Coming into !gnite, I expected the conference to be saturated with missions, God’s heart for the lost, and igniting all of our hearts for lost people. I was on the overseas missions team, had just come from intensive training, and about to fly off soon after !gnite –so I was very determined to focus entirely on missions and to not be “distracted” by anything else.
Prior to the conference, I remember thinking of my anger and bitterness toward my Dad. I had prayed to forgive him times before, but I didn’t feel very freed from it. At that point, I was thinking– what more do I need to do? How many more times do I need to pray this before I can “actually” forgive Dad? How many more years do I need to live with this before I can “really” forgive him? Even though this was something big in my life, I buried it deep in my heart under prayers and assignments for the upcoming missions project. I put it on the back burner because it didn’t seem to be missions-related; it seemed more suitable to wait until after missions when I would have more time to do all those things, pray those many times, and live all those years.
Through one of the messages at !gnite, though, God brought up forgiving my Dad again. During the response time, I realized that God deliberately gave me this time to pray through this heart issue that I had been trying very hard to avoid. That night, I learned that when I choose to forgive my Dad, I have forgiven him –I don’t need to do anything more because of God’s grace! A heavy burden was lifted off my shoulders, and I experienced much freedom and joy in knowing that I had forgiven my Dad!
While I tried to put off this daunting task of forgiving my Dad until after missions, God wanted me to face it before I left the States. Through this, He showed me that it isn’t about doing more or trying harder; He showed me His grace in it all. I am very thankful that God interrupted my plans to show and teach me a higher and greater way to live –by His grace and truth.