Monday, October 15

redeemed.

i almost got a tattoo the other day.

i was still up in the air about what i was going to get. it was between a cross on my neck and a word on my wrist. i was this close to getting it. i even signed my life and health away on the papers, but there was something burning deep inside me that was telling me not to do it. i don't know if it was the dude about to tattoo me looking at me like i was an idiot for asking a lot of questions before he imprinted something on my body forever, the dogs circling my feet, the lack of sleep, or maybe the forever-ness of it all? no one can be really sure. i think i will make it into the tattoo shop six or seven times, and leave without one, before actually leaving with one. i'm okay with that.

. . . . . . . . .

a week or so ago i sat around a fire with eight other women and we shared our stories. we shared where we came from and how God captured our hearts. we shared about the hard times, the good times, and how we have come to know Him. one of my favorite things that was said that night was spoken by one of the most beautiful woman i'll ever know. 

she started off her story by saying this: well, i'm a work in progress… living on grace. you know what, my friend? so am i. and so is she over there. and her, and her, and her. and He's not finished with us yet. isn't that the sweetest news you've heard all day? He is not finished with us! today is a new day.

the really amazing thing about this night, and hearing all these stories, was that each and every one of us are so incredibly different. our backgrounds, our families, our ages, all different. heck, our religions and our churches. different. where we're at now in our faith journeys? different. but all the same. our God? our Savior? our precious Jesus? the same.


i think back to a younger me, maybe a high school me, sitting in that room. would i have seen Jesus so clearly in each of these women as i saw Him that night? would i know that these differences or preferences of worship were just that? and that our hearts all belonged to Christ and we were all gripped with the very same love? i don't know. but, i do know where i am at now. and i know what He has taught me and i know everything i felt that night. and it was Him. it was all Him.

it came time to share my story and i did just that. i shared bits and pieces of my parents backgrounds, how they came to know Christ, my wonderful childhood, a couple boy-friend-ships (that's friends with boys that aren't your technical boyfriends…ya heard?) that weren't my proudest moments. i told my friends that i remember being a little timid about sharing my testimony when i was in highschool and i heard others go up and tell theirs before me. these people would speak of radical transformations for Jesus. that He pulled them out of the PITS of despair. and would you just look that their life now! it is NEW. it is sparkly, shiny, and transformed for Jesus. and praise Him for it, to God be the glory.

but i do remember, at one point, those many years ago, feeling like i didn't have much to share. that because i didn't have that much waywardness going on in my life my story might not have been as good? and don't get me wrong. i made mistakes. i make mistakes. every. single. day. but, for the most part, when i look back on these past twenty six years… i have loved Jesus all along.

now, i see this all more clearly. i see His hand over me, my choices, and my decisions. it was not ME keeping me from different paths i could have taken. it was HIM. i need Christ's forgiveness just as much as someone who might be struggling with things that i have never even thought about, things i have never even touched. but, i need Him all the same.


. . . . . . . . .

redeemed, it will say across my wrist one day. i have been set free my sin and been given grace that i'll never deserve.  Jesus Christ has redeemed me. He has taken my old life, my messy, sinful heart, and made it new. my life is new in Him! 

31 comments:

  1. My "story" sounds very similar to yours. Not radical but ever so gently along the way. What a blessing to be able to spend time with such precious women!

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  2. <3 yes, we are all works in progress. and we have all been redeemed by the blood of Jesus! what a sweet sweet thing to have in common!

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  3. just beautiful friend. this made me teary eyed. i'm thrilled that y'all had such a wonderful time together.

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  4. What a beautiful way of putting it. I, too, was a little timid to tell my story, because I grew up in a Christian home...I didn't have to be pulled from the pits of darkness. But I love how you said you can look back and see Him helping you make those choices, those decisions. That's exactly how I feel. Thank you for reminding me that no matter the story, we all belong to Him.

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    1. that is the truth. our heart is His. praise Jesus for it.

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  5. I am a recovered alcoholic and I have been planning this same tattoo in the same spot because of this same song. Wow. Small world!

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    1. praise Jesus! thanks for sharing a bit of your story here. redeemed, indeed.

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  6. Such a beautiful post Danielle. Gives me chills. How great is our God?
    Thank you for being an inspiration in the blog world!
    x, Anna

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  7. Sweetest thing I've read today.

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  8. I too share a story similar to yours. I never thought of it like "God keeping me from making bad decisions" - I so appreciate this perspective! Thanks for sharing a bit of your heart!

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  9. amen to living on grace...i got a tattoo this summer...2 of them. grace and love...on my arms as reminders...i am glad i waited until i was 40 though!

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  10. Beautiful post danielle. Loved every minute of our trip. And oh the testimonies...they were my fave.

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  11. every time i read your blog, i just love you more.

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  12. Amen.

    Beautiful post sweet friend.

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  13. i love love love love love you. :) and i cherish your heart, that night, our friendships, and Jesus showing up in all of it. I couldnt agree more with everything you just said here. we are all so blessed to have our personal stories, and to get to share them with each other like that was just amazing.

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