The Word is Hope.

So today is the day. 

The day that I feel I am ready to share testimony on this blog. It’s a testimony that some of you know, that some of you have walked through, and that some of you have seen the rescue of God in. But it’s also a testimony that not everyone knows, and not everyone has heard and that’s not completely easy reading. 

I’ve just got back from a meeting with some people I really love, in which I shared some of my current news, and I realised, that you can’t really rejoice in current news without first rejoicing in the rescue and healing from the past.

And I do rejoice.

And I do hope.

My story is one with the happiest of endings.

And it can give hope.

Because if God can raise me, He can raise you.

And so…

The Word is Hope.

This is my story
My question
And my testimony
So that you may see
Something of His beauty
From ugly ashes
To restored intimacy
To Him who redeems our stories
In His unity.

What does the Lord require of me?
Because I’m longing for purity.
And hoping for dignity
And pleading for mercy
And praying that you will see
Me genuinely asking
What does the Lord require of me?

Because there’s a human problem, it’s vast and huge and wide
A global problem, that leaves us gaping, wounds open on the inside
A sin problem, that renders us separated by our pride
A lust problem, that of the sacred and holy, robs us blind

Because I was married.
Past tense.
And now I am divorced.
Present tense.
But I’m thinking about the future.
Future tense.

But when a man rapes his wife because he thinks that he owns her
When he forces her crying because he just has to have her
When his motives are based on control of what makes her
Then when is that covenant really broken?

When he fuels his desire from pornographic sight
And belittles, and shouts, as she sobs through the night
And relentlessly misuses his strength and his height
Then when was that covenant really broken?

When the only penetration she knows is the violation of hope
When these feelings of guilt leave her unable to cope
When she’s covered in dirt, wrapped around her like rope
Then will that covenant ever really be broken?

Because how can you stay
When day after day
Staying risks the life of one that Jesus spilt blood to save
And makes tolerable the sin that the Son of Man hates?
And when does that make leaving ok?
And how many people need to say its ok?
When countless others advise there is no other way?
Because that covenant has really already been broken.

Because the question of my story
And the question of my testimony
Is what does the Lord require of me?
Because I’m longing for purity.
And hoping for dignity.
And pleading for mercy.
And praying that you will see
Me genuinely asking
What does the Lord require of me?

Just because bruises aren’t seen on the outside
Doesn’t mean it’s in her mind
And doesn’t mean she isn’t trying to find
Righteous freedom from the inside.
Because if boys will be boys, then girls will be trash
Packed up in a bag and thrown out in the back
Reduced to an object to pick up the slack
When society’s images create only lack

Because lust never satisfies
And is never satisfied
And will never satisfy
What is says it can satisfy

But a man can be drunk on more than wine
And brutalise the power of pride,
Intoxicated out from the inside
Unseeing, through control-glazed-lies
That destroy holy thinking with a temporary slide
Or a hardness of heart that leaves us blind,
And happily blind.

Because sex wasn’t made to be taken
And intimacy wasn’t made to be bought,
And you can’t force love through violence,
You can only humbly win a heart in love
Real love
True love
God’s love.

And God is love
He always was, and is and stays.
And He is true, He’s found faithful, forever constant and the same.
But as I daily came before Him, sitting, questioning my pain,
Praying, pleading for a rescue, a hope and purpose to remain
I didn’t understand and I couldn’t see clearly,
Yet His light was the song of a heart that was breaking.
Sustaining and holding in the midst of the shaking,
And opening a path that walked into His healing.

I haven’t always been right
I haven’t always been wise
Pinned up by the rumours, and gossips and lies.
By those who didn’t want to see
The pain I held inside of me
When I was in captivity
And Egypt wrapped its chains round me.

Because what I have found in my personal experience
Is judgement from some of those who really should have known me best
And rejection instead of the love that we profess
To have within the body, that Jesus longs to bless.

