Redeeming Love

I finished an audiobook recently called “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers. It’s not the kind of book that I would normally read, but it was only $7 on itunes and I had a giftcard to use. Also, the book just came up in the most random conversations quite a few separate times so I thought I’d give it a shot.

The book tells the story the marriage of a girl who goes by quite a few names (Angel, Amanda, Sarah) and her husband Michael Hosea. She was a prostitute, but God told Michael to marry her anyway. It makes for an interesting set of circumstances in which He tries to love her in spite of her “baggage” and she struggles to receive the love that He offers to her – all-the-while trying to learn how to live a new way of life as a wife. The story also mirrors the Biblical account of the prophet Hosea with is prostitute bride, Gomer. Although Redeeming Love takes place in a completely different setting and the author doesn’t follow the Biblical account exactly, there are certainly many similarities. Rivers says herself that her intention was to retell the Biblical story and I’d say she has done a great job of it.

For me, this was a good story to hear during this time in my life. I have been looking for a job for almost a year. I feel like I have tried everything I know – I finished an alternative certification program and have interviewed for a few teaching positions, but I still seem to be coming up short. As a man who wants to provide for his family and make a difference in the lives of students, I feel worthless sometimes. I know God is using this time to mold me and He’s using it in ways I’ll probably never understand, but my knowledge of those things doesn’t make the emotional turmoil I’m feeling go away. With each interview, my hopes are ignited, but with each phone call saying they have chosen someone with more experience, those hopes are thrown to the ground once again. This emotional roller coaster is wearing on me. Today, I spoke harshly to my wife for no reason. This is not who I am – but it seems to be . . . well. . . who I am right now, and it’s not acceptable.

In Redeeming Love, after getting married and running away from Michael, Sarah eventually finds herself on the auction block being sold as a slave. (I can identify – life is being stripped away from me too.) But then, in the last possible moment, Sarah is bought and redeemed. She eventually finds her way back to Michael.

The hope in this story is helpful. My only problem is that I feel like I’ve been on the auction block for a while and for some reason – I guess God thinks I can handle even more stripping before He steps in – or maybe there’s more to learn?? or new habits to develop?? or new thoughts to develop??

Prayer: Lord, if you’re listening, I’m ready. I need You. I need Your help. I cannot do this. I have no power or control. I want to be who You have called me to be. (and I believe that’s a teacher) I want to provide for my family. I want to help students to understand the world around them and live productive lives. I am weak and I need Your strength. I am desperate, but I know You are in control. I will trust You. Help me to stand strong, to trust more, to notice Your gentle nudges and respond appropriately. Lord, help me to be and to become all that You’ve called me to. I surrender. Redeem me. AMEN.

9 Replies to “Redeeming Love”

  1. While talking to my pastor the other day, he said something that has really stuck with me. “God can only use broken people.” Whether you’re someone who has broken yourself before him, or a circumstance brings you to a place in your life that causes you to cry out, as you have, and simply tell God “I need you, and I just can’t do this without you.”

    Many men come to a place in their marriage or life where they allow the stresses and uncertainties of life to cause them to lash out at those they love, and often unintentionally do damage to those that they only want to protect. Don’t lose heart, and don’t get down on yourself. All you can do is be humbled and sorry before those you’ve harmed, and make a firm resolution in your heart to live tomorrow differently.

    My wife and I lost our first child to a miscarriage, and while grieving a wise woman who was something of a “mother” character to us told us that God would get us through that time, and on the other side he would “bless our socks off.” That is truth you can take to the bank.

    There’s no telling why God has allowed this particular set of circumstances to mold you, but He allows the trials in our life that will specifically shape us into the type of men He wants us to be. When you’re feeling down, just stop and ask yourself “what’s the TRUTH of this situation.” Name the truths that you know God has spoken over you, and hold them close.

    He’s going to get you through this, and on the other side you’ll be able to look at what’s happened and answer that elusive question of “Why?”

      1. P.P.S. – I decided to make a blog post of my own and steal a bunch of my own material from the comment above. Haha. Ya got me thinking!

    1. Thanks Ryan. You’re right about all this stuff. I know it in my head, but my emotions fight against what I know sometimes. I can actually even see some of the things He’s done to mold me, but it’s still just tough to keep walking out in faith. In addition to the promises/truths that He gives, I also keep reciting the quote from Dory on “Finding Nemo” saying, “Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.” I have a friend who wrote a song a long time ago and one of the lyrics talks about when “our walk becomes a crawl.” I think that’s where I find myself these days, but I’m trying to just keep moving forward/crawling/swimming/etc.

      Sorry we missed you last week too. We visited another church this week too. Not sure where we’re gonna end up, but we definitely enjoyed Grace Fellowship. The people were great!

      1. It does sound like you’ve been able to remain remarkably optimistic and level headed throughout a whole year of job searching. I respect you a lot for that. It’s a testament to the kind of man you must be. Many others would have given up in some way within months. I’ve seen that happen time and again…even in people in my own family.

        Are you going to make yourself available for substitute teaching? Might be a decent segue into a teaching position at some point.

        1. Also, if you decide to visit us again at Grace let me know so I can let you know if we’ll be there. 😛

          And please don’t think I’m trying to pressure you into coming to GCF, haha. It’s far more important to be where God is leading you and your family.

          1. Yes – I am planning on substitute teaching. I’m actually subbing tomorrow for a 3rd grade class. Never done a class that young before, but it should be fun.

            I appreciate your attitude in allowing us to discover the church where God is leading us. Thanks. You’re right – it’s far more important to be where God is leading – Even more important than my own preferences.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.