Even though I have had experience in therapy and recovery groups, I knew I still needed inner healing for deep wounds from early childhood trauma. Through Joy and Hope Restored, I learned how those early experiences led me to form ideas about God and other people. I wasn't aware of my faulty belief system that caused me to see through a distorted lens.
Throughout the 10 week class, Sarah taught from her own journey, and showed me how to listen to the Holy Spirit as He gently uncovered areas of distortion and lies so that I could see the truth about God and how He sees me. One of my favorite lessons was in forgiveness, and learning how some of my behaviors today were based on unforgiveness toward those who had hurt me, and even unforgiveness toward myself.
I came into this study thinking I knew the issues that were holding me back from living a joyful life. Each week the Holy Spirit showed me something different about myself that revealed so much more hurt and anger that I had hidden. I thought I had to learn to forgive my father and my ex-husband. What I learned was that I really had to forgive myself. I had such resentment of myself that I never realized. My pain and pride had me thinking others were the cause of my insecurity and shame. The reality is I had made some really bad life choices and never forgave myself. I am my own worst enemy. This study showed me week after week that God forgave my sins and He wants me to forgive myself too. I want to live a joyful life and represent God in all that I do. I feel this lesson has provided me with tools that I never knew I needed.
Sarah guided me right to the key issues that were consuming me and helped me work through them. There were tears, difficult moments, and layers to work through to reveal the many parts of me that were lost over time. Sarah helped me learn to be BOLD, speak up for myself, and to glorify God by being happy and doing what He has called me to do. A huge weight has been lifted and I am a new person. Sarah is strong and pushed for me. It is inspiring to know that God used her to help me. Thank you God for giving me Sarah!!!
I am set free from a prison where I have been held captive by the lies of the enemy. During those 6 weeks I believe Jesus opened the dungeon where I had been sitting in darkness. God came, and lit up that darkness with His truth and released me from that dungeon, and I walked out into His marvelous light. Once I surrendered to the truth, and let go of the lies, I received the freedom of his amazing truth and love!
Sarah illustrates biblical principles each week, and then gives homework that enables you to apply the Word of God in all areas of your life. She gives you the tools necessary for a deeper prayer life and to see the Word of God alive and relevant in your daily struggles. When our group went through the series she created, the Lord moved in miraculous ways in ALL of our lives it was truly amazing to see!