My sweet Julia,
When I was pregnant with the girls I made a drastic decision to throw out all my journals. Those journal contained my history from 7th through 12th grade. It is a history I am not proud of and it was not something I wanted my children to stumble on unprepared.
I did not want them reading of
- how I would chase boys around the playground hoping they might notice me
- hands that reached where they should not of without permission
- the deep miserable longing to be loved and accepted
- that longing so deep that I laid bare before two young men
- feelings of failure that drove me to food for comfort
- my pride that I knew everything and that no one could teach me anything
- volumes of depressing poetry relaying my fear that I would never be good or beautiful enough
Like you, I did not want my children peering into the vivid and painful history painted by my young perspective.
But at the same time, my rough history and yours are
His Story of redemption.
His Story of reaching down and buying back with His very life that which others had overlooked as valueless.
The Jesus Storybook Bible that we read to the girls tells us about His Story this way:
No, the Bible isn't a book of rules, or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a Story. It's an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It's a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne--everything-- to rescue the one he loves. It's like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life!Oh, Julia, you and I know just looking at our history how much we needed God to rescue us!
You see, the best thing about this Story is-- it's true.
There are lots of stories in the Bible, but all the stories are telling one Big Story. The Story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them.
How much we needing His Story of Redemption.
And our painful history is as much a part of His Story as the cross that brought redemption.
After all, what meaning would the story of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt have if we were not told about the harsh slavery?
What meaning would the story of David and Goliath have if we had first not learned that David was the runt of his family and left to tend the sheep?
What meaning would the story of Daniel in the Lion's Den have if we did not know that Daniel was brought from his homeland as a captive and yet still served the Lord faithfully?
What meaning would the story of Zacchaeus being asked to host Jesus have if we had not known how he had cheated and stolen from so many?
What meaning would the story of the father running to his prodigal son have if we had not known how the son had taken his inheritance and squandered it foolishly?
Julia, don't you see?!
What meaning would the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus have for you and me if not for our torrid, tearful histories?
Our histories are meant to be told because they are parts of His Story. Our histories, however sordid or bleak, are meant to be told, meant to be shared as the beautiful gifts that they really are!
Julia, we can't hide our history. We can't toss it out in the trash like a group of journals and live as if it never happened.
May it never be!
Let us humble ourselves and be willing to tell our histories in the new light of His Story.
Because it brings healing and hope to others to hear that your new beautiful heart was redeemed from compulsive unhealthy exercise and a terrible break-up.
Because it brings healing and hope to others when I tell that my new beautiful heart was redeemed from the prison of always seeking love and praise in the wrong places.
Our struggles with beauty, our pain, our losses, our trials, our broken places: they are all part of His Story. And whenever He breathes into our story and makes it His Story, He redeems it. He gives our story, His Story, the power to touch lives. With the enabling of the Holy Spirit our story that showed a small sparkle of hope to another can be used to create another life story of His redemption.
So was I wrong to throw out my journals containing those 5 years of my history? No. They contained all of the angst and self-absorption of a person who could not see the pain as a path to a sweet brokenness that led me to the Healer of Hearts.
Would it be wrong for me to hide my past from my daughters? I think so. Stories of redemption have no meaning without the context of slavery to sin and the pain experienced.
If I can't say--
This is where your mommy was when the Lord Jesus Christ stepped down to rescue me,then that rescue holds no meaning for me, or my listener.
If I can't say--
Oh, baby, I am so sorry that I yelled at you! There's still a rough place in mommy's heart that Jesus is working on.then the redemption of my story has no real meaning in my day to day life.
If I can't say--
Mommy asked you to obey. The Bible say to honor your mother and father because we are supposed to keep you safe and teach you what is right. I know how hard it is to obey. I struggled with obedience too until Jesus changed my heart and made it beautiful for Him. He can change your heart too, if you ask him.then sharing the gospel--the news that he can change even the vilest sinners (me)-- becomes impersonal and preachy.
Our histories are His Stories of Redemption.
Telling His Story as it happens in our lives bring hope and grace to the hearers--- even when those hearing of our pain and failures are our own innocent daughters.