I finished Beth Moore's devotional "Breaking Free" today. It's a 10 week study, and yet I started it with Ann in the fall. It took me a whole school year to get through it. It was difficult. This is the first study that I've done that made me cry, made me hurt in remembering past sins and junk, and allowed me to heal. I've cried through many of the studies, and been convicted and challenged to dig into my past and let God heal me of the insecurities and wounds that have been hidden and pushed aside. Through Beth's guidance in reading the Scriptures, I saw how much God loved me - it was as if I was seeing it for the first time again, with new eyes.
I think sometimes, when you've been a believer for so long, you forget about God's grace and love. Serving becomes more like a chore, and you just don't spend time to relax in God's presence anymore. I think that's what I lost sight of for the past couple of months. But God used this study to break my heart, and to allow me to see what I was missing out on - a truly intimate relationship with Him.
A lot of past insecurities were drawn out during this study - my insecurities with body image, in relationships with other people, in my relationships with guys, with struggling to love myself. It was very difficult, and sometimes I definitely felt weary and ready to give up. What am I fighting for? Is it really worth it?
God showed me through this study that it is worth it. Walking with Him is difficult, and the path is narrow, but He is enough.
Today was the last section, and Beth shared a story about her girls, when they were young. They would often cling to her and ask her to play with them. It was heartwarming, and she talked about how when the battle gets rough and we feel so weary and burnt out, all we have to do is cling to God. He is, after all, our Heavenly Father. If our own parents will give up what they have to help us (in any way) - how much more will God do for us? So often, the part I miss and fail on is calling out to Him. When I'm weary, I tend to just push ahead on my own, leading to mistakes and burn out, and feeling further away from Him.
All He wants is for me to draw closer to Him and to call out for Him to help me. He's always willing - am I willing to trust Him and fall into His arms?
I've definitely got a lot to learn, but I do recommend this study to all of you who are looking for summer study material - it was life-changing for me. Difficult, but so worth it.