Unburdened Heart_Sunset_smallIn Chapter Three Carlie walked intentionally into a deeper relationship with God.

She did so because everything inside of her screamed that she should lash out, or crumple into a ball and just give in to the feelings that overwhelmed her. And yet God was calling her to something greater.

She didn’t do it out of duty. She didn’t do it out of survival.

She sensed her Heavenly Father leading her to a place of healing where He could fill her up.

Releasing unforgiveness didn’t come overnight. In fact, she resisted in the beginning because it just didn’t make sense. But every night she carved out a time where she filled up spiritually. She soaked in worship music. She read books that offered hope. She journaled. She read promises from Scripture.

She remembers the time that she knelt to pray for her unfaithful husband. . . and she meant it.

Carlie didn’t have a happy-ever-after ending in her marriage. And isn’t that reality? Sometimes, as we forgive, reconciliation or healing or a miracleĀ takes place in a relationship, but in this case it didn’t happen. But God just kept filling up Carlie, right in the middle of the hardest circumstances of her life.

Releasing came first through surrendering. Then through intentionally and spiritually filling up her “temple”. And last, it came as she relinquished her burden for sweet, intimate faith with a God who loved her like crazy.

Was it easy? Absolutely not.

Was it transforming? Absolutely yes.

Her journey went on for months. In fact, when we last talked, she’s still walking through hard places. But if you were to ask her, she would say, “I’m totally free.”

And she is.

Her journey has continued to be one of intentional forgiveness and intentional faith, climbing over high mountains of unforgiveness with God’s help, working through fresh and difficult situations as they arise, and discovering depths of God’s mercy and joy that make no sense in her circumstances.

What about you?

As you read Chapter Three, what is one truth or challenge or scripture that spoke to you?

Where are you at in this fourth week of the study? How can we pray for you (for each other)?

What does it mean to you to intentionally walk into a deeper relationship with God?