And as I’ve been thinking about what the Lord requires of me
I’ve been thinking about the sin that goes unchallenged in society
Because it’s easy to pass judgement on the wrongs we think we see
And to ignore the hidden truth that will destroy humanity
And destroy our unity
Within the church we’re called to be
And make us powerless and speechless
On issues of justice, truth and purity

And I have wrestled, truly wrestled with my deep theology
And deliberated, pondered, how these things applied to me
Until Holy Spirit reminded me of a story of apparent tragedy
About a woman called Tamar who was taken as a wife like me

And she was married to a man, who displeased the Father’s heart
He lived a life of sin that was rebellious from the start
And when things just looked like they could only fall apart
This man was put to death, for he was evil from his heart

So she was married to another in the duty of the family
In order to protect her, and restore her name in dignity
But he used her for his pleasure to the forfeit of true intimacy
And God saw this unseen evil so he died too, as one found guilty

And in her desperate situation
She acted in a way
That drew judgement from those
Who had just looked the other way.

And though Tamar was rejected by all but her Saviour
And declared as a harlot, by those who would judge her
God stood alone; her redeeming judge and her true vindicator
And into the line of His Son, He eternally grafted her
Defending her name in the accounts of the Scriptures
Declaring her righteous in the courts of her accusers
And showing the value a woman has on her.

Because God fights for the victim
And He frees the oppressed
And His unending mercy
Lifts the shame from our chests.
And the shame from our breasts
And the shame that reduced all our fullness to less
Than His planned, and perfected and hard fought for best.

And in that revelation I found there was healing
And freedom and wholeness in places left bleeding
Because in His reality there could only be healing
By One who had been there, left naked and bleeding
Left hanging there bleeding
Just so that my bleeding
Could stop outward bleeding
And find inward healing.

And I could forgive and I could let go
As one redeemed with only mercy to show
And I could move on and trust it was so
That my God had fought for me
As the One who really did see
My pain and my agony
When I was locked in the valley
And He who had rode for me
And He who had strode for me
To carry me to liberty
And into my destiny.
And into my safety.
And into His purity.

So the things that were done to me no longer bind me
And the lies that were said to me just cannot constrain me
Because what was meant to destroy me, God used to refine me
And the spilt blood of Jesus pours over my history
Restored and redeemed to be used for His glory

Which just leaves me asking,

What does the Lord require of me?
Because I’m longing for purity.
And hoping for dignity.
And pleading for mercy.

Because before I was a bride of man
Past tense.
I was a bride of the Son of Man
And a child of God
And a daughter not forgotten
Never forgotten

And after I was a bride of man
Present tense
I am a bride of the Son of Man
And a child of God
And a daughter not forgotten
Never forgotten

And if He blesses me to be the bride of another
Future tense.
I will still be a bride of the Son of Man
And a child of God
And a daughter not forgotten
Never forgotten.

And I would rather be a fruitful outcast
Than a fruitless Pharisee,
And I would give up public honour
To be great in the eyes of the One who really sees,
And if being an outcast is my future
Because I am a woman with a history
Then I will gladly stand among the heroes of faith
Who were in weakness but restored by His mercy.
Because I might not have a perfect story
But I have a being-made-perfect testimony
And I trust that it is a thing of beauty
To He who wrote the definition of true beauty
And to He who makes me a picture of beauty
Because He is the incomparable Beauty

So what does the Lord require of me?
And what does the Lord require of ‘we’?
To act justly, and love mercy
And walk humbly
With our God you see.
Look and see.
Not judge, but see

That divorce isn’t the ugly word
And rape isn’t the ugly word
And abuse isn’t the ugly word
Sin is the ugly word

But Jesus Christ has come, to raise us from the ash heap cured
To offer life to a broken world
Not critical judgement, but a future restored.

And the word.


4 thoughts on “The Word is Hope.

  1. What an incredible testimony! Thank you for sharing that; it can’t have been easy. Praise God for his redeeming love and work in your life! May he use you to reach many who are trapped in similar pain!

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