Tuesday, December 31, 2013

When It's Hard to Not Look Back

Does so much of the past year beg to be forgotten? Never to be thought of again? 
Swept under the rug. Thrown out with the garbage. Burned. Buried.
...in someone else’s yard.
 ...in a land far, far away.

But, it can’t be truly forgotten. To be truly forgotten would be as if it never happened. However, it cannot be treated as if it never happened, because it has shaped us for the rest of our lives. The hurt, the sadness, the loss, the grief, the anger – no – rage, the loneliness, the emptiness. And the scariest of them all, hopelessness.

I don’t know about you, but it was the hopelessness that threatened to pull me under more than any of the other emotions.

What the past year can be is:
learned from

I was blown away by a quick look online for the definition of redeem. Want to see it?

1. a. to buy back; repurchase
    b. to get or win back
2. to free from what distresses or harms; as...
   a. to free from captivity by payment of ransom
   b. to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental
   c. to release from blame or debt; clear
   d. to free from the consequences of sin
3. to change for the better; reform
4. repair, restore
5. a. to free from a lien by payment of an amount secured thereby
   b. (1) to remove the obligation of by payment, (2) to exchange for something of value
   c. to make good;  fulfill
6. a. to atone for; expiate; redeem an error
   b. (1) to offset the bad effect of  (2)  to make worthwhile;  retrieve

The process of redemption began for me about seven weeks ago; the day my husband moved back in. The day I took a deep breath and a risky faith step.

Together we began to redeem our marriage and our family.

None of this would have been possible without the help of God and knowledge of His redeeming love for each of us.

God forgave us. We can forgive each other.
God has mercy on us. We can have mercy on each other.
God loves us. We can love each other.

We are all going to botch it some days. We all sometimes get the notes wrong.
 But the song only goes wrong — when we keep thinking back to the wrong notes.
When a piece starts to fall apart — fall forward. Fall forward into the next bar.
 Moving forward is what makes music.

A conductor chooses the tempo, the ebb and flow, the feel of a certain piece. However, possibly most importantly, he keeps it moving. The goal, in part, is to make it to the finale and leave the audience changed for the better by what they have experienced through the music. If there is a fumbled section, the conductor doesn't stop, he presses on.

You and I are the conductor of our lives. God has a good plan for us, the musical score. We have the privilege and responsibility to choose what we do with the plan and how we react to circumstances. There will most certainly be flubbed sections, phrases stumbled over, wrong notes. We can choose to stop, embarrassed or defeated by the flaws or press through into what’s next. Finish the song. Allow ourselves and those around us to be changed for the better by what they have experienced through the song of our lives.

Oh, how I have missed blogging this year, but I was raw; battle weary.

But, oh, I have scribbled pages and pages of Good News to share with you, my friends. My readers. In fact, I thought of you as I wrote them.

“If I’m going to go through this stinking mess, 
someone else has got to get some good out of it!”

Well, guess what? If you’re reading this, it’s your blessed day. And if you continue to read along with me this coming year, you’ll continue to be blessed.

The New Year is only a few hours away and I’m ever so glad to wave good-bye to 2013.

How about you? Has this been a year to forget? How about making it a year to be redeemed? Care to join me in this journey of buying back, releasing, forgiving, rebuilding? Come on, let’s go.

I’m happy to be back. I hope you’re happy about it, too.


Imparting Grace


  1. I'm so sorry to hear that you've struggled this way. I'm glad to hear that God was by your side every step of the way. Many blessings, Calista!

    1. Linda - thank you! One of the greatest comforts is knowing we are never alone.....

  2. Calista, thank you for sharing your heart so openly! "Redeem" has become a big word in my life since my husband and I went through an extremely rough time two years ago. What's been eye-opening to me recently is that redemption isn't always immediate...that God may redeem us and our relationship (or whatever He's redeeming at the time!) over time, slowly - or at least more slowly than I'd like. He allows us to do the work to see His beauty, and it's hard and amazing...and hard. :) I'm so glad you linked to your post in the comments at (in)courage - thank you for sharing!!

    1. Mary, I appreciate your visit here and your comments. You are so right - the redeeming is a process. I suppose because relationships are multifaceted. There are many areas that need forgiveness and rebuilding. Besides, when we've gone through the process with God, we're more likely to value what we've gained.

  3. Last year my word was redeemed. It was one of the toughest years of my life. But I can honestly say that God redeemed the pain beyond my imagination. Here is my post at the end of 2013 as I contemplated all that happened and God's redemption. http://unafamiliaalaskena.blogspot.com/2013/12/redeemed-word-of-year-review-2013.html#.Us8IWvshMYE
    I will be praying that God redeems all that has happened in your life. I loved reading your post with all the definitions listed. Beautiful.


Thanks for taking time to read and join the conversation. I love hearing from you!