As I child, attending a Baptist church, I understood REDEMPTION to mean the same as “being saved” which, in turn, meant, “taking Jesus into my Heart” and by doing so, my SINS were forgiven and I could go to Heaven when I died. I never felt good about this understanding because I never trusted that I’d truly taken Jesus into my heart. I knew I was being “bad” at times, so never felt assured I was forgiven.
Now, REDEMPTION for me is about Grace and self-acceptance. Being Redeemed is about recovering that part of myself that is loved and loving: forgiving myself and others, not so much for some awful action as much as an acknowledgement and acceptance of simply being human. Redemption means trusting that whether I succeed or fail in my effort to be more loving, LOVE is always there. Because of this I can acknowledge my failures, accept and forgive myself, move forward, and keep striving to experience and show love.
This understanding did not come all at once for me. It has and continues to be an ongoing process and comes from different experiences.
I left the church at 20 and never returned until I was 42. During a time of emotional pain, I began searching within and outside myself for more understanding. At times I felt a need to “be absolved” not always for specific actions, but a general sense of not doing or being what was “good”. I cannot even say “WHO” I wanted to absolve me. I began therapy, attending this church and reaching out to others for help and support. Acknowledging NEED, was a major part of this journey: I could not do it alone. Being in a loving relationship teaches me much; being in supportive communities supports Hope
I feel redeemed when I feel Loved: Loving of others and Hopeful. For me it is not about a doctrine of being “saved” or rules about what one must do. It is not a one-time experience, but rather a lifetime process, that thankfully happens again and again.