The Way of Letting Go (review)

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The Way of Letting Go: One Woman's Walk toward ForgivenessThe Way of Letting Go: One Woman’s Walk toward Forgiveness by Wilma Derksen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The abduction of their 13-year-old daughter in November off 1984 shunted Winnipeg residents Cliff and Wilma Derksen onto an unfamiliar and horror-strewn track. The discovery of her body seven months later, bound and frozen, provided closure on one level. She had been murdered. She was never coming home. But that day opened a Pandora’s box of feelings, reactions, learnings, and conclusions about how to deal with the unthinkable crime of the murder of their child. Early on, the Derksens declared their decision to forgive.

In The Way of Letting Go, published in 2017, 32 years after the crime, Wilma Derksen describes what forgiveness has entailed for her. Drawing inspiration from “the Nazarene” and the Sermon on the Mount she tells (in chapters titled, for example: “Letting Go of the Happy Ending,” “Letting Go of Fear,” “Letting Go of my Ego” etc.) incidents that triggered realizations of what she was hanging onto and needed to release. She also analyzes the spiritual and practical implications of these relinquishments.

The triggering incidents she tells help us to put together the Derksen’s story in a puzzle piece way. We also get glimpses of what it was like to be in the spotlight of the victim and involved with the police and justice system of Canada.

The Way of Letting Go not only tells a riveting story but also challenges us to consider (when we’ve been wronged) the difficult, complicated, repetitious (“Seventy times seven”) response of forgiveness. Highly recommended.

This book is part of my own Kindle collection.

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Fix your eyes on Jesus #BibleJournaling

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On these last days of Lent, our thoughts go to the subject and central character of the Good Friday and Easter celebrations just ahead. There is no One more beautiful to contemplate!

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Pioneer and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” – Hebrews 12:2.

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Bible Journal entry for Hebrews 12:2 (Photo © 2017 by V. Nesdoly)

This journal entry is one I did in my original NIV Journaling Bible last Easter. (The drawing of Jesus on the cross at the bottom was inspired by an illustration of Annie Vallotton’s – scroll down….)

Clothed with gladness #Biblejournaling

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“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing.
You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness.” Psalm 30:11

 

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This little doodle was inspired from reading Psalm 31 in my quiet time. It seems like the perfect way to welcome the first days of spring.

But what if it isn’t spring-like where you are? Thankfully, the gladness with which God clothes us doesn’t depend on the season or the weather.

Harmony of Worship

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Though I haven’t posted anything here for a while, I have been busy with Bible journaling. A week ago today I completed instructing a six week series  of lessons on Bible Art Journaling for women at my church. It was a good and stretching experience to put together and then present six illustrated talks about Bible journaling, along with journaling prompts.

I have also ventured, this year, into prophetic art. This is as a result of Rebekah R. Jones’ 2018 Prophetic Art challenges (delivered once a month).

This first collage / mixed media piece done in January was on the theme of HARMONY.

The idea behind my piece is that God harmonizes all of earth’s expressions of faith in Christ (worship, prayer, praise, depicted as musical instruments and symbols—and of course, other expressions that don’t involve music) into a glorious song ascending into the heavens with Jesus acknowledged, praised, and worshiped as Saviour. The conductor’s hand holds a baton, which is also a cross. The rainbow is meant to symbolize God’s presence and power (as seen in Ezekiel 1:28 & Revelation 4:3).

The scripture passage on which this is based is Revelation 7:9,10:

“After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’”

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“Harmony of Worship” – Violet Nesdoly (Mixed media 8.5 x 11″ – Photo © 2018 by V. Nesdoly)

The musical instrument graphic was a tracing of a vector image from Freepik.com, with changes from an image designed by Zirconicusso / Freepik, both used with permission.

Trust #BibleJournaling

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Psalm 91 has been one of my favourite Bible chapters since I started choosing favourites. I especially love the part about being hidden under the feathers of the Most High—as if God is a parent bird sheltering us from whatever harm or danger is around. So when Rebekah Jones picked this chapter for her Original Bible Art Journaling Challenge (Week 25), along with a beautiful download to use, I was in!

 

I love the wing graphic she made available to us. I traced it, then tinted it with pencil crayons, trying to keep the look soft … for isn’t that how God cares for us—softly, tenderly, carefully.

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Bible Journal entry for Psalm 91:4 (Photo © 2018 by V. Nesdoly)

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty…
He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge” – Psalm 91:1,4

 

Keep trusting as you’re sheltered under His wings today.

Let God distract you (#BibleJournaling)

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In my devotions this year I’m reading through the Bible. A few days ago I came to Exodus 3 and noticed something I’d never seen before. It’s Moses, letting God distract him and God responding when He sees Moses’ receptivity. Here it is in Exodus 3:2-4 (emphases added):

And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.”

So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!”

And he said, “Here I am.”

A few quotes from my study Bible helped nail down the concept for me.

“God comes to Moses through the commonplace which becomes special and holy when touched by God” J. Tollett New Spirit-Filled Life Bible p. 79.

and

“Stay alert to see God working. It often comes in ways we do not expect” – Leslyn Musch, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible p. 130.

 

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Bible journal for Exodus 3:2-4 (Photo © 2018 by V. Nesdoly)

Today I want to be alert to God working in my commonplace, and to be open to His distractions.

Materials used: Pigma micron pen and colored pencils.

A resolution for 2018 #BibleJournaling

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Are you all set for 2018… new calendars up, dreams and goals written down, diet started? Just kidding! It’s early days, I know. Still, it’s not too soon to start thinking about what we want the year ahead to look like.

One resolution that hits my list every year is to get more of God’s word into me in the coming 12 months. David Kitz writes about that in Chapter 22 of Psalms Alive, a chapter that delves into the “Beth” section of Psalm 119 (Psalm 119:9-11).

My Bible journaling response was to verse 11 of that chapter.

“Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against you.”

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I was particularly challenged by Kitz’s drilling down into what it means to hide God’s word in our hearts:

“How do I hide God’s Word in my heart? The answers may seem obvious. Hear it. Read it. Study it. Meditate on it. Apply it to life. Commit it to memory.

Most often understanding springs out of application, not out of hearing. I can hear a particular truth a thousand times but it isn’t really mine until I apply it to my own life. Applied truth bears fruit. It yields results” – Psalms Alive p. 200 (emphasis added).

To do my journal response I made a heart out of parchment paper, attached it, with Washi tape, to the outside edge of the page as a tip-out, then doodled on the heart and behind it some ideas of how to hide God’s word in my heart. (Other materials used: colored pencils, Pigma Micron pens)

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May we spend time in 2018 hiding God’s word in our hearts—in all the ways we can!