Thursday, March 14, 2013


Redeem. It's one of those words that gets thrown about. I've heard it all my life. But it's also one of those "Bible words" -- I'm supposed to know what it means, yet I'm often left floundering for a definition.

So I did what I always do. I click on the dictionary link, and this is what I found --

1 a : to buy back
b : to get or win back
2 : to free from what distresses or harms:
a : to free from captivity by payment of ransom
b : to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental
c : to release from blame or debt
d : to free from the consequences of sin
3 : to change for the better
4 : repair, restore
5 a : to free from a lien by payment of an amount secured thereby
b (1) : to remove the obligation of by payment  (2) : to exchange for something of value
c : to make good
6 a : to atone for
b (1) : to offset the bad effect of (2) : to make worthwhile

I look at all of those definitions, and they make sense. But I know I'll lose their meaning and depth at the next shockwave.

I look at my life, especially the events from childhood, and I crave the second definition -- to free from what distresses or harms. I want redemption from those horrors. And I know I have redemption from those days, but I don't feel it -- I can't retain it. So I keep trying to understand and piece things back together by myself. Because I felt so alone then. I forget I'm not alone now -- wasn't really alone then.

But I felt alone. There was no way and no one to tell. I knew in my little girl heart, God was there, but in my grownup heart I don't understand why He didn't intervene. I accept that bad is part of this world, and that I'm not the only little kid who suffers/suffered. I don't think I deserve better than someone else. I just don't think any child should suffer that level of pain.

I don't want to hear how I need to be grateful for what I did have, and that I survived. I don't mean to sound petty or selfish. I'm just struggling with a lot of emotions right now, and I'm feeling angry and defensive.

So I open my heart once again. And I think of the prayer of Julian of Norwich:
. . . and all shall be well, and all shall be well

And I remember that I am redeemed even if I don't understand it. That God loves me even when I'm angry and confused and defensive. And there is relief in that.

linking up with imperfect prose on thursdays


  1. I was abused in all ways in a dysfunctional family and what eventually helped me a little better to understand was the fact the ones who abused me was sick mentally, emotionally and even though it doesn't make the abuse any less it does help to shed a little more light on it. Hugs

  2. and all shall be well.

    amen and amen.

  3. sweet melanie, yes. keep holding onto those definitions. they may sound as dry and lifeless as the pages they're printed on, but friend, they are re-defining you, even as you think on them. even as you believe in them and come to know your own intrinsic worth.
    and to believe that you are loved. the you of today, the you of yesterday, the you of your childhood. i think it takes a lifetime to learn to believe this. you are on the journey. keep on walking, girl. love that you are sharing this with us at IP.

    1. Thank you so much for these words of encouragement. Blessings!


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