Redemption Groups :: Week One
I had a feeling that I might break easily. It has been three days since the last Redemption Group meeting. The heaviness of the Intensive Weekend weighed down on my heart so much, it was going to be unbearable not to pray about it. This small piece of hope I found in the last meeting must have sparked something. I prayed the most honest prayer I have prayed in a long time. I confessed my pain in the sufferings I had experienced at the hand of another and then began to see how these walls I’ve built up were not built by that same hand. I built these walls, each and every brick.
Tonight we talked about the nearness of God in our sufferings. It is such an explicit testimony of God’s grace that our Redemption Groups are not categorized by the “types” of sufferings. We all need God’s grace, no matter the label we have put on ourselves, abused or abuser. At the root of both of these labels we wear are lies. Lies work through our thoughts and they tell us that will forever wear these nametags. It says that our sin is different from someone else’s so it is unforgivable, even though as Christians we preach that our sins are forgiven through Christ’s death. Somewhere in the midst it’s like each person here has lost belief in something. Some think it is impossible for God to be good. Some think He is passive. Some think He is forever punishing them.
Me? I am both. I am the abused and the abuser. I am an Israelite in ways that cannot even be stated but best explained when Pastor Ryan said my curse in the teaching tonight, “You did not receive slavery to fall back into fear.” My suffering actually happened some time ago and because of that it is easy for me to see God’s nearness, now. My problem? I walked into Redemption Groups still surrounded by these lies. I’ve forgiven my abuser, but I hadn’t forgiven myself or confessed to God these things. Countless lies I have believed and it wasn’t until seeing that one of them, that I even constructed, was obviously wrong that each one just seem to fall. I broke. I fell flat on my face in the presence of God and confessed each lie that kept me from Him; that I am unwanted, unlovable, dirty, a liar, abused, abuser, and the list goes on.
I fell flat on my face in the presence of God and confessed each lie that kept me from Him; that I am unwanted, unlovable, dirty, a liar, abused, abuser, and the list goes on.
So tonight, I am seen, heard, and loved. For the first time in a long time, and for a girl who never gets told this, I feel beautiful. Others in the groups are not in the exact same place. Some are fighting for belief in their salvation, some don’t even know how they got to the place they are in now, others confused, and some have no words to explain their feelings. Some pray and their lost belief makes them think it is pointless. As a group we spoke transparently and each of us is so broken over all the other participant’s pains. We have learned to love each other in five days. I am so encouraged by this testimony of Christ’s love for us and answered prayer. In growing with each other, though we are all in different places, my prayer is that we learn from each other and can fight for each other when lies try to reclaim their former place.
For more information on Redemption Groups go here.