If you haven’t figured it out yet I take great joy in reviewing where the Lord has brought me. This is because I have a love hate relationship with Process. I love where God brings me, how one day I am in one spot and another day in another spot because the Lord has lead me and brought me to that new place. I love that! BUT in the movement of going to a new place there is also friction and it is this friction that I hate. I hate the uncomfortable stretching that takes place as the Lord asks me to trust in a new way and be strong in His might. In this love hate relationship I have found that in order to trust the Lord I have to remember where I have been, what He has done, for it is in doing this that I have faith for the unseen. This isn’t a new idea. I mean God told the Israelites whenever they were going to go forward to remember what He had done. Why? Because if we don’t hold in our mind how great our God is we can see how large the mountain is in front of us. It is all about perspective.
Last weekend marked a year. Not a year in the sense of a calendar per say but a year non the less. A year since I graduated from college. I am a little amazed at how quickly the time has sped by and by where the Lord has brought me. I’m not sure that I can adequately express how blessed I am where God has planted me with the opportunities presented, the love that is given and the people that I am surrounded by. Seriously wow.
But the true amazement can be summed up by one word: Redemption.
This year has been a year of the Lord redeeming. It is a part of who God is, He is our Redeemer. He always has been but I’m not sure I have ever been able to understand redemption in such a personal way.
You see when I moved to New Hampshire I was whole but I was also broken. I was the most whole that I had ever been because the Lord had brought me through level after level of healing. He healed my emotions, my soul and my mind. He brought freedom and allowed me to begin to realize who He was and who I was because of that.
But I was still so very broken.
My life was riddled with questions and my emotions were tied to things of the past. I looked with eyes that were tainted.
Then slowly God redeemed my vision. NH became home, my home. This place and these people became mine. The Lord began to redeem and establish.
In the 9 years since I had become a Christian my self confidence has grown. Where once I would have questioned the truth of my friendships I now walked with confidence that everyone was my friend. Because come on… who wouldn’t want to be my friend ;) Where once I had wrestled to figure out who I was, I now walked knowing who I am. Where I had struggled for so long to not be too much and to be less, I learned that being less meant I wasn’t truly me.
And then I became a pastor. And my thoughts went back to, “I can’t do this God. I’m not enough. I don’t know enough and I don’t have enough for all of this.” Suddenly I was uncertain yet again. But God showed me that although it was important to learn and to seek wisdom, I can only truly get those from Him. Without Him I have and am nothing but with Him, I have it all! How crazy! Where He had taught and brought me before He established me here, now. And where He had taught me who I was, He now showed me just how I fit. When I found myself in the Northeast it was like I found the place I had been created to inhabit.
And most recently God has redeemed, began to establish and awaken a dream, a desire, a call that had long ago been torn down.
Up until 8th grade I was the girl who always had a song bursting forth. I would wander throughout life with music constantly going through my mind and made up lyrics being sung for all to hear. I played the piano from 3rd until 8th grade and for as long as I can remember I was in choir. I loved it. But, just as with most things you love, this one was the area I was the most insecure in. I loved and desired to sing forever but… what if I couldn’t or shouldn’t? Well on the last day of 8th grade a boy made one statement that has haunted me every day since. The words, “You are terrible.” These words have resonated through me and throughout my head every time I think about singing. And for 2 years after, I didn’t sing. It didn’t matter how often my parents or grand parents or others told me that I was a great singer, the only words I heard was of one eighth grade boy.
Pretty terrible but this is the reality that so many live with. We don’t hear the thousands of positive words spoken but only the one thorn that lives within our heart.
This was something I lived with for 9 years. That is such a long time to be so broken and so disillusioned. But then God redeemed. A few months ago I was praying that God would bring someone to my youth group to lead worship. I wanted someone who loved Jesus and lived a life of worship to bring my teens into the sweet presence of the Lord. Well God answered but not in a way that I ever expected.
His response to my request was simple, “You have a guitar, You do it.” And with that simple words, “You do it,” I cowered. “But God,” I said, “I can’t…. I’m not good enough… I can’t sing… they would only cringe.” And to this day His words strike me to the core. “Kaitlin, you aren’t willing to work for what you want. You aren’t willing to work to get better. You aren’t willing to lay it all down on the line to bring them into my presence. If you truly want them to learn what it means to completely surrender and to put aside what they may look like or feel, if you are asking them to be vulnerable before me then you have to do it first.”
But His words were true. I wasn’t willing to do the one thing that I was asking of them.
So I began to practice and practice. And my terror began to rise. Week by week I wondered if I would ever be good enough. Until one week I knew that it was time. So I did it. I brought my guitar and we worshipped.
And for the first time in 9 long years I thought to myself, “I can sing.” And I was free.
God is so good. He is so wise and so kind. He wanted to redeem me, all of me. But I had to trust.
So today, as I move through the final month of my first year living in New Hampshire I am learning to trust. I am in awe of the Creator that not only loves me enough to send His son, but enough to continue to redeem me in everything. The One who is not satisfied until all of me is whole and new.
Has God redeemed you?