“Knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” – 2 Peter 1:20-21 (This was our memorization verse for this past week)
This past week we went over Foundations, taught by Taylor, a staff member here on base. It was all fairly basic, and mostly stuff I knew….in my head.
Day one we went over truth, some history of the bible, why there is a bible, and why these foundations are so important. We went over the concept of open hands. With open hands one can receive things from God. And with open hands, one can have things taken away by God. We went over truth a little deeper.
Day two was going over God’s Character vs. His Nature. (Things such as omnipotent [all powerful], omniscience [all knowing], omnipresent [all present] He is Spirit, he’s person he’s Trinity, etc…) After going through his Nature, Taylor had the ones we went over on pieces of paper, and we walked around the room until we went to one that we wanted to know about, or think about. Later we did the same thing with the Nature’s of God
Day three was Value and Design. Through this day we went over creation. How God made people, and how he loves us. And how we can love him, whether it’s through prayer, hearing, reading the bible or praising him.
Day four started to rock our world. Taylor spoke about sin. The command not to eat, the temptation to know good and evil and the fall of man and the destructiveness of sin, which leads to death. And some stuff in between. And then our lives took a turn. Taylor said that we were going to speak out the sin, hurts, hates, shames and sorrows that we needed freedom from.
To back track a little. I remember (when I was here in Belize in July) a staff member mentioned how they asked students to share their shameful stuff. And they don’t tell them, because they don’t want them to worry or fret about it. Knowing all this, I figured it would be week three or four before we had to confess our deep dark secrets. Therefore, I was caught completely off guard when she announced it was confession time.
Two hours later (and nearly going through five soggy tissues) I didn’t have the gumption to go up, though I could feel the nudge of the spirit in me, prompting me to go up. We took a break for lunch but I stayed at my Casita, trying to get over the lies that my mind couldn’t get rid of. I felt as if there was a root of lies that were so embedded in the ground that nothing could ever get rid of it. I don’t think I’ve ever been through something so dark, and so ugly before. I finally went and talked with my awesome girl leader, Katie. We had the rest of the afternoon and evening off, so I had a little over twelve hours to figure out whether to run or not.
So Today, day five, our confession time continued. I waited and waited and waited. I’m not one who likes to go last, but I couldn’t get myself to go up. Finally, Katie came to me and said that it was my last chance to go up. Praise God she came up with me, otherwise I don’t think I could have done it. I have never felt more scared, or fearful. Sitting in the chair of shame, I told my fellow class mates that I was about to proclaim of victory, that while I did view it as the chair of shame, I was about to be victorious from all that held me down.
Long story short, I’ve had several occasions where I was hurt by others, and instead of blaming them, or God, I placed the blame on myself. I thought I could have fixed it, that I wasn’t good enough, that I should have been braver to speak up with the truth. I labeled myself a liar and thought that’s who I was. Someone who would never be confident in who they were, because they would always do something wrong. Someone who messed up. Someone who ran from her problems. Someone who was full of shame, so many lies and ugliness, that a loving God could never go deep enough to dig out that root that was buried all the way to the time I was a little girl.
And before my friends, I declared that I was not a liar. I have no need to be ashamed of the past. I was not to blame for the hurt that others caused. I am forgiven for every time I lied, or blamed myself. I am loved by God. And I proclaimed that I would be victorious, that I am victorious.
And the journey is not done. But with God, and this family he’s placed me with for three months, I will continue to walk through the valley’s I’m bound to go through. I’m so thankful for the courage to step up, admit I’m not perfect, and proclaim that it has no place in my life. And in doing so, it frees me, it makes me feel so much more alive, because no one judges me by my past, but loves me even more.
Through all of this, I want to be sure that I give God the Glory for all he has done. Through him I am free. Through him I am alive. Through him I’m not the person I thought I was. He’s the one who sets the captives free. He’s the one who builds up the broken.
“To the only God, our Savior and through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” Jude 1:25