By C.J., Student at August school in Clear Lake, IA

Trisha said something along the lines of “we believe more in the message a hurt person gave us more than we do in the truth” and it was like God asked me if I would exchange those hurtful words from my mom for the truth that He loves me, that I am loved, and lovable.

I feel like I need to share at least some of what Father has done this week for me, but it’s not as easy as I thought it would be.  I’m not really sure what I was expecting when I came, maybe I hadn’t really even thought about it, I just knew I was supposed to be here.  By the end of the first day I was wondering what I had gotten myself into, since much of what was shared in the sessions that day uncovered memories and emotions from my childhood I had worked really hard to forget and leave behind.  The second day was very similar, except that the Holy Spirit really started bringing to my mind memories specifically related to my dad’s death and some things that happened with my mom as a result.  I really felt like I had dealt with all of that completely before, but as the day went on I started to realize that there was still a lot of pain that I hadn’t acknowledged.

On to Wednesday with the father issues, and when Dave stood in for my earthly father and asked forgiveness, I don’t even know what happened, but something broke.  I was not expecting or planning on crying, but the tears came anyway.  And when he spoke words of life it was like I was hearing what I had longed to hear from my dad my whole life but never had.  Then came the session on mother issues and again during the ministry time God started a really deep work in my heart that I can’t find the words to express what was happening, but at the end of that this really huge barrier that had been preventing me from being able to receive Father’s love was gone.

So yesterday during the mother issues session, Trisha said something along the lines of “we believe more in the message a hurt person gave us more than we do in the truth” and it was like God asked me if I would exchange those hurtful words from my mom for the truth that He loves me, that I am loved, and lovable.  And I did that and thought that would be the end of it.  Until small groups today when I felt like God asked me if I was willing to be vulnerable in order to receive comfort for that wound.  I don’t like talking about stuff that is that painful and its hard for me to think that its ok to share something like that with anyone – I guess I have a me and God attitude most of the time.  Anyway, I started to share and it just turned into this amazing experience – painful, draining, exhausting, but so healing and freeing and being able to forgive and leave it at the cross.  And when it was all over I felt like my emotions were free – like I was more free to smile, laugh, and cry, which is a major breakthrough for me.

And that would be what God has done so far this week in my heart and life.  I’m looking forward to more as the process continues.

– C.J. – Student in the August Father’s Embrace school in Clear Lake, IA