I’ve mentioned identity a lot on this blog, but the topic arises often here at G42. Today was our first day of class with Dr. Bob Nichols, and his topic: “Issues of the Heart”. We all carry so much pain and emotional baggage with us that we rarely are able to experience true happiness and joy. Our broken world seldom allows us to live unscathed by the dangers that surround us. Worst of all, these hurts and pains often come at the hands of those closest to us. However, it’s rarely their fault either–the generations of suffering can often be traced far back through our heritage. We all have to work to overcome the stigma of our past. This work comes through opening our hearts to God to allow him to speak to our true identities–not the facades we’ve created to hide our pain or make us acceptable. We must be willing to allow God’s gentle, healing touch to reopen the wounds, pull out the diseased, dead tissue and replace it with healthy life-filled joy. Dr. Bob uses an analogy of a cup to explain our situation. We all have an emotional cup capable of holding only a certain amount. If this cup is filled with positive emotions we experience a joyful, fulfilling life; however, we often fill our cups with offense, bitterness, anger, and pain.
Therefore, we have no room left in our cups to fill anything positive, so we become consumed by the negative emotions in our life and checkout to numb the pain. Christian’s often focus on the manifestations of this pain (drugs, alcoholism, sex, pornography, internet, TV, fantasy, etc. etc. ) and ignore the deep heart issue. Thereby heaping condemnation on top of an already battered individual. First, I want to apologize on behalf of Christian’s for condemning people instead of helping them. It’s a tragedy the way we often treat other people for the sake of looking good. I’m sorry. Secondly, I want to invite you deeper into the journey of find your true self. What do you love to do, but are afraid to? What events have made you who you are today? What words will trigger a violent backlash from you? Why? I invite you to simply begin to ask some of these questions and invite God into a journey of discovering why you react the way you do. I’m in no way diminishing the pain we’ve all experienced, and some have experienced much more pain than others, but that in no way minimizes the impact your pain had/has on you.

Today I asked God:

Me: “What was the predominant emotion in my life today?”

God: Anxiety

Me: “Why?”

God: You’re afraid of being found out. You’re afraid you won’t be acceptable if they knew the “real” you.

Me: “Where does that come from?”

God: It comes from guilt. False guilt you hold for things that were out of your control, and true guilt for actions you committed, but that I have long since forgiven and chosen to remember no more.

Me: “What do you think of me?”

God: I love you and am proud that you are willing to walk this journey with me. I have so much to give you if only you will be more willing to accept it.

Go ask him to reveal bits of your story. He loves you and wants to show it to you, but he will *NOT* force it. Ask him.

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May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 2 Peter 1:2-7 ESV

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My first half of the G42 Leadership Academy has come to a close. It’s a bitter-sweet time. I’ve learned much and grown immensely, but the end draws near. We’re sad to see our graduates leave, but we also know they go with a changed heart and the confidence to walk boldly into new life. These wonderful men and women will touch many lives as they follow the dreams Jesus has placed in their heart. They are bold, prophetic, intelligent individuals who will reflect the image of their maker in powerful ways. They will awaken new desires in people simply because they live a different life. A life of power, beauty, and love. Goodbye Taryn, Armand and Rebeca. Go forward and bring light.

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