After I was healed from terminal breast cancer, I had something like post traumatic stress disorder. I felt like I had been through a war, and because I was on the winning side, I was supposed to just rejoice and get over it. I’ll never know if this was real or perceived, but it affected my speech, heart, and focus.
Now I think most things like that are actually my usurping the Holy Spirit. He provides us with experiences that can and should be shared. It’s the enemy who wants to shut us up, to hide the glory the Lord deserves. And to create fear in speaking aloud, which ultimately causes us (or me, at least) to analyze many things within ourselves, without the input of wise counsel. Now that I’ve started speaking more of these issues aloud, I hear how stupid they sound. Maybe that’s one reason I was led to write all this out.
Ephesians 4:15, “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ…”
So, at the start of this journey through redemption, we have a book by that name. The Lord had already been doing a work in me to get me excited about caring for really broken people. I’ve met a lot of them who are dealing with cancer, but there are other problems out there, too. I met a young woman who was on a great trajectory after years of drug use and living on the streets. She went into a great treatment facility, got clean and saved, and was living for the Lord. When I spoke to her, this stuff was clearly real. It wasn’t just self-control that was helping her keep it together. She was free!
Somehow this girl didn’t end up with the external support that might have been helpful for the transition between the safe and awesome treatment facility to the dangerous and tempting real world. Within months Yaacov and I watched as she fell back to her old ways. It was disheartening for her, for her family, and for the kingdom of God, and as a behavior analyst, and recovering “fixer”, I obviously wanted to save the world with a transition plan for the treatment facility to use!
Isaiah 58:11, “And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.”
But that wasn’t the Lord’s plan or the right thing to do. His perfect plan was so much BETTER! Around that time led me to a ministry called Redemption Groups, which our church was about to start training leaders for. I thought the ministry was intended for people like that girl I described, who need more help than the church is currently set up to provide. But it turns out these groups are much more than that. They are one way He leads us all into a deeper communion with Him. And we can’t get closer to Him without recognizing the sin and lies that we are steeped in, building a bigger divide between us.
I talk about this ministry and about the book a lot because the Lord used both to speak to me and to change the entire trajectory of my life. He redeemed me from my own sin with His Word (for the billionth time), through this journey. But there’s no magic in the book or the techniques used in the group. They are led by the Holy Spirit, and that is where the true power is. For example, He brought that girl who I mentioned back to Him, and she didn’t even go through a Redemption Group. But I am so grateful for the way He has helped me see Him, and to see me, through it all.
Proverbs 12:26 “The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray.”
So, in this “Redemption” trail on unceasinglove.com, I’m going to journal the growth, changes, and struggles I’m learning through being a leader and being a participant with this ministry. It doesn’t have much to directly do with cancer, which might be why people are reading in the first place, but it has to do with real issues that are applied to all aspects of our lives. He’s using it to make me a better person, better mother, better servant, primarily because it’s making me get real with the truth about who I am, in all my filthy hypocrisy. So, I’ll share the details because we’re all going to either heaven or hell, and either way it all relates to the truth about God. To Him be the glory forever! I don’t want to fight for privacy or hope to blend into a wall when it comes to my problems. I want to grow and to share the cool ways the Holy Spirit and Word of God are making that happen.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”