For the past nine months, I've been taking a class through the church I attend called Character Development. In really general terms it's encouraging and growing a more mature relationship with Christ and with others, but it's basically group counseling with a large group teaching & small group breakout sessions. It might sound hokey, but I think everyone should get to have an experience like this.
I have learned so much about myself and the way God made me through this class - it's like someone lit a candle or turned on a light in a dark room. I've realized that I've been wounded and hurt in the past (like we all have) and as a result made commitments and formed a sinful style of relating to others in order to protect myself.
|photo by Dangerous Dan / text added by me|
I am a woman created and loved by God who feels & thinks all the things, who longs for deep, meaningful relationships, and hopes to someday be pursued and loved by a godly man simply for who I am. I'm praying that God will give me the courage to start taking small risks with the people I love and little by little become more like the woman he created me to be.
I realize this is all nicely put into paragraphs here, but believe me - figuring all this out took months, was uncomfortable and painful and came piece by piece, definitely not all at once. And I feel like I've only begun to scratch the surface - but I'm so looking forward to following God down this new, brave (!) path wherever it might lead.
Last night was our last class, and we spend our small group time sharing encouragement and a "vision" for each group member. One of my group leaders shared two images with me - a picture of "still waters that run deep" and the "raging rapids" - both as a part of a full, rounded heart & life. The still waters are the foundation that are always there even when the rapids rage - and to let them rage - not to hide my true heart at the risk of upsetting the still waters. The rapids are fun, exciting and should be shared. I think this image is what will really stick with me as I go about living - and I hope to become that person!
Thanks for reading - if you ever have a chance to take a class like this, or get involved with some kind of Bible-based counseling, take it! :)