Hello! I’m Brandy, your study leader this week. Yay!
You know what’s so encouraging to me? How brave you are. Yes, friend, you! Forgiveness can be hard to understand, let alone live out! Your first two weeks of the study may have been filled with painful memories and surprising emotions. But you’re here, and you’re open to talking to God. It’s a small step toward healing. I’m proud of you!
So far, we’ve learned what forgiveness is and that it’s possible to embrace it. This week Lysa TerKeurst shares where to start on our forgiveness journey: our past. On page 72 of Forgiving What You Can’t Forget, she says this:
“The things marking us from yesterday are still part of the making of us today.”
Anyone else good at ignoring and minimizing life’s events? I’m right there with you. Doing all of that doesn’t make it go away, though, does it? We have to process our past to eventually heal from it. You know what else? It’s okay if we need to reach out to others for help.
In fact, in this week’s video, Lysa and Senior Manager of Ministry Studies Kendra Schwarz talk about seeking help when needed. And they even discuss the benefits of a Christian counselor if that’s something you’re on the fence about. Check it out!
Here are instructions to access closed captioning AND the video transcripts if you need them!
Ouch! Like Lysa and Kendra, I definitely have a shame script I repeat over and over. You know what, though? Our Verse of the Week gives us a clue about how to rewrite that script:
“We know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Romans 5:3–5, NIV).
Do you see it? It’s hope. Paul says hope does not put us to shame. It can also encourage us on our forgiveness journey. Remember when Lysa said forgiveness is both a process and a decision? The decision may be immediate, but the process takes much longer. Hope is what we can pray for and hang on to in the meantime.
And what if you aren’t feeling so hopeful? Know that it’s okay to not be okay. You’re here, and that’s your small step for today. As you continue to read, Lysa will gently guide you to take another small step when you’re ready.
One more thing before I go: Remember to check out the Study at a Glance if you haven’t already. This resource will show you what’s happening each week of the study. So many opportunities to learn and get support are available for you.
STUDY AT A GLANCE
Praying for you!
Heart to Heart:
Processing our past experiences can be hard, but the healing is worth it! What’s one verse you can meditate on this week to encourage you as you start the process?