Is it important to redeem something that has been lost? I suppose there are some qualifiers to that question.
If the redeeming process would bring some kind of harm to another, it would have to be well thought out and caution would be in order.
But what if certain places or certain locations, were keeping you in a bit of anxiety or turmoil when you went near them or when you thought about them?
I have been intentional about facing those very types of situations in recent years. Because of difficult situations that were going on in my life, and the choices I made during those particular times in specific locations, even the thought of the area would bring me a certain amount of stress and I would want to avoid.
Since I have been on a journey of health and wholeness, alarms go off in my mind when I feel resistance like, avoidance, toward anyone, anything, or any place. I have learned to stop and ask myself what is going on inside of me. Many times, it would be so much easier to override the pricks in my consciousness and stay busy. But I believe, as we take the courage to face “the giants” in our lives, we will find they are not giants at all just really loud naysayers who want to keep us from walking in courage and truth. Even if those naysayers come in the form of our own thoughts.
So, in that spirit, I made peace with a particular lake this week. Let me explain. I have been working on taking care of myself, giving myself what I need to create a peace reservoir. I have been taking three large pieces of paper a day to write…just so I write. I have been indulging in little things that make me happy like, a container of raspberries or a massage or a new, fun pair of socks!
So there was this particular lake that I needed to make peace with and redeem for this new chapter of my life. It is a beautiful area and I do not want the beauty to be avoided or be mingled with a residue from the past. So, just as I would prepare to have a date with my husband by making breakfast, making a carafe of coffee and a tote of applicable accessories; as well as a journal, book and Bible and head to a beautiful scenic area (okay, maybe our dates are a little different than most:), so I did, by myself, to this memorable lake.
I had so many thoughts on the way and an excitement about how God would meet me there. I was there for a good hour and half alone, writing away, enjoying my yogurt topped with berries and almonds drinking my coffee. when the first ice fisherman appeared
I know that many in our area ice fish, but I never saw the process….I actually never did see the whole process. The man dressed in Camo emerged and opened the gate of his pick -up truck to grab his auger and hammer and head down to the ice. He walked out onto the ice cautiously kind of shaking each leg as he moved slowly forward. He pulled out his auger and began to corkscrew the ice close to where he was standing. He stopped, took a thoughtful look around and realizing that the ice was too thin so he moved on. Two other sets of ice fisherman did the same thing. I guess the ice was just too thin for safe fish retrieval, good call.
Each time the fishermen would come, I would watch them for a bit and return to my writing. I wrote all kinds of things. The feelings I was having as I took in all that was going on around me. The gratefulness of being able to drive there and spend hours alone. The recognition that I was not the same person who was there years before.
While I was there, I got a text from a friend who encouraged me to listen to a podcast from Zig Ziglar on the importance of telling your story and encouraged me to continue to tell my story to help others who may find hope in it. I took the next hour to listen to that podcast and was inspired to write this very blog because of it.
So the question looms, why should we redeem? Well, I personally feel that it is a travesty to compartmentalize segments of your life as, off limits, because you abdicated something or had something taken from you. It probably stems from the spiritual foundation that God is all about redeeming.
For example, when there is a devastating forest fire and all seems lost, with in just a few years, there is a return of lush woodland and new life. Beauty from ashes.
We happen to live in an area where oil was first discovered. During the Oil Boon the creeks and streams were so polluted that it exterminated the wild life and threatened the welfare of towns who purposely built along those very waterways. The once flourishing towns became ghost villages almost overnight and the water was poisonous for years. But after years passed, the once unsafe water has become safe and crystal clean brimming with new life.
Jesus came to redeem us to God. God so loved us that He sent His son to buy us back, to recover us, to exchange His life for ours, and to convert us into His image. No matter how broken or messy our lives had become, He wants to create new life out of them, a life that matters, a life that positively affects other lives…He wants to redeem.
No area, thing, or relationship is beyond redemption. I believe, because I have seen it over and over in my life, that if I have an open mind and a willing heart, things once lost can be recovered and used for good. Just as ashes can produce life to new seedlings, broken pieces of our lives can create a whole new marvelous mosaic.
Kahle Lake was really a small redemption for me in the scheme of things but it already has a new set of memories and enthusiasm tied to it. It may take many days, months, or even years, but everything has the ability to be redeemed, used for a new purpose and bring new life.