Something that I heard at the conference last week stuck with me as I was headed home yesterday from the school district. One of the keynote speakers told of his visiting his father’s grave as an adult. His father had died when he was only 7 years old. His father had a wicked temper. He didn’t beat his children or spouse, but he made life miserable being around him. This speaker, now as a young man, went to his father’s grave to bury there with his father’s body, the characteristics he didn’t want to carry into his upcoming married life. He committed all of them to the grave and asked God to replace these characteristics with those of The Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control.

I heard this and marveled at the thought of this. I had done similarly with my father, but what had hit me was that I’d never done this with my brother who drowned when he was 36 and I was 26. That was literally 45 years ago. He had come to me a year before his drowning and asked me to forgive him for what he’d done to me. He said God had healed him and he wanted to make amends with me. I said I did forgive him, but it was such a superficial forgiveness since I was very steeled-off from my emotions at that point in my life.

Yesterday on my way home I went by my brother’s grave. I left there all of the anguish I’ve carried over the years. Things like: believing I might be gay like Rich was or why else would he desire me, the images of the nights he’d come to my bed, the tormenting beliefs of value/worth and so much more. I stayed long enough for these to be buried, surrendering them to our Healer–Jesus Christ. Just as my brother is not at that grave site, for he is in heaven, the bondage of beliefs are not within me any longer. I’ve asked Jesus to replace them with His truths about me and fill the place in my spirit with the beautiful characteristics of His Holy Spirit. The freedom Jesus provides just keeps getter richer! How much I love our Savior and Lord–Jesus Christ!

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