Sunday, August 8, 2010
...Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin." Mother Teresa
A blessed Sunday to you my friends! This is the day that the Lord hath made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!
I have the pleasure of hosting this week's challenge at Stampin' Sisters in Christ. I chose for the inspiration scripture, Philippians 3:13-14 "Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." The challenge is to create a card of apology or one reaching out to someone and encouraging them to put the past behind them and move forward.
As I wrote in my devotional on the Stampin Sisters in Christ blog, one thing that's been weighing heavily on my mind for the past several months is the subject of forgiveness... not God's forgiveness of our sins, but our forgiveness of others who have wronged us, and of our own forgiveness of ourselves. I've been struggling with not only hurt feelings and anger for wrongs done to me, but also the dangerous feelings of self-righteousness and self-doubt. Sometimes it's hardest to forgive ourselves, isn't it? We look back and wonder where we went wrong or what we did to deserve being treated badly. Going back and forth between nursing umbrage and berating ourselves causes us stress, misery, and sometimes depression. And it often leaves no chance for reconciliation.
I could never hope to touch on all aspects of this subject in one sitting, but I want to plant this seed... that by nursing umbrage, being self-righteous and/or torturing ourselves with self-doubt, the only one truly being hurt is us. The other person may or may not be hurting... we may never know. But one thing is for sure, we are hurting ourselves by not letting go and moving forward. This is also true for when you've hurt someone else. Sometimes your apology might not be enough or accepted. But when you know you've done all you can, you simply must find a way to forgive yourself (and the other person) and move forward. And if there is a chance for reconciliation, that is probably the only thing that will make it possible.
Only God is perfect and able to forgive without hesitation and with complete love. I would give anything to be able to do that! Can you imagine how much happier life would be without all that emotional baggage? God has asked us to accept his forgiveness and forgive ourselves. "...go, and sin no more." (John 8:11)
In Philippians 3:13-14, we are encouraged to, "...[forget] what is behind and [strain] toward what is ahead, press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called [us] heavenward in Christ Jesus." In other words, let go of the baggage so that we can move forward unfettered in Christ Jesus!
I love the greeting on my card, which is from Our Daily Bread Designs stamp set Let Us Begin, a quote from Mother Teresa, "Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin."
Yes, my friends, let us begin... begin again and again until we feel that perfect peace in not only knowing that we are forgiven, but that God also wants us to forgive each other and ourselves.
I hope you'll join us for this week's challenge at Stampin' Sisters in Christ. Be sure to at least stop by and see all the wonderful cards created by our awesome design team!
Peace be with you.
Note: my card also features Longing Tilda, available from our challenge sponsor Simon Says Stamp. The DP is by Melody Ross; the flower is from Prima. I'm entering this card in Challenge #1 - Pink & Dots at 7KidsCollege Fund.