Sunday night when our Center Group met, Elizabeth Wainright shared something with the group about what God had been doing in her life. She had written it down to read to us, so she could get through it without losing her train of thought because of tears. Afterward, I asked her if I could share her story with the rest of the church. She graciously said yes, so what follows is Elizabeth’s story. I hope you’re as blessed by it as we were.
Last Saturday night before our first group, I couldn’t sleep. I was thinking of a sin from my past that had always made me feel guilt and shame. I had been feeling this way off and on for a lot of my life, and even though I once had felt a tangible weight lifted off of me after receiving forgiveness for it, I knew God wanted me to make it right with the person I had wronged. He was convicting me in a way I couldn’t ignore anymore.
I was up for over two hours praying and wrestling with God mentally and it felt like physically because of the anxiety I was feeling in my body. I got to a point where I couldn’t fight back any longer and knew the Holy Spirit wanted me to address it.
I started thinking of what I would say before falling asleep. But before I did, I experienced a knowing that the Holy Spirit was with me and that this is what I had to do. There was no other option. My fears subsided significantly. I wouldn’t say they completely went away, but I knew what God wanted from me, and I knew I was going to do it.
The next morning I texted a long message to the person, because I wanted to get everything out just right and not cry the whole time. Soon, I received a text back. And the person didn’t even remember it and was so loving and gracious and forgave me, and said that I didn’t need to carry around that guilt anymore.
As soon as I read their response I cried. I immediately felt relief and freedom from it. I have never felt such freedom and mercy. The Holy Spirit had been such a presence within me through it. That guilty feeling isn’t there anymore.
I had been choosing to live with this for much of my life and thought I could go on carrying it around and that I would be fine. But, of course, God being as faithful and merciful and wonderful and loving as He is would not let me stay in that place. I wanted to carry this weight and He wanted to lift it from my shoulders.
I thought I wanted the best for me, but He is the One who truly wants and knows what’s best for me. And the best for me is Him. This guilt was a barrier between us and now I can move ahead in my walk with Jesus.
Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.