What I have learnt through these characters lives in reading the book and working through it in a group setting has been life changing when seeing parts of each character within myself.
Here are just snippets of what I learnt about myself in this last year.
It was also good to receive feedback from others and their prayers.
- seasons of change are never easy especially if we didn’t ask for them. Relationships that haven’t been in our control to end or been rejected by those we thought were there to love support us, kids growing into adulthood and flown the coup, marriage breakup and reconciliation, loss of parent with alzheimer disease, death of friends and family.
- the grief of having no kids at home was a shock I wasn’t expecting to have. Pouring my life into raising them, to one day, have them to spread their wings and fly and start life on their own or as married couple. The joy of watching them make own decisions but at other times sad at some of the choices they had made. Moving away in distance and emotions has also been hard.
- have had to start my life over, meeting new people, choosing to let them see the real me, no masks on, what you see is what you get. Being transparent, learning to trust others, fear of them rejecting the real me, possibly being hurt by others because they don’t understand who I am.
- my identity has changed from who I use to be, eg I am still a wife and mother but there is so much more to me than just being labelled “mrs” or “ (my kids names) mum”.who I am in Christ, who I am as a person.
- God pruning and re shaping my Christian life to become more Christ like.
- People who are with me but don’t hear what I say
- laying aside letting go of the past but also having to work through it in order to move forward
- The unknown future to a known God who knows what’s ahead. Obedience, trust, faith, hope, love, blessings
- Enjoy the journey and having the time to know and experience God in my daily relationship with him. Not to be in a rush to move forward.
- The labrynth and things I learnt about myself – there will be many twists and turns and detours to try to get me of course but persevere show up it will all be worth it. There will be things that stop me in my tracks. They will be end to things I have been holding onto. Got to let them go. There will be things that need to be re-traced to go back and do again or explore different ways of doing things by taking a different route to get to the same destination. There will be things that lead me back to the centre to lean on God and trust in him during those time times. There will be the unexpected path that I have never walked before. There will be new things God wants to show me and I will reach the end to then begin another new journey, new things that await me. The courage to begin again. See new things from where I’ve been. To trust and obey God.
- different ways to pray
- Rejected by man but never by God.
- Speaking up in the truth and finding new confidence in speaking the truth.
- Seeking God and asking him to reveal the things that I need to know
- Humility is always the starting place for those who want to draw near to god, I can’t but God can!
- Control is the ultimate counterfeit of love you can’t have control and love at the same time, they are opposite forces.
- Being made malleable willing to be changed by God, taking time to listen to God
- The questions of “where are you staying ?” and “where are you going?” A very challenging thing to answer and took a lot of time to process.
- God sees everything and nothing is hidden from him he sees the hurt, the rejection, the pain, the hurtful words, the actions, the emptiness, the aloneness, criticism but he can change all that and turn it around.
- What is God’s expectations of you?
- It is impossible to disappoint God! God knows everything about me, my weaknesses, my frailty, my imperfections, sin and humanity. God does not have unrealistic expectations of me. God sees every detail of my life without condemnation or accusing me he is full of love and compassion and tender towards me.
- Guilt isn’t from God it is from Satan and it is called sin we need to bring sin to God receive forgiveness and move on because God has already forgiven you and forgotten it.
- exposing the darkness to the light, where there is light there is no darkness. Being honest and truthful sets us free.
- Spring reveal things that have been there but then the change happens with spring and new experiences that may not be the same as what we’ve had before healing and restoring the past
- God showing his love and his care and that he wants to be in relationship with us on a daily basis.
- Grief is like an amputation , everything familiar but you have to learn to reshape life without that limb that is missing and move ahead without it, whatever the grief is that we are letting go, that grief is the missing limb.
- When satan reminds you of your past, thank him and take it to God, he won’t stick around for the prayer party.
- Tears are the water of life at the womb breaking before the birth of something new.
- Fear is not from God so when we have fear we need to ask God what the fear is revealing about who we are and what we lack. We need to bring our fears into the light of God’s healing love offering them up to God as an expression of our weakness in our need for him. even our fears can become opportunities for encountering Jesus if we let them draw us closer to the Lord. The bible tells us to “fear not” 365 times.
- If we do not glimpse the pain our sin has caused God’s heart or to others then our repentance is still very self-centred.
- The emptying is preparation for receiving something else. it is freeing up sacred space to receive the new.
- only people who truly trust God can vent their anger at him. Hard pruning brings results. we can’t be lone ranges in life, we need to be fed in church where God can touch and heal us. we need other believers around us we also need to worship and encourage others. the very thing that you may have been avoiding exactly what you need even if it’s a struggle.
- We begin our journey to freedom when we go back to the places where we were spiritually emotionally mentally wounded but go with God’s presence and help and strength, no matter how frightening and messy it feels, God invites us to trust him.
the next book in this series is 2 steps forward which I will be doing in 2020