Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Class: Raphael's Story

During the Prayer & Worship Night at Westside on September 14, 2021, I was prompted to share words of encouragement and confession. In my confession, I said, "Others did many bad things me—I do not forget, I do not forgive." After my sharing, I received corporate prayer led by Pastor Matt. Exactly a week later, I attended the first day of the Emotionally Healthy Spirituality (EHS) class. Honestly, I signed up for the class literally a day before the deadline because I had nothing to do on Tuesday nights. By the time we started discussing ‘inventories,’ chronicling and going deeper into emotional wounds of the past, I knew that I was supposed to be at this class. 

Throughout the class, I began realizing that what is critical is not just recollecting and bluntly facing emotional wounds caused by the sins of others, but recognizing that these wounds seeded fear, shame, and lies deep in my soul, and understanding the subsequent stories more truthfully. 

As I began visiting my past, I saw moments when the child was sad, angry, and anxious, and the child began spiraling into lies for many days to come. For some of these moments, today is just one more day that the child is still living in me. 

At times in my life, I was racing—or even thriving—in the eyes of the world, while essentially driven by fear, shame, and lies seeded in the past by sins of others. Other times, my soul was voiceless and hiding in the eyes of the world as fear, shame, and lies overwhelmed me. 

Likewise, when I sinned against others, I left something deeper than emotional wounds in their souls. I am discovering there are more things that I need to forgive and there are more things I need to acknowledge my sins about.   

I am not here to lie and say, "Oh I have done enough work, removed most of my old junk, and overcome my past at this class." I have received a much-needed lens to read my past in a higher resolution, and received the Gospel-informed compass to redeem it one-by-one in prayer, which gives me courage and hope to such a degree that I’ve never had before. I have been raving about my experience at this class to my friends in Toronto and Korea by saying that God pulled me out of Toronto last year to be in BC so that I would be at this class. For me, the class has been so divinely arranged as I am going to Korea very soon at least for a few months, the land where my entire childhood was written.

I see the mission and the race before me. Redemption and restoration of my heart and character is my race to run, set by Him. I know I am not alone in this race. None of us is called to be a solo artist in isolation in this race. It is our race in this broken world for His glory, bringing hard peace and costly beauty out of the ashes and the lost. 

I deeply thank God for everyone who prayed for me during the worship night this September. I praise God for His patient and powerful works in Erin and Cliff, their testimonies, and their hearts and longing for us to experience His healing and freedom through the EHS class. 

We will be running the Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Class again in Spring 2022, Tuesdays, March 29 - May 31 from 7 to 9pm - stay tuned! More details are located here.

Categories: Classes,Encouragement,Stories