As the first official blog post on my new website, I will explain my heart and the meaning behind the title, rise redeemed.
R I S E .
This word and I go way back to my days as a college softball player at the University of Kansas. In the midst unceasing pressure to perform at an elite level, day in and day out, I had two options. I could let the pressure debilitate me, or I could rise in the midst of it.
The word has gathered momentum since then, featured in popular songs, or perhaps I’ve just noticed it more. Yet words that the Lord gives are never unique to us, they typically belong to Him. The idea of rise, rising, risen, or arise, is mentioned in the Bible at least 30 times.
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.” (Isaiah 60:1)
The good news of Jesus is that we, who were dead in our sin, through the life of Christ, have the opportunity to arise from our darkness, guilt, and shame, because the glory of the Lord has risen upon us.
“He is not here, for He has risen, as He said.” (Matthew 28:6)
Because Jesus, who was crucified on a Cross, rose from the dead, we also are promised that we will rise with Him.
R E D E E M E D .
A few summers ago while serving at Young Life’s Clearwater Cove camp, we did this powerful exercise with our group of college women. Each person had a slice of wood and we each had the opportunity to engrave a word on that piece of wood. Yet the catch was this: it couldn’t be just any word, the word was specific. The word was to answer the question: how does God define you?
How you answer this question dictates what you believe about yourself at the core of your identity. This belief affects how you treat yourself, how you let others treat you, and who you surround yourself with. It reveals the level of shame that you live in. It reveals if you believe lies about yourself, or the truth. As I prayed for women around me, into the name they had chosen, among the words were worthy, known, loved.
You can probably guess at this point what my word was: redeemed.
Look y’all, I am a mess. Time and time again I strive for perfection, I strive to find my own way and do it on my own. I have made a lot of mistakes, as we all have. I spent years wallowing in guilt and shame, seeking out truth yet refusing to accept God’s grace in my heart. Yet through the years, I have come to let this word define me. I am not used or dirty or a mistake or worthless. By the blood of Jesus, I am redeemed.
Of course any word that the Lord gives to us is not unique to us. The word redeem is used in the Bible almost 70 times. It was clear from the beginning of God’s people that they fell short and were prone to turn away from God, in desperate need of a redeemer. While Old Testament laws and rituals provided temporary redemption of sins through sacrifice and sin offerings, the prophets foretold of one Redeemer, a Messiah, that was to come. He would take away sin once and for all (Romans 6:10, Hebrews 9:28, 1 Peter 3:18).
The good news of Jesus is that we, who were slaves to our sin, through the life of Christ, have the opportunity to become adopted sons and daughters of the Most High King!
“But when the fullness of time has come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” (Galatians 4:4-7)
R I S E . R E D E E M E D .
So this is my calling. At a young age of 27 years old, married, living in a college town in Kansas, and with a baby girl on the way, I have been renamed redeemed. Even in the midst of my shortcomings, I am called to rise up out of darkness and into the light and security rooted in the person of Jesus Christ.
I write as the Spirit leads, both for Christ to reveal Himself to me, and also that He might reveal Himself to you through stories, photos, vulnerability, and Scripture.
May God bless you, and may you believe in your heart that you are redeemed, and have the strength to rise and walk in the midst of your circumstances.