My favorite book is Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. It’s based on the Bible story of Hosea. The main character is a little girl named Angel who is abandoned, abused, and sold to a pimp at a very young age. When she’s in her 20s, a farmer, Michael Hosea, answers a call from God to rescue her from a brothel and marry her – just as she is.
Here’s an excerpt from right after he rescues her from the brothel and brings her home:
So many people I love have been abandoned and abused emotionally, verbally, physically, sexually so often that love seems like it’s not worth the trouble.
I have been one of these people.
Love means being vulnerable. Being vulnerable means letting your guard down. Letting your guard down means the risk of being hurt again.
Sometimes I’ve found myself feeling and living like I actually deserve abuse, abandonment, betrayal. I’ve felt ugly, unloveable, and useless.
This is because I have an enemy – and he is a liar. His plan is to isolate me, taunt me with past mistakes, and make me feel like I’m unloveable.
The truth is, since he is by nature a liar, all those things are lies.
I am loveable. I am beautiful. My past is redeemable. And more to the point, He has rescued me from the pit and called me His beloved.
Yet like Angel in the story I hide from God or shout in his face and treat him like he’s the one who is wrong, when really – REALLY – He’s the only one who has been faithful, loving, generous, and right beside me all along. He’s the one who rescued me from all of that.
And like Michael Hosea in the quote above, when He has rescued me He says, “I want you to love me. I just want you to trust Me enough to let Me love you and I want to build a life with you.” But because my life is seen through the lens of past abusers, I say – “Can’t you understand that’s impossible?”
But ALL things are possible with Him.
Speaking of possible:
This week I let some things go. I ran into some people who had previously controlled, manipulated, and abused me, but I did not allow them the power to do so any longer.
And at each instance, each time I realized the struggle with them was over and I just felt neutral toward them, I felt a still small voice whisper, “Now your ministry can begin.”
I’ve also learned that I’m ready to be vulnerable with my heart again. With the guy who I think is the One, I’ll be bathing him in prayer, asking lots of questions, and making him meet with my dad’s approval first – and I may get hurt again – but I’m ready.
Anything is possible, right?
My prayer is that God would add roses to all my thorn bushes. I love roses.
God has redeemed every hurt I’ve had. That is to say – he’s allowed me to use those scars to help others through similar times.
Will you trust God enough to let His love in?