It is hard to believe that my time in New York has come to an end. I begin leg one of my two day journey home tomorrow. I wish I could just “BEAM” myself home! I am SOOO glad that I made the trip though. This was by far the BEST conference I have ever been too. The material taught was life-changing and it was very practical. There is so much that I could share but I only want to highlight one aspect.
What I took away most from this conference was a new appreciation of God’s love for me. This may be hard to believe, but for most of my 25 years of being a Christian I have struggled with accepting God’s unconditional love for me. I have told others about it and I have even preached about it but it wasn’t until this summer when Lauren and I went to Memphis that I actually ACCEPTED that unconditional love as it applied to me as an individual Christian. This is hard for me to even share because I know that a lot of people will be surprised by this. I am hoping by sharing this though that others who are struggling with this will be able to accept God’s unconditional love for them.
During one of the sessions in the conference we were shown a picture to reflect upon (it is shown above). We were told to put ourselves into that picture and decide who we were. Were we the older son looking on from a distance at the Father’s love or were we the son in the embrace of the Father? I know that for a long time I was at a distant looking at the Father’s love for others but as I already mentioned I have come to appreciate afresh and anew God’s love for me. This reflection time was very overwhelming for me as I pictured myself in the Father’s arm. For those of you who know me, you know that I am NOT a very emotional person BUT this time of reflection led me to tears as I felt God’s love being poured out to me. It gets me emotional as I even think about it now. I can’t believe that I had lived so many years without accepting God’s love for me. It is a truly unfortunate and sad way to live.
I know that God has SO much more to teach me about His love for me. I am enjoying going daily to His arms and feeling His embrace around me. I hope that you can do that as well!