A few weeks ago as I was trying to come to terms with a blinding wound from a friend of mine, I reached out to a dear prayer counselor friend for help. He listened for a long while as I recounted my injury, and then he offered a phrase I had not heard before.
“This could become a really important moment for you, something I have come to refer to as an unwelcome redemption.” I had a sense of what he meant, but I asked him to explain himself anyway. This is roughly what he shared with me:
Sometimes we have old stuff buried deep within our soul that we cannot reach or see, even if we had the mind to do so. The only way these things come to the surface is when they are awakened by circumstances beyond our control, such as a betrayal or wound from someone we trusted. Then those old wounds we could no longer touch are suddenly all we can see or think about. We ruminate. We rage. We utter oaths that ought not be said out loud.
But this is the moment when the wound is open to healing as well. This is the moment we can take this broken place to God and say, “Look! It’s still here! I need You to help me!” If we are willing to hold the pain long enough, yielding ourselves to Him, and listening as He speaks into our heart and mind, we begin to heal. The old wound begins to loosen its grip. We find His comfort, and our vision is cleared in ways that allow us to see better. Peace comes in unexpectedly, and our home in God is made more secure.
As I sat with God later that day (and more the next) my counselor friend’s words began to become true for me. God met me there in some of those old places long forgotten: of abandonment, hopelessness, despair, and broken trust. And this is now proving to be one of the more significant healings of my life — with more to come, I am sure.
Yes, it has all been so unwelcome. But unbelievably redemptive.
An Unwelcome Redemption.