Redeem the years, oh Lord!

From 5-24-10 Journal Entry

“I keep hearing You remind me that one Your specialties is being the Redeemer. You have redeemed me, but redeem my life again! Lamentations 3:58 “You have redeemed my life.” To think that You can redeem my life and redeem me even now is beyond my comprehension, Father. I want so much to believe this is really true. Does that verse really apply to me? If You could redeem the years that often now feel like they were wasted; years when I was so blind. What does my redeemed life now look like to You? I need to see my redeemed life as You see it.

You knew where my journey in life would take me. You knew I would end up in this place right now, right here. You knew what I would be struggling with. You knew the amazing break through I would have with You by now and You knew where I would still be stuck.”

From 5-29-10 Journal Entry

“God knew me and saw me from the beginning. He knew the church I was being raised in. He called me to salvation as a child. He called me to know Him better, to know His Word better. By some miracle, I responded. I followed His voice. It wasn’t that He called me into the Work; He was calling me to get to know Him, and in that church, perhaps that was the easiest and most unencumbered way. Through the years, He just kept calling me to Him; to a deeper fellowship with Him and to freedom in Him. So, I was in His will and I am in His will. The Work wasn’t His will but following Him was His will.”

It was good for me to re-read these words again because I often come back and struggle with thinking all my time in the Work were wasted years. They were some really good years; it was only the last few that my frustration with the system kept growing. But once I left the meetings, I started comparing myself with my peers who were married, had careers, children, homes, etc and that is when I would get mad about all those “wasted” years. Why does my life have to be so weird? (That is how I felt about it.)

I Googled regret and there are hundreds of quotes but here is one too perfect for me:

“She needs a new journal. The one she has is problematic. To get to the present, she needs to page through the past, and when she does, she remembers things, and her new journal entries become, for the most part, reactions to the days she regrets, wants to correct, rewrite.”
― Dave Eggers, How the Water Feels to the Fishes

I think he might be on to something……

The apostle Paul, in his very cryptic way said to “Forget the past and press towards what is ahead.” Easier said than done, Paul, but he is right. Isn’t it interesting how so much of this has to do with our thoughts? Paul must have struggled with thoughts too because he also wrote about thinking about things that are pure, lovely, true, of good report, etc. God uses and redeems the years in ways that we often don’t see for a long while. He also knows exactly what each of us needs and for Him, it’s more about our relationship with Him than the journey itself.

I don’t want to regret those years; I want to be at peace with them.

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6 thoughts on “Redeem the years, oh Lord!

  1. A friend of mine that also used to be in the Work wrote the following to me and gave me permission to post her email anonymously. She has a gift of expressing herself and I am so glad she is using her gift. Here is what she wrote:

    Hey Darla,
    I found your blog a few weeks ago, and have thoroughly enjoyed reading your entries. Thank you for your courage and willingness to share. I am sure it is meaning a lot to quite a few folks. I loved what you said about feeling, “Why have I had such a weird life?”, because those are exact feelings I have had as well. I saw a documentary on babies, and how they were more willing to share with other babies who were “like them”, even at “months old” age. And because our past (in the work) is so unlike that of almost anyone else around us (not to mention our present because of no kids, etc.), we are very unlike many other people we rub shoulders with in life. It feels like for the most part, it is hard for those around us to “understand us” on a certain level because where we’ve been is so unlike where they’ve been. And so that quote about needing another journal was very real, as well. I loved that.
    But, it all gives me a very real feeling of being singled out to truly experience God on a very personal level. He is the One who understands us, who understands where we’ve been, who understands what and where our heart has been through all the experiences, who understands where we are at NOW. I absolutely KNOW that I would never have been so close to Him (then and now) in each moment of my life, if it hadn’t been for the experiences of the work and the aftermath, and especially because of having more time to read and get to know His Word while I was in the work. It is those precious experiences of truly getting to know Him deeper (in times when the river was deep and the current swift) that have “kept me” through everything else. For that I am grateful, and worshipful to have been pressed toward him by all the experiences and difficulties, even though the cost truly has been high in other (and more temporary) areas. How interesting and fascinating life is with it’s weird experiences and happenings. “

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  2. I have loved this post and the threads….our thoughts would kill us if they could!!! Life is not meant to be stagnant and without change. When our spirit soars free in peace with God we can then clearly see the things that don’t like to change, won’t change, and may never change. All of these things are human and upon the earth!! The very thing that is the cause of this stagnant unchanging way of being are….you guessed it…..our thoughts. We are what we think!!!

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  3. Your calling was/is true. He called you to love and minister to people. You are still doing that. The work was just a part of your journey during which you were not wasting time but rather growing up in spirit. I am more convinced, as time passes, that God uses even our mistakes and our sinful nature to show us the benefits of just letting Him lead. At the beginning of my journey I just wanted to escape going to Hell. Over time that changed to wanting to know the Lord and have a relationship with Him whether he saved me or not! Now that I know him better and understand about Grace I don’t worry about Hell.

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  4. All of this is very good, Darla!
    In my own words:
    A vital part of my existence was my mother’s womb. The time came when there was only one thing to do or the results would have been dire! And so it is with the space where I have been. I feel assured God placed me there and that He alone called me from there. I have no ill feelings toward my time in the womb nor where He previously placed me, but to return to either would be deadly!
    My confidence is that God is sovereign and that He makes no mistakes even though I fail to understand what He has done and is doing.
    The womb experience was lonely, the other experience grew very lonely and the present space is, as well.
    I hesitate to put myself in such a league, but look at those in the Bible who were faithful: Loneliness and rejection was something they all had in common!

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    • So good to hear what is going on in that head and heart of yours again, Steve. God is faithful; always remember that. Be open to the people/experiences He is bringing into your life now. Life after the exit from the Work first of all, then the fellowship, is HARD and yet rich. Detox is WORK. God is holding on to you tight; I know that for a fact. He will never let you go. Yes, it’s lonely but like you said, to go back is unthinkable. You are precious to Him and He has not forgotten you.

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