Summary: A sermon about forgiving oneself.
Amnesty part 3--Pastor Rob Ketterling
ANDREA: My uncle was full of life and just so much joy. He loved to find the
simple things in life and to just enjoy the present. And I so admired that about him. And I knew he cared immensely for me.
And so when he took his life, I was shocked. We showed up at the house and
there were cops and sirens and a lot of noises and lights. And we pulled up, and I just remember knowing that he had died. So that was really hard.
My life started to spin out of control at that point. I just started to make
decisions about what I was going to do, and so I started drinking and I started doing drugs, and I started to get into really unhealthy relationships, and I made a lot of poor decisions. It was like this perpetual cycle I couldn't get out of. And I had tried everything and nothing was working.
So there was one day that I was handed a book called Echoes of Mercy by Nancy Alcorn. She's the founder of Mercy Ministries, a place where women can go and find help and healing through Christ. And so I read the table of contents of this book, half the first chapter, and in that moment I knew that either I was going to go to Mercy and walk through this process, or I was not. And I didn't know if I was going to live to see the next summer. Something inside of me started to believe that I could get better. Even though I didn't think it was possible, something in me started to believe that.
One of the first steps at Mercy Ministries is to walk through forgiveness, and
so I made a list. And my uncle was on that list. So that was really hard to forgive him for making a choice to walk away from my family. But I did because I learned that forgiveness is a choice and not a feeling.
And after I'd walked through forgiving the other people in my life, I still felt like
there was something stopping me from more healing. I knew like in that moment that I had to forgive myself for the last ten years of my life. And so I was praying one day, and it was like, "God, what it is this? I'll do whatever it takes. Like, I got nothing left." And I had a picture come into my mind, and I saw Jesus on the cross, and I saw myself screaming at it and pointing and saying, "That's not good enough for me!"
But I knew the promises in the Bible and I knew that God was going to be
faithful if I was willing to walk through forgiving myself. It was as I walked that, the Lord brought hope into my life and joy. And I can't put it into words. It's like I can dance for the first time ever in my life! Like, I never thought that I would be this happy. That the relationships in my life, the really important ones, would be as amazing and phenomenal as they are.
I confidently can say I walk in freedom and that I walk in God's grace, because
I still mess up, but I'm moving forward in the favor of God.
PASTOR ROB: Thank you, Andrea, for being vulnerable on that one. That
was like should have passed out Kleenex for that video. I can feel it. I can feel it here, and I'm sure we are feeling it at all our campuses. There is so much there. Some of you need to watch that again and grab all the truth that was in that over and over and over again. That hope starts to rise up in you that you can be forgiven, that you can forgive yourself and you can grab hold of that.
Okay, so because we are going to deal with that today because this is a big
one. This is one that so many people have trouble with, forgiving themselves. Forgiving themselves, because you know what you've done. You know it. The enemy beats you up. You think surely I can't be forgiven, and so you can't forgive yourself, and it stalls you out and you can't move forward. And so we are going to deal with that today.
As a matter of fact, it was one of the top things that people said that they
struggle with. I want you to see the mosaic behind me. Here and all of our campuses, I want everybody to grab this and just see this right here. I want you to see the mosaic that is up here. It is beautiful because it is a picture of Jesus, but it's beautiful because it's each of those is somebody saying I forgive somebody. Each of those is somebody saying I forgive somebody who's offended me. I'm letting it go. You responded last week. Over 2,000 people last week that did it at all of our campuses, and they said "I forgive, I forgive, I