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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

ACFW Healing

[caption id="attachment_4064" align="alignleft" width="300"] My roomie, Gina Conroy. A friend who blesses me immensely.[/caption]

My friend Gina has the tradition of giving a word to describe ACFW, and hers this year was connection. Which I loved, because I think it definitely played in to a lot of things I experienced. But I think, for me, the word wasn't connection, but healing.

When I attended ACFW for the first time in 2007, it was at the urging of some good friends. I went, and in some ways, had a good time, but in other ways, had a very bad time. A couple of things happened that really wounded me, wounds I've carried for a long time. I also had a lot of really wonderful moments, and made some really wonderful friends. But as each ACFW conference came and went afterward, I experienced a number of reminders of those wounds.

Over the years, I've done a lot to find healing, but a few pieces of my heart never lost the ache. I came into this conference with a lot of prayer and had a lot of people praying for me. A couple of days before I left for the conference, I had an amazing prayer time. God exposed a lot of the lies behind my pain, and I honestly felt like God had given me some deep healing. Now, I've thought I was there before, so when I went into ACFW this year, I was hesitant, but I wanted to believe, so I did.

God blessed me so richly this year. So many moments where tears would spring to my eyes and I would be thankful for His mercy and work in me. I connected with old friends, and I made new friends. And I was able to let go of the painful experiences in the past. At one point, God pointed out a specific person who'd been unkind to me in the past and whispered, "it's not you. It's her. And she's hurting in ways you can't imagine." For the first time, I was able to look at this woman with new eyes and have a level of compassion for her that I could never have thought possible. Don't get me wrong... we didn't have a wonderful "now we're friends" moment, and I don't think we will. But it's so freeing to know that I don't have to carry the burden of the pain.

Here are a few things I learned:

  • Sometimes there are deeper things that have to be healed before you can find peace for issues that you've been trying to heal.

  • Healing is a process, and there are no instant solutions.

  • Even though some negative situations are your fault, sometimes they're not. You have to learn to pick up the things that are yours, and leave the rest alone.

  • There are some really beautiful, wonderful people out there. Open yourself up to get to know them, and take a chance on friendships outside your comfort zone. You will be blown away by the blessing they bring to your life.

  • Your struggles happen for a reason, and when you open yourself up to sharing them with others, you'll find that not only are you not alone, but by sharing with someone else, you are helping them with their struggles.

Thank you to all of the incredible people I spent time with, and also to those who prayed for me. If you want to see pictures, you can find them here:



How has time shaped the wounds you've carried?



Georgiana Daniels said...

Great post! Another writer hurt me deeply at one time and it took a while to get over it. There's no explaining the toxicity others carry other than the fact they are hurting in ways we can't imagine--just as God spoke to you.

Glad you had a great time this year! SO happy to get to know you.

DanicaFavorite said...

Getting to know you was one of the highlights of my conference!

Gina said...

I had no idea, but so glad God did! I could have used that word several years ago. Another word i could use for this year is...belonging...and you, Danica, helped me to feel that!