Fearfully Wonderfully Me

Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

Tag: Johnny Cash

Walk the Line–A Story of Redemption

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(Image from Polyvore)

In Monday’s first post, I wrote about the movie Walk the Line (2005), while focusing on the love story between Johnny Cash and June Carter. This was an important element of the film. The unwavering commitment and grace Johnny and June had for each other can be seen as a metaphor for the love and loyalty God has toward His children.

Another major theme to this movie and the life of Johnny Cash is redemption. Although Johnny rose to fame and helped revolutionize music, he struggled deeply with drug addiction and a haunting past.

Like a lot of us, Johnny Cash had a troubled childhood. His family was poor and lived during the Great Depression. His older brother Jack died while he was young from a tragic accident at a sawmill. Johnny felt tremendous guilt and shame, which led him on a quest for music fame, and ultimately addiction.

I think we can all identify with Johnny Cash’s struggles. I can’t tell you how many Christians struggle with guilt and shame, but I bet it’s a lot more than half of us. I know I do–I am guilty of being guilty. Some of it is for past mistakes and sins, which I know is silly because the Bible says if I repent then I know I am forgiven (1 John 1:19).

I can also identify with Johnny Cash because I often feel guilty for things that are beyond my control. I suffered from verbal and physical abuse in my childhood by my father, and it took a toll. I love him, but he chose his feelings over my own. To this day he still puts some of the blame on me for not “letting it all go” and moving forward.

I did forgive him, and sometimes I find myself needing to forgive him more than once. However, I must put boundaries between us for my well-being and safety. I have told him this. I have also told him how to make me feel more safe. Here’s the thing that I am slowly learning: you can’t change people. You cannot make someone get help for his/her problems or take responsibility.

And you know what? We are not called to do that. We are only called to love them. I love my father very much. He is not a monster, but he has issues that prevent me from having much of a relationship with him. I pray for him everyday and have tried giving him encouragement.

Of course all situations are different. I am in no way telling you what to do if you have been a victim of abuse (and if you are, please get help from a trusted professional or counselor). In fact, this post really isn’t about my issues with my father.

This post is about redemption. I know that God can redeem my hurts and use them for good. In fact, the struggles and pain that I have faced have made me a better writer. And you know what? If I hadn’t gone through everything that I had gone through in my youth, then maybe I wouldn’t have found my way to Jesus.

We all go through things and struggle with sins, but we can still be forgiven! God can still take our situation and redeem us from our old broken lives. Redemption isn’t always a one time thing either. The more I read about Johnny Cash, the more I see how he had to go to rehab many times in his life for his addiction. He chose to let God work in him.

I’m also choosing to let God work in my life. I’m choosing to surrender my sin, my guilt, and my shame to Him. I’m choosing to give up all that I can’t control to the one who created the universe. I am choosing life, and I will keep choosing it everyday I’m allowed to walk on this planet. This is only the beginning of my story of redemption.

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful (Revelation 21:5 KJV).

 

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Walk the Line–A Love Story

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(Image from Polyvore)

If you’ve never seen the movie Walk the Line (2005), then you are missing out on a great film! It portrays the famous love story of Johnny Cash and June Carter.

Joaquin Phoenix (Johnny) and Reese Witherspoon (June) are superb actors and even do their own singing throughout the film. The movie really focuses on Johnny’s life and career, as well as his struggle and recovery from drug addiction. However, the love he shares with June is one of the main themes of the film.

If you ever watch one of those old Billy Graham crusades on TV, then you most likely will get to hear a performance by Johnny Cash and his wife, June. One night as I was flipping through TV channels, the unmistakable edge of Johnny Cash’s voice signing a hymn caught my attention. After listening to his duet with June, I listened to his message.

Johnny talked a lot about his struggle with drug abuse and addiction, and he also gave a sweet yet powerful testimony of how June helped him through it. I wish I remembered what episode I had seen, but I remember Johnny saying that he would never have gotten over his addiction if it were not for God.

He also said that his relationship with June would never had been saved if it were not for God’s help. This really touched me. Although Johnny and June’s relationship started out rocky, in the end they stayed together and weathered through life’s storms. If you have ever been in a difficult relationship, then you know how impossible that may seem to be.

Johnny and June chose commitment over convenience. They chose their marriage and their faith in God over what the world had to offer. Sure it took them quite a while, but in the end they worked it all out. And the Lord surely did bless their marriage and helped them to inspire people around the world.  In fact, when June died in 2003, Johnny passed away only a few months after.

I love how when Johnny proposes to June in the movie (spoiler alert!), he says, “you’re my best friend. Marry me.” They were a couple who had more than just feelings of love or lust. What Johnny and June had was commitment and an undying loyalty to each other. They were best friends. They rescued each other. They loved each other through the bad times.

This is exactly how God feels about us. He loves us and wants  to be loved by us. He has chosen us from the very start, and he wants you to know that He is your friend. Even when your world is falling apart, you can always count on Jesus to be there in the midst of it all.

The world isn’t easy. Sin and evil have corrupted almost everything–except for the truth and love of the Almighty God. 

They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.  Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth (John 17:16-17 NKJV). 

Sometimes as Christians, it can feel like we are “walking a line” in order to make God happy and to do the right thing. But what happens when we veer off that straight and narrow path? What happens when we screw things up?

No matter how hard we fall, whether it be to addiction, lust, doubt, or any other sin–God will always love us and forgive us. He has made a way for us to know Him and His goodness. Jesus wants you to surrender to Him, not so He can condemn you and make you feel bad, but in order for Him to free you from the chains of your old broken life.

[Just] as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,  having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:4-6 NKJV). 

********Stay tuned for Part Two of my Walk the Line series on Wednesday!*********

Thanks for reading! Please feel free to comment and share 🙂

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