Papa’s Girl.

Redemption

20190928_144737By Stephanie Rochelle Redd

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” ~ 1 John 3:1-3, NKJV

If I was Julia Child, I’d give you a recipe for a casserole. If I was my Aunt Von, I’d give you a recipe for sweet potato pie. Maybe. If I was Oprah, I’d give you your own culinary school. But I’m me, and I can only give you what I got. And what I got are ingredients for digesting cereal serial heartbreak, thanks to a dollop of tear-stained experience with a pinch of hard-won wisdom mixed in.

Surrender. Instead of fighting against the tide (that is, the sovereign will of God and the freewill of others), we can choose to give in and give our freewill, attachments, and broken hearts to the One who calms the raging seas within and around us. (Mark 4:39-41)

Divine order. Yes, individuals and incidents break our hearts, yet – in the God scheme of things – this breaking provides breakthrough to better versions of ourselves, living our best lives. (Romans 8:26-31)

Forgiveness. We can accept who and what hurt us as ‘human’ when we acknowledge that no matter how hurtful humans can be, we are ultimately loved and cared for by a superhuman God a.k.a. Papa. (Genesis 50:15-21)

Faith. Faith is trusting God to heal our hearts His way, i.e. attached to Him, rather than desiring Him to heal our hearts our way, i.e. attached to someone else. (John 15:1-8)

No, my ingredients list is not extensive, but it is exhaustive and, for that matter, exhausting–especially when I try to shake and bake – and manipulate – in my own strength. Further, it’s a hard meal to swallow when we get what we want and we’re still hungry because, aside from what we wanted, what we needed was God all along and all alone.

Thus, the heartbreak.

In order for God to position Himself as *Steffany Gretzinger voice* the King of our hearts, our stubborn attachments to others forces Him to forcibly remove whoever we put in His royal place. However, when we make God “BAE” and put Him before anyone else, then He will make us whole and put everything else in its rightful place in our lives.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” ~Matthew 6:33, NKJV

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Three books are better in one!

Books

front cover

by Stephanie Rochelle Redd

Fear would have us believe that our flaws are our curses when, in faith, they are the foundation of our callings by which we can bless others and, ultimately, ourselves.

That written, I can’t tell you how many days and nights I cried, how many heavy breaths I sighed, and how many times I berated my brain and heart and beat myself up for being a “Head-Smart/Heart-Dumb Girl”.

English, algebra and social studies–A, A, A.
Dating, relationships and self-love–F, F, F.

I was so F’ing tired of flunking life’s classes on love that I didn’t know what to do. Until one night – prompted by my and a guy’s discourse, which would’ve surely led to me failing another love-course – something within me clicked and I heard myself say:

“You know what? I’m going to write a book. And I’m going to call it, Just Because He Says You’re Beautiful…”

True story.

That was six years ago. Little did I know that that book was just Part 1 of my story. In the time since then, I’ve learned a lot more, which is not to say that I’ve learned it all–hence, Parts 2 and 3.

More Heart-Dumb mistakes? Check.
More excruciating heartache? Check.
More lessons to teach the masses and myself? Double check.

The Apostle Paul was another person who made a lot of mistakes. He caused and suffered his share of disheartening experiences. What’s more, he wrote several books’ worth of lessons to share with the masses. Moreover, Paul shared a personal lesson about the proverbial “thorn” in his side.

“Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.” ~2 Corinthians 12:8, NKJV

What was the Lord’s prescription for Paul’s pain, you ask?

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” ~2 Corinthians 12:9, NKJV

Ouch.

At first glance, God’s response to Paul may appear more on the side of tough than love. But with a second look, we see that God’s grace not only soothed Paul’s pain, but saved him from his own self-righteousness so that he could rest assured on the righteousness of God–the only One whose righteousness has been cross-tested and Christ-approved.

And guess what? God’s grace and Self-sacrificial righteousness can soothe our thorny issues too. (Even if those “issues” can be transcribed into multiple volumes.)

So, by the grace of God and the goodness of His righteousness, I offer you the ‘thorn in my flesh’ in the form of this book. It contains prickly points I wish I had known sooner, practiced more recently and pray I won’t repeat–again.

Being perfect is one thing; being “perfected” by the love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ is another.

While our thorns may be tenacious and our flaws a fact, I believe in the power of prayer, surrender and the name of Jesus to break every chain over our lives. Thus, I don’t mind being a Head-Smart/Heart-Dumb Girl as long as God says that I am “The Head” Head-Smart/Heart-Dumb Girl and not the tail. (Amen, somebody.)

So, go tell somebody – on the mountain, in the valley or at the summer school nearest you – that there’s hope for the hopeless romantic and help for Head-Smart/Heart-Dumb girls and women everywhere.

Click here to learn more and purchase a copy of Parts 1-3: Things Every Head-Smart/Heart-Dumb Girl Should Know. Live! Love! Learn!