When You Want to Hide Your Family History

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I read through His Words — unravel the ancient stories — and I’m uncomfortable.  More and more.

There’s relief knowing my spiritual ancestors avoided the perfection game… ignored the game I unsuccessfully played for years.  But sometimes, when I’ve had enough of this modern drama,  I dream that things might not have always been this way.

But they have.

From the first moment woman believed her Maker didn’t fully love her, we’ve danced with brokenness.  We avoid it.  Run after it.  Ignore it.  Foster it.  At least I do.

I wish I could find an anchor of strength from the ancient men and women.  Instead, I find lessons in their raggled and wrinkled stories.  Lessons are hard to learn when your magnifying glass is really a mirror.

I struggle to reconcile my Maker’s lineage is born from Jacob.  Jacob, the Deceiver.  Jacob, the favorite son of his mother.  Jacob, the man who married Leah only to marry her sister a week later.

Ponder Leah’s pain.  Ponder watching your younger sister love your husband.

Ponder physical intimacy with a man who didn’t love you in the least. Imagine the embarrassment and shame Leah knew when alone with her husband.

Ponder welcoming your younger sister into the marriage. I’m sure Leah tasted resentment. Probably choked on it every day.

This is Leah’s story. This is the awful truth.  God didn’t edit it out of His Word — out of His family tree.  I really wish He had.

No, instead, the Author keeps the brokenness right there to reveal a coming Restorer.  He knew we’d need to be reminded of that.  Knew our pain would drive us deeper into searching for Someone.  As my spiritual ancestors seem less and less like heroes, less like role models, the Love Story becomes about Him again.

The story we are to live and write doesn’t truly begin until we face what we have lost and then turn to see the horizon of uncertainty ahead, Dan Allendar writes.  Our story will gain momentum and depth only to the degree that we honestly embrace both loss and fear.  Whether it be our own flaw or the sin of others, God uses the raw material of sin to create the edifice of his redeemed glory.  This point cannot be overemphasized: your plight is also your redemption.

So I reach out my fragments to Him as an offering.  It almost feels like a dare.  “Take this, God, and restore this.  Redeem this.”  But it’s what I’m wooed to do.  It’s what’s been modeled for me — dwell amidst the mess and brokenness and then look to the One who can heal it all.

It’s a painful way to worship.  But the healing might be all the more beautiful.

(To study the full mess, read Genesis 29-30:24.)

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