So, i'm reading over my notes from encounter weekend, and i'm practically crying.
of pure joy and amazement.
ahhhhhh! that weekend was so amazing. like, honestly, i can't even describe what happened to me, but SOMETHING happened.
and i believe that something was God. encounter God? totally!
it was about going back to the root of who God is. he's a Dad. a perfect one.
a father who loves. loves without stopping. a father who cares, does not judge, who forgives, loves, is compassionate, fun, safe and affectionate. everything we want to see our dad as being.
it was about accepting the wrong, rebellious, disobediant stuff i did. the sin in my life. the ones i was ashamed of, those that haunted me. and it was about what that 'stuff' can do to me.
but that's not the best part of the weekend.
the best part is the redemption part. this whole idea that maybe we're not left stranded on this 'sin island' alone, left to die alone. that maybe there is a way out, there is a rescuer in this whole story. the meaning of redemption is 'setting free by paying a cost'. being 'out of debt'.
someone had to be punished so we can be innocent.
someone had to be rejected so we can be accepted.
someone had to feel depression so we can have joy.
someone had to be put to shame so we can be comforted.
someone had to be stripped from everything so that we can be abundant.
someone had to die so that we can live.
someone paid the price.
Jesus! Jesus was punished, rejected, felt depression, fear, shame, and was stripped and separated from his very own Dad, which he had never been before. just for me. and you.
and if it was just you, he would have done it still.
he did it, so we could be set free!
"it is for freedom, you set us free."
and this is my redemption story. as well as yours.
HOW FREAKING AMAZING IS THAT!? like, THAT'S how much God loves us!
now, this is what hit me:
Jesus, according to scientists and physicians, died not of suffication, but of heart failure.
his heart was so in pain for us, he felt each and every single pain we can possibly endure in just one moment, and this is what caused his heart to let go.
i just find that to be the most beautiful love ever to exist.
and his resurrection is the key to the cage. it's the key to freedom.
it's the key to life.
as he died, our sins and old selves died with him on the cross. as he rose, we rose with him.
we just have to accept him, what he did for us, realize that we are free, and live it!
ahhhh! so amazing!
so, i can't totally put into proper words the beauty and power of the weekend, but i can say this:
redemption is available. freedom is real. it's a matter of accepting and realizing it.
we have a rescuer. he's come. the question is, are we ready to follow and come out of the dark?
throughout friday and saturday, i felt a lot of pressure, i felt like i was put into the center of a massive storm, like i was going through the climax of my life, of my battle...and it all depended on the action i took that would determine the outcome of the climax.
i decided to hold on as tight as possible.
and the storm ended. it's sunday. it's 9am. and i'm free.
i've just been set free from everything. every chain that i still lived with had just been cut off.
like, AHHH! i can't even say how amazing that felt.
literally, the battle had completely stopped. it had been won way long ago, i just didn't realize it.
and so that morning, i encountered God in such a beautiful way. his spirit touched me. i was in total peace.
he shows me the picture of a child. in a white dress. dancing and skipping in a field of flowers. the sky is blue and the sun is shining. now, the ground is dirt, but it contains no rock. it is smooth, pure, clean, and perfect.
"when you let God in, and you see him, that's when you finally see you."
"we no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world." - John 4:42
You are free indeed. and a new creation.
i have been set free, and i am now beautiful, renewed, and totally in love with the best daddy EVER! :)
you're so freakin' loved, people.
ps. i spoke in tongues for the first time on sunday, and it is the coolest thing ever! especially when being right next to emily. haha! she's so incredibly amazing! and so changed! as well as gaby and becky! AH! they're so amazing! i love them.
pps. check out emily's blog. www.sheistryingtochangetheworld.blogspot.com
it's got more stuff on this super encounter weekend ;)
ppps. like the new layout?
pppps. isn't so cool how the last title was 'come and set me free' and i HAVE been set free!?
God's so freakin' cool.