For the last several weeks college ministry has been using an amazing World Harvest curriculum to look at how when we grow in Christ, our awareness of what exactly it is He did for us on the cross grows at the same time as our awareness of our true selves. This week we talked about forgiveness, and how God gave us his forgiveness, but we sometimes have a problem accepting it.
Today, at small group, we studied an Andy Stanley message on forgiveness. It was powerful, and it presented the idea in a new light.
I know forgiveness is really about me. I know that holding on to resentments and angers and hurts holds me back. But Stanley says you should write down what it is you think you’re owed so you can get to the root of the anger. He stressed the anger, and that surprised me because I’ve always thought of it in terms of hurt.
But, he’s right. Ultimately the message is the same.
In the Old Testament, Abraham was on the verge of sacrificing his son for atonement. Thousands of years later God sacrificed His son to atone for my sins.
It’s amazing, really. And if I can’t forgive how can I expect to be forgiven?
Powerful lesson. One that led me to the realization that I have two characters in a book I’m revising that haven’t forgiven. They live in a world of anger and hurt and resentment, but not really. Because instead of facing their emotions, they’ve built these incredibly thick walls. By not facing the realities of the bad emotions, they’re missing the amazing blessing of the good emotions.
It was one of those a-ha moments.
I hope it helps my writing.
I submitted a partial to Love Inspired today. I enjoy the LI line, but this is something I’ve never seen there. It’s a Christian romance, though, so LI it is.There’s no taking the religion out of the book. The heroine’s life change is one of the driving forces of the story. Wish it well.
I’m also revising Prodigal. It made the agent rounds in the past, and I even got to the exclusive stage with one of the big agents out there, but it didn’t make the cut. I looking at it again, I see why (see a-ha moment above.).
I firmly believe God is in control. I don’t know if I would’ve seen the walls had I not been working so much with the college ministry, if I hadn’t spent hours listening to Frances Chan and Andy Stanley. Had we not been through the big, hurtful shakeup at the church.
Brian and I wouldn’t be involved in college ministry, something that has been life changing for us, had DD not gone to university in Huntsville. God is in control. And when we get off his path, He can even use our mistakes for His glory. Thank the Lord for that!
I’m going to hold fast to that knowledge as the cuts come down tomorrow. The news said up to 130 teachers and paraprofessionals will be cut this week. One of the teachers in my hall is moving to another campus next year because they’re letting a new teacher go. He got the news today. More teachers will get the news tomorrow. I’m praying for the teachers moving, for the ones losing their jobs, for the students, for everyone involved. Hopefully, I keep the knowledge that God’s in control forefront in my mind as the devastating effects of this budget cut become something more than rhetoric.