Wednesday, September 1, 2010

YES to GOD Study: Surrendering the Secret/Week 5

Welcome, to 
on Wednesday.

Last Wednesday, my husband Gene had his 4th back surgery. I was in Omaha with him until Friday afternoon and now home helping him recover. I'll share with you this Friday the cool thing God did in a separate post, otherwise I'd be writing a book today.

This Yes to God study of Pat Layton's book, Surrendering the Secret 

has by far been the toughest for me to tackle.
And if you're anything like me, then when you don't want to deal with something you just stuff it. Over the last month of "leading" this study I have exchanged excuses for blogging. Some big things have happened, but I still committed to doing this with Jennifer and I have in no way done my part. If we were doing this in real life, I probably would have stopped showing up for the meetings. Because for a short period of time, when you stuff something so far down in your heart you can pretend that it's gone away. Until something happens to remind you of your secrets. Not a fun way to live.
So, no more excuses, no more avoiding the STS book, let's just let God get to it. 

SESSION 5: FORGIVENESS: A Giant Step Toward Freedom
Anything in blue is a quote from the book.

On the 3rd page of this session Pat has a section called: 
Objectives for this Session
*Increase openness to the concept of forgiveness
*Recognize what true forgiveness is an is not
*Understand the benefits of forgiveness and the consequences of not forgiving
*Separate the conscious choice of forgiving from our emotions
*Verbalize an understanding of God's forgiveness in our own lives

Then she wrote this...Put the burden of resentment in God's hands. Holding on to anger and unforgiveness is like drinking poison and waiting for someone else to die from its effects. 

I've never thought until this study that I've never forgiven myself for my horrible choice and how that has effected my life. I'm drinking in my own poison and it's effecting so many areas of my life.

One of the things Pat does is tells us what forgiveness isn't...
Forgiveness is
NOT forgetting.~Forgiveness does not imply amnesia.
NOT minimizing the hurt.~Forgiveness calls the violation what it is just as an umpire calls what he sees.
NOT necessarily mean reconciliation.~Forgiveness recognizes that reconciliation may be neither possible nor wise following an abortion.

At the end of the session, Pat addresses forgiving yourself.
It's common for post-abortive women to feel that while God has forgiven them, they need to forgive themselves. But the Bible never identifies the need to forgive ourselves. The key is not forgiving yourself but accepting God's forgiveness. 

I always make things about myself and yet Pat clearly is telling me, "Once again Lelia, stop making this about YOU. This is about really accepting God's grace and forgiveness."
When we as Christ-followers say, "I know God can forgive me, but I can't forgive myself," we are elevating our ability to forgive over God's ability. True healing and freedom only occur when we can accept the forgiveness God so graciously wants to give each of us. In not completely accepting God's forgiveness, you're essentially buying the lie that Christ's sacrifice on the cross was not sufficient to cover your abortion.

Can you even imagine standing at the foot of the cross back when Jesus was actually on it?
You've just watched Him get beaten beyond recognition, spit on and made fun of  by some dirty soldiers.
You've stood by in horror watching as they nailed his broken, bruised and bleeding body to the cross.
You watch as His helpless mother prays over her dying Son.
And then you walk up to His bloodied feet, look up to Him and wait until you have His attention and say
 "Not enough, Jesus. This isn't enough to pay for all I've done and will do. You got anything else?"

I think His mother Mary would've found the strength to take you out herself.
It sounds crazy, but this is what we all do when we don't accept His forgiveness.
What He allowed to happen to Him on that cross was, is and always will be enough for us.
More than enough. 
Our sins, no matter how big or small, were covered that day and continue to have complete coverage.
We just have to accept His forgiveness so our healing can begin.
Like Paul penned many moons ago...His grace is sufficient enough.

Please visit the lovely Jennifer for her insight to session 5. 
And visit the author, Pat at her blog, Surrendering the Secret.
Come back by in a few days, I have an amazing story about what God did last week.
He is just so worth this journey!



Jeanies Heavenly Treasures said...

Hello Lelia,

I looked for your email address (I know I use to have it). Girl....we need to talk! Stop by my web site and read a little bit there. Abortion is very much near and dear to me! Here is my email address:
Please, delete this message after you get it.
I miss you on facebook! :)


Rachel Olsen said...

Praying he is recovering quickly and fully. And for no more pain.

Also, that you are hanging in there as the caregiver. May Jesus fill you both up at this time!

Hugs ~ Rachel