As the summer begins to come to a close college students across the country came together to experience a deep time of worship in New Mexico at Glorieta Camp. During the week God was uncovering dark spots in hearts, equipping students for campus, and refreshing minds. Here is an article on what God did in the life of a student during Glorieta.
Leading up to Glorieta, I prayed that God would prepare our hearts for the work He was going to do in our lives… and work He did. In the main services we attended within the first two days, I felt that there was an extreme emphasis on the importance of forgiveness and forgiving those in our lives who have wronged us, but I didn’t want to listen to what my Abba was telling me during our Monday night worship service. I felt Him speaking to my heart,
“My daughter, don’t you understand the freedom that comes from forgiving others? I have forgiven you every time you have wronged me, now do the same.”
“No, God! I can’t! I’ve been hurt and humiliated, my wounds are too deep to be healed. I can’t just let go. They don’t deserve to be forgiven.”
“And you think you deserve my forgiveness? I paid the price for your freedom, for everyone’s freedom. You’ve wrestled with this for far too long. You’re living your life in misery and anger. Give it to Me, let Me take it off of your shoulders and show them My love through your forgiveness.”
“God, I asked You to prepare me for this week. I’m not prepared for this! I’ve built my identity around not forgiving these people and everyone knows that. I’m not ready to give this up.”
“What your identity is now is false. Your identity should be in Me. With Me, all things are possible, and I will help you in this.”
The last song ended, but my argument with God didn’t. We were headed back to the dorms where we were meeting the rest of our group for a sort of check-in to see what God was doing in our lives. With every step I took, I felt like I was going to fall on my face and begin to weep, and cry out to God. But I didn’t want to draw any more attention to my already puffy, red cry-face. Another group had taken over where we had planned to meet and as more of us continued to show up and discuss where we would go instead, and I wandered off in the middle of some grass and just bawled like a baby. My conversation with God continued,
“God, I told You I’m not ready, but I fear I’ll never truly be ready. You promise freedom and forgiveness if I forgive as well. I know there are going to have to be some huge changes in my life, which I hate, but You promise to stay by my side through it all. So, despite the hurt they’ve caused me, the pain, the embarrassment, the feelings of inadequacy and ugliness, I can say that through You, I forgive them. I forgive them.”
And with that, I felt like I could breathe again, like God was finally raising the anchor that had been weighing me down for the last 5+ years. I told my leader, “I feel like I can really breathe again!” I felt my walls of straw and sticks be blown down and the first brick was laid toward building my identity in Christ. I went into our meeting and shared what had just happened. Everyone began clapping… I was so confused. I knew that what had just happened was huge, but I didn’t understand or realize why and how this part of my testimony had an effect on everyone around me. But of course, there’s someone in nearly everyone’s life that is hard to forgive. Throughout the rest of the week, I was told on several occasions that my story had softened some hard hearts, and that it was a privilege to see what God was doing in my life, and I was asked how I did it when there was so much hatred for other people (credit goes to God). I must say though, forgiveness is not a one-time thing, it’s a process. These situations are constantly brought back up again, as well as the emotions, and I have to remind myself that I forgave them. Some days are going to be easier than others. But, the freedom I have felt since Monday the 3rd of August, 2015, has been overwhelming. I’m no longer a prisoner to my own un-forgiveness. The harbored anger, rage, grudge, and revenge-like attitude are no longer taking up that space in my heart that was preventing me from worshipping my Abba with my whole heart.
If there are people in your life that you need to forgive, but you don’t know how, just think of how many times we have sinned against God, yet how He has forgiven us time and time again. Strive to be more like Him, and know the freedom, and the peace that comes with it.
Thank you SO much to those of you who have prayed with me, encouraged me, and loved me unconditionally for the last several years, and especially during our week at Glorieta. You know who you are, and this wouldn’t have been possible without you and God. I hope that someday I can be at least somewhat as kind to you and those around me in return.
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”