Our church gathers with many other churches in town once a week during the weeks of the Lenten season to present a sermon series a lunch on Wednesday’s until Easter. It’s well attended and takes place at a particularly great old, refurbished downtown theatre called the Hippodrome. The pastors take turns offering the “meditations”. This year the theme is redemptive love.
This being said, I’d like to rewind and say that it’s been a very hard few weeks. I have done well avoiding hospital by following the “upped meds” plan of 600 milligrams Quetiapine and 300 Topimax and Xanax & blah blah blah…. and the hallucinations & “delusions” are not as frequent. 👍🏻
So, my pastor approached me because she wanted to use my story to talk about redemption. Honestly, i was confused about how my story had anything to do with redemption. She promised to “protect” me by not using my name & being as vague as possible without being too vague as to lose the nuances of the story. Still, i wasn’t sure what there was in my story that was redemptive, but i trust her & knew she’d be as graceful & honest as possible while keeping me hidden, so i agreed.
The Wednesday of the Lenten series came & my pastor asked if i could come. I’m a teacher, but i did rearrange my schedule to make time to attend. So, there i sat– nervous & feeling in the spotlight- as the service began. And it began. My pastor began her story and her eloquence was undeniable. I love hearing her spin a story because you find yourself being pulled right along.
But, suddenly then elements began to ring with a familiar sourness. The details of the story fell into place and my stomach began to sour. I knew this story… this nightmare. Each part– time left alone to be abused, pain, ignorance- was all to real and i could see people all around physically recoil as she told the story of the pain & abuse of this child at the hands of “her” abuser.
I could also see their faces as she told of those OTHER grandparents & THEIR redeeming, amazing, encompassing love AND of the love of the man who fell in love with her & married her. I saw their faces when she talked of the man who walked with her thru the bubbling up of old memories & pain & psychiatrists & hospital stays…. and his redemptive love…Of the redemptive love of her paternal grandparents, her children, her closest friends her husbands & her God.
It’s interesting to hear & see your life struggles thru the eyes of God through the eyes of another person.
It’s still a huge struggle… but this week i have been blessed.