What if you worked on building a relationship with your father? My mentor prompted.
She may as well have stood me in front of Grand Canyon and casually asked me to cross to the other side.
I was on a Cru Summer Mission Trip on South Lake Tahoe, and my Lifegroup leader. suggested that I pursue forgiving my dad. I had shared my story with her and told her how my dad left my mom, sister, and I.
He had an ugly affair and end up moving away. The time we spend together throughout my childhood is mostly an angry blur of yelling and crying. His words and deeds became imprinted on my heart as „You are unworthy. You are a failure. No one like you.”
On the Summer Project, Jesus began to give me a new identity. „Chosen, Love, Saved by Grace, ” he called me. My lifegroup leader helped me to see that forgiving me dad was the next step I need to take.
At this point, I thought I knew how to forgive . I regularly pardoned minor offenders: my friend cancelling our coffee date at the last minute, my roommate leaving her dirty socks on the floor, a stranger cutting my off in traffic. I could sing ” Amazing Grace „, with the best of them. My go-to techniques were to excuse explain, and minimise in order to make the sin easier to forgive. The track in my head went something like ” Oh , they didn’t mean to hurt my feelings. It was an accident. It was really that bad.” However, forgiving my dad felt too big , too personal, and those strategies wouldn’t work for me anymore.
Clearly I couldn’t forgive on my own strength. Enter Jesus, to rock my mindset as usual. Jesus gently remained me off all that I’d been forgiving for. I couldn’t see that my dad and I were on the same: neither of us had any hope apart from Christ ‘s mercy. Instead of logically explaining away my dad’s sin, Jesus asked me to lay it at the cross. I stopped trying to make it less. I let the sin be big. And let God’s mercy’s be bigger. What my dad had done hurt. It was not how God designed his Kingdom to operate. However, Jesus had taken care of it, along with my mistakes , when He died on the cross .
This freed me up to take practical steps towards reconciliation with my dad. First I prayed for him. Simple things like ” God bless my dad today ” .I called him regular basis. I shared meals with him. I brought him coffee at work. Soon I started to actually enjoy our time together. On his birthday I give him a gift that even a college student could afford: a letter, in it, I explain how his actions had hurt me , but how Jesus had halted me. Ultimately I told my dad that I forgive him. I told him that I love him. Today, we have a positive relationship, I sincerely cherish the day that we get to spend in each other’s company . What I thought was impossible, Jesus made possible with his mysterious, scandalous, grace.
Life can be messy. Slowly you learn to hide the mess inside, where no one else can see. Just you. And don’t forget to smile. They ‘ re watching.
I put my trust in Jesus to save my back in 2003. Despite this, I had a lot of lost, emotion chaos, pride and fear that was so rooted in me, and I hid it all. But I thought I could balance my dark thought life with a super bright outward life, so I formed a resume to prove it.
I was a top student, head girl perfect, involved I Christian clubs, in sports, the whole lot.
I did have a genuine relationship with God, but they were areas of my mind that I thought. He couldn’t handle. So instead of a burden of guilt…. and masking smile.
When I put my trust in Jesus years ago, I knew I had received that gift. But in 2008 , I heard more about this grace that completely changed my understanding. For the first time, I genuinely understood that at the cross, where Jesus died for my sin, everything that’s wrong with us was put on Jesus, and Jesus perfection was put on us.
Later down the road, God helped me to share my struggles with others Christians who prayed hard for me and I saw God deliver me in a mighty way. I learn that His grace can handle all of me . And each day God continues to shape my heart as I experience and understand more deeply His approval and unchanging love for me in Christ.
Student life Cru’s ministry is the UK , has helped me grow in this and shared the same freedom with others.
The truth of God ‘s love displaces the lies in my mind, I now I can really say I am free in Christ….. and really smile to!
Once a group of 50 people were attended a seminar. Suddenly the speaker was stopped and decided to do a group activity. He started to give each attendee one balloon.
Each one was asked to write his/her name on it using a marker pen. Then all the balloons were collected and put in another room.
Now this delegate were let in to the room and asked to find the balloon which had their name written with 5 minuets. Everyone was frantically searching for their name, colliding with each other, pushing around others and there was utter chaos.
At the end of 5 minuets no one could find their own balloon. Now each one was asked to randomly collect a balloon and give to their person whose name was written on it. Within minutes everyone had their own balloon.
The speaker then began. „This is happened in our life. Everyone is frantically looking for happiness all around, not knowing where it is.
Our happiness lies in the happiness of others people. Give them their happiness, you will get your happiness. And this is the purpose of human life…… the pursuit of happiness!”
An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employers- contractor of his plans to leave the house-building business to live a more leisurely life with his wife and enjoy his extended family.
He will miss the paycheck each week, but he wanted to retire, they could get by.
The contract was sorry to see his good worker go & asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favour. The carpenter said yes, but over time was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end a dedicated career.
When the carpenter finished his work, his employer came to inspect the house, then he handed the front-door key to the carpenter and said,” This is your house….. my gift for you ”
The carpenter was shocked!
What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently.
So it is with us. We build our lives, a day at the time, often putting less than our best into the building. Then , with a shock , we realise we have to live in the house we have built. If we could do it over, we would do it much differently.
But, you cannot go back. You are the carpenter and every day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Someone once said.” Life is a do-it-yourself project.” You attitude, and the choices you make today, help build the house you will live tomorrow.
Therefore, build wisely!
. A well known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill. In the room of 200, he asked ” Who would like $20 bill?”
Hands started going up.
He said ” I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this.” He proceeded to crumple the dollar bill up.
He then asked „Who still want this?”
Still the hands were up in the air.
„Well ” he replied,” Who if I do this?” And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe.
He picked it up, now all crumpled and dirty.” Now who still wants it?” Still the hands went to the air.
” My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson. . No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted because it did not decrease in value, it was still worth $20.
Many times in our life, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decision we make and the circumstances that come our way.
We feel as though we are worthless. But not matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value. You are special- Don’t ever forget it!
. There was a man who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn not to judge too quickly. So he sent them each on a quest, in turn, to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away.
The first son went to the winter, the second in spring, the third in summer, and the youngest son in the fall.
When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe what they had seen.
The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent, and twisted.
The second son said- it was covered with green buds and full of promise .
The third son disagreed, he said it was laden with blossoms that smell so sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful thing he had ever seen.
The last son disagreed with all of them; he said it was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfilment.
The man then explained to his sons the they were all right, because they had each seen but one season in the tree’s life.
He told them that you cannot judge a tree, or a person, by only one season, and that the essence of who they are- and the pleasure, joy, and love that come from the life- can only be measured at the end, when all the season are up.
If you give up when it’s winter, you will miss the promise of your spring, the beauty of your summer, fulfilment of your fall.
Don’t judge a life by one difficult season, don’t let the pain of one season destroy the joy of all the rest.