Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Are you Serious?

So I shared with you in my previous post that the speaker I was sitting under had us take out a piece of paper and ask God to show us who we needed to forgive.

I had my paper and asked God "the question" and oh boy. The names that came...some I had not thought about in YEARS. After a few minutes we were then told to rank those names from most severe hurt to least severe.

After that he had us move to the bottom of the page, write the name that we had ranked number 1 and then we were instructed to list every offense. After the offenses had been listed we were then to start saying "I forgive you for....." Getting specific and saying those things out loud moves it from the head to the heart.

Over the next few minutes that is what was going on this room. It was somewhat quiet, you could hear a few crying but mostly it was very still and quiet.

Until one lady asked a question. She was stuck and wasn't sure she could forgive herself. Our wise teacher knew that the reason she was giving wasn't the root of the problem.

We sat for what seemed like hours as this gentle teacher followed the leading of the Holy Spirit and walked her through the steps to forgive her mother, and herself.

I want you to know that we heard the walls coming down around her heart. We felt those chains coming off of her as she experienced the freedom that forgiving brings.

It was absolutely the most beautiful thing I've ever experienced.

As we left later that afternoon, I knew that my list was not complete. I knew that God was going to have me do more work. And we have. A lot of work.

For the last 8 years I have been desperate to know God more. I want it more than anything else. He has changed my tastes, my attitude, my desires, BUT...I am still in need of so much more.

I could not believe the amount of unforgiveness I was holding on to. I am ashamed of it. But oh the freedom that has come with letting so much of that junk go.

Was it easy? No way. Especially when some of it went back to high school!

Did it hurt? Yes. But the alternative of leaving that infected wound in my heart would have been worse.

Yesterday I began my post with this quote: "Purified hearts are worth the risk of a few harsh realities."

Over the last two weeks, I have faced some harsh realities about myself. I will not even pretend that I am anywhere near done with this...however.

I want you to know that the more I forgive, the more I hear Him speak. It is a precious thing that I want more of.

Right now, as I'm typing this I feel the nudge of the Holy Spirit to stop and go back to the list. So that is where I am headed. I know that I am going to do some hard work in the next few minutes but you know what?

I agree that a purified heart is worth the risk of a few harsh realities. If this is what it takes to have a purified, clean, uninfected heart...then let's do it.


Leah Adams said...

I so agree. Right now He is working on purifying me in different, but just as necessary ways. I just pray that I cooperate and He doesn't have to take me to the woodshed!!


Heather C said...

Awesome. I'm so thankful that He's patient with us... lovingly revealing the things that need to change and then nudging in that direction... I'm thankful that His power is made perfect in my weakness. Oh, so thankful!

Heather said...

Steph- Thank you so much for sharing this. I can totally see the spiritual value in doing! I am saying a prayer for you as you continue on with God in it. Thanks for loving Him and sharing it with all of us!

Emily said...

Wow Stephanie, this post has me thinking. I wonder if I have some areas of unforgiveness that I am not aware of. Probably so. Thinking back to highschool where I made so many of my poor choices and had a lot of hurt, I am really going to give this some thought. Thanks for sharing and may God continue this work in you!

Fran said...

I couldn't agree more. I'm going to make a list Stephanie. I'm going to see where my heart goes.

I love ya and thank you for this teaching.


Still Learning said...

Your last few posts have been so powerful... I did something like that once last year. Boy was it freeing. Kinda like taking out the "emotional trash" right?