Hello. My name is Redeemed. It's nice to meet you. I have a lot to be thankful for and am excited to share a little bit about my life with all of you here today. Forgive me if I seem a bit shy. The truth is, I'm not. I've just been through some things that have made me quick to listen and slow to speak. I hope you'll bear with me as I begin to open up about my life in a capacity that few know. But one thing is for sure, I have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ. My life started out in a broken home where musicians, drug addicts, and drug dealers roamed freely. I didn't mind the musicians always around as the anointing to create and play/sing music is a gift that God gave me from birth. But the other things I found myself exposed to as a result of drug dealers and addicts are things that most people only see on television. From violence to drugs to sexual assault, my tender eyes saw too much. And I was only three.
And then there was my fourth birthday. My biological father was to pick me up in my best party dress so that we could celebrate the fact that I was four. I was extremely excited! So excited that I actually took the time to get up and dressed by 5:00am that morning. I still vividly remember twirling in circles over and over in my white party dress with the red ribbon tied at my waist. I twirled and sat in front of the window in the living room for hours. But my dad never came. And I didn't see or hear from him for another 32 years. Oh how my heart ached. And how the hardness of heart and soul begin to set in at the tender age of four.
A lot of my life between the ages of five and eleven are a total blur. I remember lots of anger in my house. I remember lots of lies trying to be lived up to that never could be; because after all, they were lies. I remember moving over 12 times and changing schools just as many. I remember fights and suspensions. But mostly I remember feeling alone, afraid, and without hope.
Somehow I managed to navigate my way through the age of twelve until twenty-two. At this point, I was so hardened by the hand that life had dealt me that I was doing unspeakable things. I was hurting anyone and everyone I could - every chance I got - including myself. Until one night, I had enough, I couldn't stand it any longer. At this time I was just beginning my junior year at Washington State University. By what I now know to be the grace of God, I made it to college and was doing well in my classes. Although I was still miserable and unfulfilled, I wasn't ready to give up. I knew that I needed a change in my life, so I decided to call someone and ask them to take me to church.
On the morning of September 13, 1998, I walked through the doors of Calvary Christian Center in Pullman, Washington. Keep in mind that I had only set foot in a church once or twice with my great-grandmother to serve the homeless a meal. I knew no Bible stories nor had I ever prayed. But somehow I was there. In a church. With Jesus.
I will never forget what took place just minutes after I went to church that day. I ended up being singled out by a visiting Evangelist and giving my life to Christ, right there, on the spot. And as I approached the altar, palms sweaty, tears flying God showed me what looked like a drive-in movie screen. On this screen He was showing me all the times that He reached out His hand to me and I rejected Him. The pain I felt as I watched this was indescribable. But the beautiful part? Was the part at the end of my "movie" where He showed me that I am redeemed. And ever since that day I have been ALL in, and I have never looked back.
Today I stand here before you, enamored with my Redeemer thankful for Him, thankful for His grace. Thankful for His blood that He shed to give me my name. Hello. My name is Redeemed. I am very happy we met today. If you haven't met my Redeemer, I'd encourage you to get to know Him. His name is Jesus and once you allow His love to penetrate your heart - your life will never be the same - I guarantee it.
Until next time.
Carlie @ Learning To Speak Life
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