Raising Magnolias

Because it's never too late for happily ever after…

The Promise of Redemption

Last week a friend of mine sent me a link to a blog and said, “I think you could’ve written this, 0nly it would’ve been funnier.”

I read the blog and wondered how this stranger knew my story so well.  Better, I think, than I know my story.

Let me be clear. This woman walked out of an abusive marriage. Her children lived in fear. That is not my story. I was not physically abused and our stories only become one after her first paragraph; after she walks out.

I suppose I should focus on  happy today. On the bells ringing and snow falling and Santa is coming and Jesus has come, but as I read through Christmas cards (thank you!) and  scroll through facebook, it dawns on me that we all need to hear this story of redemption. Jesus came to save because, what the heck-o-la—we all need savin’!

Sadness, death, disease, divorce, evil….they don’t take the Christmas holiday. Your story may not be hers; may not be mine; but whatever it is, as she so beautifully writes, “it always ends up at redemption.”

She writes:

But I was the good child. The obedient daughter.
Doesn’t that guarantee something?                                                                                                                                                                 I am harshly aware of how much I look like a failure in my obedience.
Because I was supposed to be faithfully married my entire life.
Because now the church sees me as a wayward woman wanting to start over on her terms, OR
…..the idiot that didn’t know when to call it quits.
But no one knows the whole story except me and God.
In my heart of hearts I heard Him call me here.
Even in the leaving.
Even in the mess.

How does she know me so well? Not knowing me at all?

She continues:

Here is another story.
In the fall of the year two thousand years ago,
Supernatural God came to earth and entered the womb of a virgin girl.
She gave birth to our Savior amidst the stench of a stable and, shortly after,
placed the Son of God in a feeding trough—doubling as a crib.

Was she the good child? The obedient daughter?
Didn’t that guarantee her something?
Was she harshly aware of how much she looked like a failure in her obedience to God?
The church saw her as a knocked up teenager with a fiancée having to drag her with him to Bethlehem.
No plan, no perfection.
Because no one knew the whole story but them and God.
They heard Him call them there.
Even in the leaving.
Even in the mess.

And then there’s more. More of my story. Except that technically I’m not divorced …don’t get me started because I’m being nice today….all focused on Jesus and redemption! And technically I only have two children, although I have a  3rd  baby already with Jesus and I have two dogs. So, you know, other than that….more of my story…

I live daily in naked acknowledgement of earthly reality:
I am a divorced woman.
I am the single mother of four children.
I am unemployed.
I am scared.
I am a burden.
I am wide-eyed at the world.

but in this I am also:

Still in covenant with a Savior.
The caretaker of the greatest four blessings I will ever receive.
An heir to the throne.
I am covered with grace.
My every need is met.
I will live with those open eyes turning into open arms.

Where was God that day? He was there. He knew all along where I would run; when I run; how I would run and to Whom I would run to.

And He holds. And in the mess; the mess of divorce; the mess of sickness and death and fear and family struggles and yes and in the mess of broken vows and meaningless vows and selfish hearts and broken hearts and God will any of us ever heal-hearts and yes.

In the mess of a stable. Jesus came.

How exciting is this! Jesus was welcomed to the world in a mess.

And He stays with us.


In the mess.

Christmas 2012 493


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