I just finished two studies that I have been doing at church. I dove into them when I came back here from my dad's funeral in Ohio. I think that I was desperate to move forward, desperate to fill the negative space with a positive one.
So, what did I learn?
One of the studies was called Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer. What an appropriate study to go through as I was asking God all kinds of big questions. The other study was Life's Healing Choices by John Baker. This was referred to me by someone who was going to be helping me walk through grieving my father's death.
If I could sum up what Discerning the Voice of God did in my life, it would have to be that it made me much more confident in knowing...without a doubt... what God was asking of me. I had been questioning "What's next?" for a while, and felt like I was getting answers, but wasn't 159% sure that what I was hearing was God. You can read more about the journey here.
Life's Healing Choices is a little more complicated. When my father passed away, our relationship was really complicated. We hadn't really had a relationship for a few years, and although I wanted my father in my life, I was still learning what it was to have realistic expectations for an imperfect person while still trying to maintain healthy boundaries with a person who continually emotionally hurt me. What that study did for me was help me walk through a few areas of pain and allow me to forgive my father. The forgiveness allowed me to take huge steps towards letting go of him in a healthy way and remembering the good in our relationship. You can read about my big breakthrough here.
So what now?
When one season ends, another begins.
I think that I can safely say that God is pushing me towards applying what I have been soaking up these past months. I definitely feel that God wants me to go deeper in these areas. Life's Healing Choices stirred up a few things with my past that definitely need addressed in order to move forward in healing.
I think a large part of my testimony thus far has been a picture of God rescuing a girl trapped a the bottom of an empty well. I believe that I have been out of that dark, scary place for a while now. But, I also know that there are specific things in my life that caused me to be trapped down there. God wants to me to address those things so that I am moving forward, away from slavery... not being haunted by past choices and hurts.
He doesn't want me going back and looking down that well... tempted to jump back down in it and do That Thing just "one more time" or to listen to the lies that are stored up in that dark place. He wants freedom for me, and He is walking me through every step of the way.