In my previous post, I called my training and conference in St. Louis a mountaintop experience. It really was just that for me. I felt bathed in the word and love of God.
On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, I took the course, Advanced Coaching and Mediation. I passed. 😊 The Ambassadors of Reconciliation Conference started on Thursday evening and continued until lunchtime on Saturday. I have been through coaching and mediation training several times, and I always get pretty anxious over it because there are role plays…where we are evaluated. I have a real problem with that – I just hate being judged and I fear being completely incompetent and failing. I guess, in reconciliation language, I have a “fear of man” problem. I wasn’t the only one for whom that was being emphasized during our week, but I really felt very convicted.
One of our instructors began the first day with a devotion using Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.” When we are coaching someone or mediating a conflict and things are not going the way we hope they would go, “Be still and know that I am God.” When we are beginning a training class and we know that the cases we are going to be working with are complicated and hard and may even touch on some tender areas in our own lives, “Be still and know that I am God.” That really touched me to my very core. And it wasn’t because of just that verse or the teaching of that moment.
We had lots of prework to do – two 5 – 6 session Bible studies to work through and a textbook, A Christian Coaching Guidebook by Scott Gress PCC, to read. The Bible study topic that had really connected with me this time through my study was the concept of my identity in Christ. Gress covers that same topic in chapter six of his book. It’s not like I did not already know who I am in Christ, it’s more that I understood the “so what” so much better than ever before. I know that I am a “poor, miserable sinner” in need of God’s grace and forgiveness, and I know that I have those things because my identity is in Christ. Romans 8:1 reminds us, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Knowing that and remembering that I am free from judgment and condemnation makes moving forward and finding ways to serve God in my life so much less anxiety-producing. From Gress’s book: “For it is only in Christ that we are free – free from building our self-esteem through our helping and free from having to prove ourselves.” Realizing this in a whole new way helped me move through the training with so much more comfort and a desire to learn, even from my mistakes.
So, as I get back to the day to day work of life, I really want to hang on to what I have (re)learned. I want to remember that it is always, only about Jesus. My identity is secure in him. I belong to him when I succeed and when I fail, when I am a mess and when I have it all together.
Be Still. I’m God. You are Mine.
He is saying that you and to me. We are his beloved children who are no longer condemned, but free to serve him with our lives.
One of the ways that I want to serve him is to write about reconciliation. I’m going to use this blog for now, since I already have it, but I plan to switch to a WordPress platform if I can figure it out! I plan to post articles that I write – I still have lots to say about what I learned and experienced last month, but I also hope to share articles from experts in the field of reconciliation, mediation, and conflict coaching. I hope that you will join me in this conversation!