Fear gripped me. Attending this seminar meant I would be honest with myself and others about the circumstances that created the emotional upheaval in my life.
I had chosen to forgive or so I thought, but continued to live with anger and bitterness. I desperately needed relief from the emotional torment.
The seminar, designed for people like myself, taught principles to help those struggling with unresolved issues in their life. I had suppressed them and tried to deny their existence for a long time.
On the first day, I met the small group with whom I would share my darkest secrets. They were apprehensive just like me. We stood in a circle and one by one shared one thing that had crushed and wounded us.
My turn came. Guilt, shame, anger and bitterness flooded in. It took all the strength and courage I could muster to get through it.
“I cannot change or heal what I don’t acknowledge, was the principle we were applying. I took my first steps towards healing my damaged emotions by acknowledging my woundedness.
One woman in our group broke down when she began to tell her story. We could feel her anguish. She ran from the room, her guilt and shame unbearable.
Our coach followed her and spent a few minutes talking with her then brought her back to our group. Ready to share her story, and taking a deep breath, she bravely bared her heart and the trauma of her experiences.
Her parents had divorced at an early age. She was only 6 years old when it happened and believed the divorce was her fault. From that point on the events of her life spiraled down and led to several situations she could not forgive herself for.
She didn’t believe that God could forgive her.
Acknowledging what happened was the beginning of her journey to emotional healing.
We finished our sharing with much relief. Others now knew our secrets and were no longer held hostage to them. We hugged and praised each other for our honesty and courage.
This verse explains beautifully what we had just done and experienced.
“Bear one another’s burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2 NASV)
Sharing our secrets in that sacred circle of trust lifted a weight each one of us carried for a long time. The heaviness was gone. There was no more hiding.
Christ is the only one who can bear the burden of our sin, remove it and justify us before God. In those moments, we had comforted one another when overcome with guilt and sympathized with each other in our sorrow.
We had fulfilled the law of Christ, which is to love one another.