I drove to the prayer walk location, identified a familiar car, and parked in the same lot, assuming everyone else was out walking. I later found they weren't, but were meeting in a neighborhood clubhouse. That's beside the point really.
As I was walking around the neighborhood by myself, I thought about the kids in our program who live there. I thought about their families. I prayed for them. Then I remembered. I'm quite surprised I hadn't thought about it before. But, I hadn't. My husband, son, and I lived in the neighborhood many years ago. In 1995-96, actually. On this day, March 9, 1996, I lived on Woodhill Drive.
I decided to walk by our old house. To my happiness, it looked pretty good. It seemed well kept.
And I thought about redemption. God has redeemed so much in my life since 3/9/96. My final walk out the door of that house was not a happy occasion. Had things continued as they were, our sweet Allie would not be. But redemption changed all that.
Forgiveness and mourning and loss. Changes and renewal and growth. All of this because of redemption. Not just once, in 1996, but continually. A circular process of death and life.
One of the reasons I like this time of year is because of the redeeming nature of it. It's springtime, the season in which we prepare for Easter. Changes are so obvious in the outside world. And hopefully I'm changing.
To say I'm thankful doesn't seem enough. To share all the details that got me from Woodhill Drive in 1996 to Loudon Avenue in 2012 don't seem necessary. Really, it's all about surrender. And dying to self. That's when deliverance comes.
God rescued us from dead-end alleys and dark dungeons. He's set us up in the kingdom of the Son he loves so much, the Son who got us out of the pit we were in, got rid of the sins we were doomed to keep repeating.
Colossians 1:13-14 [The Message]