Voices

I have been playing the song “Redeemed” by Big Daddy Weave over and over and over again the past couple of weeks. It’s a song I’ve listened to many times, and really enjoyed – I like their music generally. But we used a video in church recently as part of our worship set dealing with the idea of redemption and it featured this song – and on the platform that Sunday, I heard this line as if for the first time:

All my life I have been called unworthy

Named by the voice of my shame and regret

And, oh my heart was pierced. Because I have carried that hurt around for a long time.

In that moment, I heard the voice of my father, telling me – over and over – that I would never live up to my potential. I heard the voice of a much loved pastor telling me he’d done his best but he just couldn’t be a steward of my gifts any more because of my failures. I heard the voices of people through the years who have found my big personality and passionate approach to life in general just a little too much to deal with, who have found me too much… or not enough. Who have found me wanting.

I am deeply grateful to have walked through a season of fire in the last 18 months or so, when God literally burned out of me the desire for approval. It was a painful process – oh was it ever! – but on the other side of it has been complete freedom. For the first time in my life, I understand what it really means to be free in Christ, to embrace my frailty and failings and know that in Him they are met with grace and love and compassion (which is not the same as empathy, by the way). And, too, I am able to embrace my gifts and my abilities and unapologetically step out in them – not in arrogance or entitlement, but in gratitude and excitement. God made me, and He made me for a purpose, and the passion and big personality some people find fault with are part of how He has equipped me to do the things I’m called to. There is freedom in knowing – in really believing – that I will never be too much or not enough for God, and that He will never leave me where I am.

But that morning, listening to those words, I realized how deeply the wounds go and how tender the scars even after the passage of time. I was reminded that while I am free, I am not yet healed and whole, that those sore places in my spirit need tending so they don’t fester. And I heard God telling me it was time to let it go – to do the work and let it go.

So I’m working on forgiveness. I’m working on grace. I’m working on putting the past to rest and loving the ones whose voices have played on that endless, hurtful loop in my head, even as I firmly press the stop button and eject the tape.

Because I am redeemed. And God isn’t done with me yet, even if others are.

 

 

6 replies
  1. Chris Kerr
    Chris Kerr says:

    Amen Francesca!!! Thank you for this post! I needed to hear this today, especially. My hubby and I are leaving tomorrow for a small family reunion at my middle brother’s ranch. This same brother’s wife left him 2 weeks ago. My brother is broken and devastated, but still want us to all come down.
    My elderly parents, aunt & uncle visiting from Indiana and all five of us siblings will gather together. We will all love on my brother, I know, but I must must must forgive his wife. I carry anger and hurt in my heart, and I know I must “do the work” and beg God to clean my mind and heart of this. To humbly realize that I am a broken and healing daughter of God, follower of Christ, and I must show compassion to my sister in law.
    Your post spoke to me and is a help. Bless you!

    Reply
    • Francesca
      Francesca says:

      What a hard thing to be walking through, Chris. Wow. I am genuinely grateful to know that this post helped you as you prepare for this trip – I said a prayer for you, and hope you’ll feel free to keep me updated on how you’re doing. <3

      Reply
  2. Sherry
    Sherry says:

    Sorry you’ve lived with this pain in your heart all these years. I had no idea. I am glad you heard the right words at the right moment. It’s amazing how harmful and long lasting a few words can be. What causes some of us to absorb and carry these words around for years? I have a few of my own that hold me back. The unspoken can also be hurtful. Who has uplifted and encouraged you the most?

    Reply
  3. Jacqueline Marchant
    Jacqueline Marchant says:

    What a lovely piece of jewelry your work is brilliant. I loved it and would def wear it proudly. ty so much for sharing your stunning work…Oh and by the way…I kinda wish I was the friend you shared that awesome looking dessert with it looked totally yummy…I wouldn’t be sorry about indulging either…bye for now and Happy Beading

    Reply
  4. Rebecca Sirevaag
    Rebecca Sirevaag says:

    I love this song, too. One of my favorites. Have you heard him talk about why he wrote it? Really cool. He talks about his life-long struggle with food and his weight…
    Bless you, sister.

    Reply

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