At the OES convention last weekend, there was a Sunday morning church service that I attended. The minister invited to lead the service was from our local St. Andrews United Church. He did a a great job of the service and shared a very inspirational message. Part of his message included the following exercise, at the end of which, I found myself in tears. And I wasn't alone.
Place your hands in your lap and loosely cup them together.
Imagine if you will, a face in your hands. Picture you are holding the face of a person you know that needs your help. Hold that person in your hands and ask God to show what you can do to make a difference in that persons life.
Next, Picture the face of someone in your life that you are thankful for. The face of someone who has made a difference in your life. Hold that face in the palm of your hand and thank God for that person and the blessing of knowing them.
Lastly, Picture if you will, your own face in your hands. Think of a difficult time of your life, that perhaps you are ashamed of something you did or said. The burden of that shame weighs on you. Now give that guilt up to God and forgive yourself. He already has.
I found it to be a very moving component of the service. I tend to be very emotional anyways, but I was not the only person with moist eyes after that!
I immediately thought of Kayla's siblings and parents, as someone I want to help. Their lives are in turmoil and I want to do whatever I can to see them through the next few months.
I am most Thankful for the gift of my husband. Keith is one person in my life that I cant imagine I could live without. I am so blessed to have such an amazing man to share my life with.
As for the time in my life that I feel shame for, I have given that up to God. That doesn't mean that I can forget my mistakes, but am able to move forward and not be crippled by guilt. Carrying your mistakes around with you can be like a burden on your back and weigh you down so that you cant function. Christ took that burden from us when he died on the cross. I think it is equally important to remember to forgive each other. What a happier place the world would be if we could forgive more readily.