When I first came to the 360 Experience I had a very limited idea of who my Father in Heaven was. My relationship with God had just begun to gain depth. This program was one of the greatest things that could have crossed my path during that time of my life. I had vague ideas of who I was as His daughter, and my foundation in Christ was just beginning to build. I came into this year with little expectations, and it was my goal to simply allow God to have His way. What I did not know is that He would take that invitation and run in such a beautiful way with it.
With an open heart God began to reshape my image of who He was as my Father. I knew deep within me that God is all-powerful, all knowing and all seeing but calling Him my Father never settled well with me. This was an area in my heart that God wanted to reveal truth to, and to show me that He was first and foremost my Dad. He was a Dad that would never forsake me and would never withhold love and kindness from me. How could I know myself as a Daughter if I did not first recognize God as my Father?
Often times I would begin prayer with “Dear Heavenly Father”, but as the lecture phase progressed I realized those words I was saying had no heart behind them. The knowledge of Him being a Father was just resonating in my mind instead of where it belonged, which is in my heart. Apprehension filled my heart, because I was afraid of walking down that path of intimacy with God. It would open me up to be completely vulnerable and it would expose past wounds. Thankfully God had placed me in such a great environment that was geared towards my growth. As the lecture phase went on God began to peel away the lies that built themselves upon the name Father. The truth started to surface within my heart, and the level of intimacy that God desired to have with me started to blossom.
God was pulling me closer, and He wanted so badly for me to know Him to be more than just this big God who created all things. He was my friend, and most of all He was my loving Father who wanted to place the pieces of my heart together. Slowly I learned how good of a Father He was, and that nothing on this earth could compare to the love He had for me. With that knowledge settling in my heart I could then begin to walk in my identity as His daughter.
Learning that I have a Father in Heaven who looks at me daily with joy and love is irreplaceable. Knowing that He is proud to call me His daughter, and He will never leave me is priceless. I could not put a price tag on the time I spent in the 360 Experience. I learned to walk in confidence with God, and my heart can now cry out “Abba Father”, and know with absolute assurance that He will hear me. Nothing can compare to whole heartedly knowing that I am a daughter of a King. I can fearlessly move forward knowing that an incredible God shields my days. If someone asked me if I would do these nine months over again, without hesitation I would say yes.
By: Natalie Gagnon