Last night at Refuge, things got a little heavy and intense for some of us. I want to take a moment to be clear on a few things. It seems God is beckoning us to go deeper with Him and one another. However the trouble is, many of us are walking around in this incredible bondage, carrying our shame and many of us need our eyes and ears opened up to the people God has placed around us. Let us not be afraid to go there. Let us be that friend.
It’s hard to get to the point on Monday nights and have enough time to minister to one another deeply. The last thing I would ever want is for you to leave that room wearing a backpack of shame. Jesus can and wants to deliver you from that immediately. Just like the woman at the well, you can walk away and leave your water jar behind, moving on to all God has for you in walking out healing and restoration, bringing others to Him with your story, for His glory.
So, I really want to encourage you who have been processing and possibly having a difficult time settling in to reach out for support. It has been overwhelmingly awesome to hear from women today who have overcome gnarly things like adultery, promiscuity, pornography and even those who have had a lack of desire for intimacy with their husbands. If you are struggling, chances are there are women right here, right now in our little community who are ready to listen, cry, pray with you and encourage you.
I know I’m not speaking alone on this. Here is an email I received from another dear woman (with permission):
As I was mediating this morning on last nite’s awesome refuge, I thought – we’re all going to have to confront reality one way or another. It seems that we can come to reality (truth) now willingly in repentance and there is still time for God to redeem all our shame, past and poor decisions. This is great news!
Or we can be forced to confront reality through a course of harsh circumstances and most likely regret and shame. I don’t want anyone to run out of whack for so long that they wind up with an anguished soul.
I am praying for the gals at my table, what they shared. There is one in particular who is on my heart. I am pursuing her and praying that she have a safe place to share her story and leave shame behind and come into light and grace.
I know I am of no help to anyone if I have a big ol’ beam in my eye so I am praying for my heart to be made right. For courage to confess and confront my own poor decisions and courage to share anything from the closet that may help someone else break free. Then I pray for help to get overcome the past so I can be that friend to others.
I, like many others, have known sexual shame – exposure to pornography and the downward spiral that it takes a soul on. We can learn to be on guard, renew our thoughts and come into purity and freedom. I will pray for this issue in our body that God will do what He does so well – a great work – so that His bride is redeemed, restored and useful to the Master.
This morning, it hit me hard that God doesn’t need our confession. Like the Woman at the Well, He already knows everything we’ve ever done. He wants us to confess, for us. To confess to Him to draw near to Him. To confess to others so we can hear in an audible voice how He still loves us and His offer for living water still stands.
So I want to beg you… literally… God loves you exactly where you are, but He doesn’t want you to stay there. Reach out into community and fellowship and receive the tangible love of the Father.
Let Jesus be everything.
To listen to audio from Refuge: The Harvest click here.