potential and possibilities. He lovingly gathers up the pieces and heads back into his studio, determined to redeem his creation. And if that meant he himself would have to be broken in order to restore the beautiful vase, then he would choose that. And He did.
The definition of redeem (from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary):
- to buy back, to get or win back
- to free from what distresses or harms, as to free from captivity by payment of ransom
- to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental
- to release from blame or debt
- to free from the consequences of sin
- to change for the better
- repair, restore
- to free from a lien by payment of an amount secured thereby
- to remove the obligation of by payment
- to exchange for something of value
- to make good, fulfill
- to atone for <redeem an error>
- to offset the bad effect of , to make worthwhile
Because of Jesus' blood, I am no longer a creepy, crawly caterpillar bound to life with my head down, slowly navigating life. Hopeless. No! His resurrection power has supernaturally transformed me into a butterfly, full of joy and exuberance, delicate and beautiful, light as the air, feasting on the sweet nectar of His way of life.
The terrible voices that still try to define who I am and what I am still roar. And at times I have been distracted by the sheer volume of their declarations. I have accepted and bowed under the strain of the burdens they have placed on me by receiving their declarations as truth. I have entered back into the familiar prison of shame and neglect. But the lock has long been broken, and I realized that I could choose to walk out on my own accord. And never enter back into that place.
This may be one of the most important posts I've ever written, at least for myself. I looked into the mirror this morning and put my hand to my cheek. I saw the delicate features my Creator chose for me. And I smiled and liked what I saw.
Despite years of torment and abuse. First as a child. The slaps across the face. Being kicked into a corner. Pulled by my hair. Ignored for months at a time. Never a safe place to confide that others had damaged my innocence. And as an adult. Adored if my outside was pretty and perfect. Still not a safe place to turn to when those with vile intentions circled around. The foulest words spilling out when words of love and acceptance never did. An attempt to soil every sacred moment of my life...my wedding, the birth of my firstborn, birthdays, graduations, etc. How many years I could not look at myself in the mirror. I could not look into the reflection and see what my eyes could not hide. I share this because this is the reality of what I lived through, what I have had to overcome. These declarations are important to me:
I am not a monster. I am beautiful from the inside out. My heart is pure. I am not perfect and never will be, but God is pleased with me and continues to work in my life. I am loving, compassionate and kind. I have tremendous gifts to share and do make an impact in this world for good. I am worth loving. And as a first step, I will make sure I love myself.
I feel sorrow for what never was and what may never be. I grieve that. And now close to death, rather than make peace, the puppeteer stills tries to control...but my strings have been cut.
Today my eyes are at peace. I feel a warm shield covering me.
I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains?
No, my strength comes from God,
who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.
He won't let you stumble,
your Guardian God won't fall asleep.
Not on your life! Israel's
Guardian will never doze or sleep.
God's your Guardian,
right at your side to protect you—
Shielding you from sunstroke,
sheltering you from moonstroke.
God guards you from every evil,
he guards your very life.
He guards you when you leave and when you return,
he guards you now, he guards you always.