25 Jan

Dear friends,

There's a hallway on the way to my dorm, and every time I round the corner, there's a new waft of delicious baked goods that fills my nose. Once and awhile I like to silently guess what the bakers are baking that day. 

Sometimes it's sweet cheese buns. Other days it's tart blueberry scones. But the funny thing is that the yummy smells flow from a bakery nearby, and I have yet to meet the bakers face to face. And in some way; that's how my relationship with Jesus is:

I smell his creations in certain hallways, I know that he's baking good things, but I have yet to fully taste the treats he has made for me. I am in anticipation of the sweet and savoury moments to come. But most importantly, I cannot wait to meet the divine baker himself one day. 

This past week I learned about hearing the voice of God and discerning it between my own voice and the evil one's.

And let me tell you; it's pretty clear who's who when held up to the bible and what it proclaims about God and his many names and attributes. I am slowly learning each day what has been blocking me from hearing the voice of God.

Forgiveness is always something I have struggled with. Prior to this week, I thought that time healed things, situations, feelings towards people, the works. Funnily enough, it actually has the tendency to turn our hearts towards the darkness and beings to hold bitter flavours towards people. During this one lecture, the speaker offered us some time to ask God what pulls us away from discerning his calls. I immediately heard forgiveness. That was not something I wanted to reconcile with God- as I have always had a hard time letting go of the injustices people have placed on my heart. 

But I sat down on the floor and decided to give it try. 

And all of a sudden tons of people came to my mind. People I thought I had forgotten about. But it was all right there in front of me. I started to write down all the names of the people I had any sort of bitter feelings towards for one reason or another. And I simply started to pray.

It was like watching an old movie, I was rewatching some of the most painful and sour parts of my life. 

With every new person I forgave, I immediately had new wishes of healing flooding into my mind. I found myself wanting to let go for the first time. I finally wanted the hostility to be removed from my heart. 

I felt a big presence within me.

I saw an image of the fat around my heart melting away. Fat was clogging my veins and arteries. It caused the blood in my heart to be harmful towards me. And the more fat I had collected around my heart throughout the years, the harder it was for my arteries and veins to carry my precious blood to the rest of my body. 

That was how God showed me the significance of forgiveness. 

I then began to ask God for forgiveness for not forgiving them, and the pain that I had caused them, as I now see is important to admit to God. I gradually started to cross the people off on my list.

I was expecting some huge healing when I first sat down. And I sat up thinking that hadn't happened. 

Then I realized that by the grace of God I was able to forgive the people that I had felt the most hatred towards; and that in an of itself was a miracle. 

Happy day,

Jasmine Mancuso

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