The last few years I’ve spent shoveling out a boatload of guilt and shame from my past as well as healing from the hurt I experienced through divorce. Part of that healing has included coming to grips with my own contribution in all that has transpired. Thus, learning to forgive myself has been one of my greatest challenges. Yet, in the process, my heart has begun to heal and I, like a sheep, am beginning to become aware of the Good Shepherd’s presence as never before.
These last couple years, I’ve experienced Jesus coming to sit, wait, listen, hurt, and cry with me as I’ve poured out my heart pain. As my ability to be aware of Him has increased, so has my ability to hear Him speak “life words” to me – truth about myself that I’ve never been able to believe – that I’m dearly loved, valuable, and enough. This is what has and continues to lead me to a healing place with Him and subsequently with myself and others. I am awed by Him.
Four years ago I didn’t think I could ever trust anyone again, much less God, which was worst of all. I never felt so alone and abandoned by Him. It has taken a long time for me to begin to trust Him again – or maybe trust Him for the first time. Do I still struggle? Yes, but He and I are building memories of His loving interaction with me as we encounter life – both the joys and the trials. In the hard places, I sense His presence. He, the Good Shepherd of our souls, is with me. That feels true and not just a mental affirmation. For this I am eternally grateful.
[an Immanuel Lifestyle student]