My small group
Last month I got to participate in a personal growth workshop called Heart Change. It was an experience that touched my heart deeply and drew me closer to my Father. We had a “graduation” last night where we had an opportunity to share what God is doing in us. I’d like to share with you what I wrote down to share (and which I did, more or less say out loud). We had a two minute timer, but I went a little long.
Heart Change Graduation:
“The biggest truth that I accepted at the workshop is that God loves me and he likes me. I was convinced of this through both the love from you all [speaking to my fellow participants and staff] and through the Holy Spirit. Thank you T and Jason and everybody for showing and sharing God’s love for me.
Another truth I accepted is that I can accept grace and I can deny condemnation… even for myself. I repeat this truth to myself often. I often actively accept His grace.
Also, God is not disappointed in me. He is lovingly leading me.
Lastly, playfulness does have value. Loosen up!
Second, I want to share what I am still struggling with. I am still struggling with the concept of suffering. How can God be our joy, our comfort and our refuge when He also calls us to take up our cross and follow Him?
I do not like suffering. I have an air conditioned house, for goodness sakes! My car even has air conditioning!
I have been encouraged to not give up, even when I don’t understand.
I keep grasping to know that God is real. If I believe that with my whole heart, then I can claim all of His promises without being held back by fear of suffering.
Here are some things I’m doing to hold onto God’s truths and respond to Him:
- I have been using the truths in my dagger to combat the lies I used to believe. (This is something we created during the workshop – mine says: “I am my Father’s beloved daughter. He thinks I am lovely and is pleased with me.” I found Scripture to back that up. Pretty awesome, huh?)
- I am exercising three times a week
- I am taking Prozac (super humbling for me, people!)
- I put up a poster in my kitchen that says, “Thank you God for…” that I can write on during the day
- I often think about God’s grace as a waterfall pouring over me, washing away the ropes of condemnation.
- I am (often) releasing the pressure of making decisions based upon whether people would be disappointed in me.
- We have started having 30 minutes of quiet time most evenings (just started this week) where we read the Bible, journal and pray. That has been really helpful.
- The last thing I’m going to do is write down memories of God’s real presence and influence in my life. I can use these like my “dagger” to serve as ammunition against the assailing thoughts about God’s existence.
And that was it! Thank you, Ian and Mac and T and Jason and Fay and Christina and Shelley and Surina and Brenda and Kaellie and Connie and Chris and Greg and Summer and Jackie and and and…. the list goes on and on. I met and got to know over fifty people during the workshop and was blessed by so many of them. Thank you, Lord for the sweetness of your love pouring out through your church. Bless them and encourage them, Father, just like you do me.
Oh – a song that is encouraging me right now: