If you haven’t read Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, let this be a warning that this post will have spoilers as I’ll be summarizing the book.
In Redeeming Love, Angel, the girl who had a hard, harsh upbringing, sold into prostitution and then later redeemed, learns the love of Christ when she runs away from her husband, Michael.
Before Christ, her life was full of turmoil, pain, and hurt as she grappled with the love Michael had shown her—she couldn’t believe that a man like him could love a woman like her: used up, humiliated, with high, strong walls around her heart.
But he did—and she ran anyway.
I think the godly love that Michael bestowed on her was overwhelming, and she felt undeserving of his love. So, she ran back to what she knew: selling her body to strange men for money, food, room and board.
One night, she was forced to sing for these vile men, and the song, “Rock of Ages,” came to mind. Now, she hadn’t accepted God at this point, but she had learned some things from living with her husband, Michael, and God had begun speaking to her, but she just didn’t know it yet.
She didn’t know this song, yet she sang anyway.
God gave her the words.
Then, among the crowd, a voice joined in with hers.
She locked eyes with the man near the back, Jonathan, and he took her home.
Not for prostitution, though—for safety, to provide a home.
Jonathan and his family were believers. They knew God closely and personally.
And by living with them, Angel came to know God closely and personally, too.
For the next three years, Angel fought her demons, and God honored her by giving her a purpose: reaching out to young girls in prostitution and sharing the love of Christ, using her experiences to bring freedom and healing in those young lives.
What an incredible turnaround!
God is good like that: He can take someone from their lowest point and turn it around for His glory, to bring healing to others, and to reach others with His name.
That’s what happened to me.
GOD IS LOVE
When I was a teenager, I was serious about God… kinda.
I thought I was serious, until I realized that my actions didn’t match up with my words. In all honesty, my “Sunday walk” was different than my “weekly walk.”
I came to find God on a deeper level after cheating on a test and getting detention for it—it was a humiliating and low point for me in high school. I didn’t want anyone to know what I had done (because I don’t cheat), so I lied about it to my parents… Of course, they later found out about the situation, but I learned through this event that God loves me anyway.
Even as His child, who ran and hid from this mistake, and tried to make up for what I did through “good deeds.” I thought I needed to “step up my game,” and then come to Him.
But I learned He loves and cares about me, despite it all. He was still there, even after weeks of my feeble efforts of doing “good deeds”… even after I felt defeated… ashamed… unloved…
He gloriously revealed His grace to me, bringing healing to my soul.
That healing allowed me to be brave in Him, and I grew more confident in my faith.
That confidence then glorified God as I shared my faith with others.
Shortly after my week of detention, I decided that this wasn’t the life God called me to live, and I decided to get baptized. I committed my life once more to the rule of my King, and He has not let me down since.
I had a new, refreshed, and different outlook on life: a life of hope, grace, and love.
He takes beauty from ashes. He brings purpose, and He gets all the glory.
LOVE BRINGS PURPOSE
Just like Angel in Redeeming Love, I found my purpose in what God wanted me to do. At first, I leaned more towards photography because I thought it would make me ‘more cool’ in the eyes of people, I’ve learned that writing is my God-given gift. (You can read more about how I came to this realization in “Talents Meant for His Glory”)
I’ve learned that my writing brings hope to others, and people are able to learn from my experiences (What? How is that even possible?). That’s something that only God can do—bring purpose out of a talent.
Going back to Angel’s story, Michael’s brother comes searching for her and finds her, in service to the Lord—full of purpose, life, and hope. In her thoughts and emotions while in this new service, she was wrong about one thing, though: that Michael, her husband, would never take her back.
Michael’s brother told her differently: He was still waiting for her, even after three years.
Ultimately, after grappling with her mission and her heart’s desire to be back with her husband, Angel chose covenant over missions, and gave control of her mission to another young girl in the city she was living in. She went back to her husband, and he took her in with open arms.
This is the love of our Father, waiting for us to come home. Patiently yearning to be with us again.
Let Him love you.
Let Him give you purpose.
Let Him turn things around.
Let Him bring healing and love into your life, wherever you’re at.
His heart hurts because of our hurts, and He wants nothing more than for you to come home.
Lay down your burdens, lay down your shame. All who are broken, lift up your face. Oh, wanderer, come home, you’re not too far. Lay down your hurt, lay down your heart, come as you are. (“Come as You Are,” Crowder).
Give Him your doubts and fears, stop running, and let love make you whole as you walk in His purpose for your life.
God is waiting for you.
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” —Ephesians 2:4–7, NKJV
Yuliana is a blogger, proofreader, and sometimes photographer (when the occasion calls for it). She graduated with a creative writing degree in English and has a Russian minor. She strives to use her talents for God’s glory and prays that He touches others through the work of her hands. Yuliana loves meeting new people, supporting small and local businesses, and spending her time outdoors (when the Carolina heat isn’t ridiculous!). Jesus overwhelms her heart, and iced coffee runs in her veins. She currently lives Waxhaw, a city outside of the greater Charlotte area.