Photo by: Olhar Angolano on Unsplash

When Redemption Is Real

Success, Peace, and Purpose are Often Revealed.


Redemption.

Whether we think we need it or not, redemption will at some point become a relevant idea in our lives.

It may show up as something we have a personal need for, or it could show up as something that someone close to us is struggling with.

However when redemption does comes into play, most of the time it’s due to some sort of painful choice that was made. This choice leaves our previously well-polished character and outstanding reputation suddenly marred by guilt and shame. It leaves us with a lack of hope.

The funny thing is, however, that redemption is not some made up idea. It actually exists. The hard pill to swallow, however, is that it can’t be given to us.

Yes, often time fortune is on our side and we experience unique opportunities to re-establish our previous status. Sometimes a friend or loved one that we wronged will come back around on their own to heal a relationship; sometimes they won’t.

It could happen, but don’t count on it. It’s always easier for us to not have to make the first move. Especially when we are already sulking around, all but content with the miserable state of life we’ve gotten ourselves in.

Most of the time it’s up to us to make the first move or our current situations will come to a stalemate causing a what seems like an eternally fixed, depressive state of life.

The take away in both situations is that we hold the key to our own redemption story. The key is the choice that we discover we have… the choice to pursue redemption and to not give up despite having every reason for doing so.

Redemption does not always look like a complete restoration of our previous condition of life. We may not always be able to restore that relationship that we so desperately want to fix.

Those people we hurt may never forgive us. We may never again make as much money as we did before we screwed up. In extreme situations, we may never get our physical health back. We may face confinement of some design that we never find full freedom from.

Is that really worth not pressing on? Should we stop fighting because we perceive that life will never again be the same or as good as we once had it? I don’t think so.

Life is not stable. In fact, it’s constantly changing and the only thing that is consistent about life is that it changes.

We graduate high school, graduate college, change careers, move states, get in fights, establish new goals, develop different beliefs, chase our own versions of success, and so many other things that will leave us vulnerable to making choices that will completely shift the direction our lives take.

This pivot on the path could lead us forever in different directions from where we used to be along with the people that used to be there.

When we examine the bigger picture of all this, the foundational focus that I notice is that every change in life can be traced back to a decision that we made. Sure things happen to us that we can’t avoid, but where those things cause us to end up is based on how we choose to react to them.

We can dwell on the negativity, and focus on the unfairness of it all. We can blame ourselves. We can choose to not forgive. We can choose to become emotionally numb and inhibit growth.

It’s fine if we choose that. One day however we may notice that we’re past the point of mending the hurt. Sometimes the brokenness is never going to go away. Not fully anyway. So how do we find redemption? We choose to seek out happiness.

Sometimes when we look for something we may just end up finding it. If we don’t look, we often forget about it and we are stuck just taking the loss. I would argue though, that as long as someone is looking for something, they have hope that they’ll find it.

If redemption leaves us without hope, isn’t the opposite also true? If we discover hope, we find redemption… even if it’s only a small amount.

So look happiness, and never stop. Regardless of whether we think we’ll ever find it again or not, if we’re looking for it we have hope. When hope is present, there’s not much need for redemption. Hope in and of itself is a form of redemption.

Having hope, finding redemption, signifies that we have reached a state where we can actively make better choices. We can make choices that will shake up our current conditions by giving us something to pursue and helping us move forward again.

When we’re stuck in one emotion, or in a cloud of negativity, one choice to seek out happiness can move us in another direction that leads to a more desirable destination than our current one.

By finding our own forms of personal redemption, we can seek out the joy in every part of our lives. Whether it be our careers, our marriages, our daily activities… we can all look for happiness which in turn will lead us to redemption.

At the end of the day, it’s really all a mindset. Redemption is just a process of getting a little better than where we are, despite not knowing if we’ll ever get back to where we were.

The small successes we find along the path to redemption, no matter how small, should not be taken for granted. It’s really the only thing that keeps us going forward.