Thursday, May 10, 2018

Kinsman Redeemer: My Story, My Testimony, My Life

Have you ever lost a car and  a house and had to file bankruptcy all in the same year? I have and it rocks your world to the core. But today I get to share with you our story of redemption that has finally come full circle. This is not something that I like to talk about and was very difficult for me to even write, but the testimony is worth it. 

Ugh. This vulnerability is frightening. I’m just going to dive right in…

Beginning in 2007, my husband and I walked through incredible financial hardship after the economy tanked. Jeremy had just transitioned to the mortgage industry about a year before the housing crisis began and the bottom fell out. Once he was laid off, the stock market crashed and the country went into a major recession. With unemployment near an all-time high, it was several years and many job transitions and careers later before Jeremy would find stable employment again.

There are certain seasons that seem to scar us and shape us and this was ours. I’ll never forget being woken up around 5am to the sound of a diesel truck and hearing the chains scrape the concrete as it towed away our Chevy Tahoe. I ran to the window in just enough time to catch a glimpse of it leaving our street, but the worst part was having to explain it to a 5yo and a 3yo that couldn’t possibly comprehend what just happened. That sound and that feeling is something that took many years to recover from. Any time I EVER heard the sound of a diesel truck after that, my heart would pound out of my chest and I would run to the window just to make sure my car was still there…even though I knew we weren’t behind on payments. It was a fear that’s hard to describe if you’ve never experienced it firsthand.

After that, our home in North Carolina was in the process of being foreclosed and we decided to move to Texas and file bankruptcy in 2008. We left the keys on the counter and packed up the moving truck. God had spoken VERY clearly about our move to Dallas, so we had no choice but to trust Him. Over the next several years, we would assist in various church plants, take in multiple families and teens and move from rental house to rental house. The Lord provided every penny, space and home needed for each transition.

Once we moved to Dallas, the economy was still recovering and Jeremy would go through 3 more job transitions before he finally just decided to start his own staffing company on the side. A couple years later and in addition to, Jeremy also began working in the auto industry in October of 2015 and quickly grew to love it. He started at Honda in sales and is now the Inventory Manager over multiple Chevy dealerships. Life had turned around so to speak, but my heart still longed for a home of my own, a home to finish raising our family. But our credit was far from great and the fear, shame and anxiety that plagued me on a daily basis would require real deliverance.

Over the years, we received countless prophetic words about God honoring our faithfulness, bringing restoration and fulfilling our dreams. I knew the enemy was going to have to repay all that was lost, but I was tired of waiting even though I could tell it was beginning to trickle in. Still, I cannot tell you how many times I cried out to God through tears and frustration saying, “We’ve built YOUR house…many times over. Now, when will you build ours?!?” In essence, we held up our end of the stick. We’ve been obedient; now when will you hold up yours? I’d find a community I liked, but it was either no peace or the wrong timing. The disappointment was heartbreaking each time. I got to the point where I didn’t even want to hear any more of God’s promises, but regardless, I had resolved to obey and to worship UNTIL…until He came through because deep down I knew that his promises wouldn’t return void no matter how long it took.

Well, last year was another major transition year for us across multiple fronts, but necessary in order for Him to fulfill his promise to us. What I didn’t see or understand in that moment, the Holy Spirit would gradually reveal as each new page unfolded. I didn’t realize that Jesus was giving us our heart’s desire in this process. All of a sudden…yes, literally sudden, things began to fall into place. We prayed for wisdom and direction, and God directed us to a community called “Inspiration.” We fell in love with the development, but my heart still wondered if this would ever be our reality. We proceeded to put down a deposit on a beautiful lot knowing that it was a HUGE risk. I was scared out of my mind. We still had so much more work to do on our credit, but things seemed to be progressing. We went through a very lengthy credit repair process and a difficult underwriting process. But the Lord set up divine connections from our realtor to our mortgage brokers and everyone in between. Confirmation after confirmation. All was well. But then the fear would creep back in…is this too good to be true? That’s when the Lord shook me. He began to change my perspective because the Lord IS good and the Lord IS true! So why should I expect anything less?

At the beginning of this year, the Holy Spirit gave me a word for our family during our time of fasting. It was that He would be our “Guardian Redeemer” aka “Kinsman Redeemer.” Truth be told, I had never heard of this nor did I understand the fullness of what it meant. So I really began to dive in and study it. The Kinsman Redeemer is a male relative who, according to various laws of the Pentateuch, had the privilege or responsibility to act on behalf of a relative who was in trouble, danger, or need. He was responsible for buying back family or land sold during a crisis, buying back enslaved relatives if applicable, providing an heir for a dead brother and avenging and caring for relatives in difficult circumstances. The Hebrew term for kinsman-redeemer designates one who delivers, rescues or redeems property or persons. I had no idea that Boaz in the Old Testament was known as the Kinsman Redeemer to Naomi and Ruth. The idea of the Guardian Redeemer is also used at times to refer to God and His redemption of Israel. In these passages, God is Israel’s nearest redeemer, stepping in to bring the nation back into his family when the people could not do it themselves. But then we look at AFTER the cross, Jesus became the Guardian Redeemer for all who accept him. Jesus rescued us and made us His bride, so we could have access to everything in His kingdom. He purchased our sin, but for me, the realization that he bought our shame became much more prevalent.

Then the Holy Spirit took this revelation a step further and made it even more PERSONAL to me. He revealed that he was specifically going to REDEEM us because we had already been RESTORED. I didn’t even realize the difference between redemption and restoration until now. Restoration is a process and something that is returned to its former state. But redemption is instant and makes all things new. It wipes away the past.

I quickly began to see the irony of it all. Our Chevy Tahoe may have gotten repossessed at one point, but now Jeremy oversees the entire used car inventory of multiple Chevy dealerships. Now HE is the one sending out the tow trucks. But it doesn’t stop there.

We were able to FINALLY close on our home last month. Remember when I said that we were praying for wisdom and direction? Mark 11:24 (NIV) says, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Well, our neighborhood is literally called “Wisdom” and our street address is called “Lantern Faith.” Then if there was ever any doubt about his promise to redeem us, He ties it all up in a nice bow because the floor plan of our home is called the “Carolina.” When we signed the closing documents, we knew that all had been redeemed IN AN INSTANT.

I felt that I needed to share our story with you today for a couple reasons. One is that it hopefully helps you to stand firm in believing that His promise will come to pass in your life. The second reason is for me. By sharing this testimony publicly, the enemy can no longer hold the fear and shame over my head. No longer can he say, “if they only knew…” because now you do, but so does he. He knows that my God is greater and that He took that pain, so that I don’t have to carry it any more. And for that, I’m forever grateful.

Let’s pray. Lord, all I can say is thank you. Thank you for your redemption. Thank you for always wanting the best for me and for silencing the lies of the enemy. I ask that your peace surround each of these readers and I pray that they would experience your presence in their lives today. In Jesus Name, Amen!