My encounter with God at NYWC
The Sunday before I left for Pittsburgh, my pastor preached about loving yourself. It’s the first time I’ve really seen that as part of the commandment (love your neighbor as yourself). It was very convicting and troubling. I couldn’t get it out of my head or my heart.
When I got to Pittsburgh I was in a sort of wrestling match with God. It was not a new struggle but one that has been going on for a while. I’ve been frustrated for a long time that I haven’t been given the desires of my heart – even though I’ve tried to be faithful.
I enjoyed every minute of my time at the National Youthworkers Convention and I’ll write more about what I learned in regards to ministry – in another post.
But peace came on Sunday.
Sunday afternoon I spent about 2 hours in the prayer labyrinth. There were different prayer experiences to walk through. Each person was given headphones and you walked through by yourself. Others were ahead of you and behind you but with the headphones, the experience was very personal. I got to the 8th station and it was a full length mirror that you were supposed to sit in front of. I would rather be ANYWHERE else. I looked into the mirror and realized that I have spent my whole life detesting myself. I don’t see worth in myself and I certainly don’t love myself. The same scripture “Love your neighbor as yourself” was spoken in the headphones and the meditation was to stare at your reflection and let go of the things you don’t like about yourself. To love the creation God has made you. I sat there for about 6 minutes. Felt like forever. But I felt God speak into my spirit so clearly. I won’t share the exact words God spoke to me but I can tell you that it was an answer to the question I’ve been asking, crying and shouting at Him for a long, long time and that it had everything to do with figuring out how to love myself. And even though that wasn’t really the answer I wanted, it was an answer. It proved to me that God has heard me all these months and years – crying out to Him. He’s just waiting for me to be ready. It brought peace. Probably the most peace I’ve ever had in my life. I realized that I need to focus on figuring out how to love myself (which is not the same as pride – I’m sorting that difference out too). No more crying out to God for the things I want. But trusting that He knows the perfect time and that I have things to do in the meantime. I instantly felt free.
I am free.