THEME: GOING BACK TO GO FORWARD
BREATH PRAYER: LORD, HELP ME FACE MY PAST AND ACCEPT YOUR FREEDOM
- In a journal, note the day, time, and place you’re sitting.
- Open with a few moments of silence. Rest, and breathe deeply.
- Complete the following sentence in your journal: Today, I feel ________________.
- Read these words slowly (aloud or silently):
So the promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the law of Moses, if we have faith like Abraham’s. For Abraham is the father of all who believe. (Romans 4:16)
Pray this week’s breath prayer and pause for a few moments of silence.
REFLECTION: The genogram
In Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, Peter Scazzero describes a powerful tool known as a genogram. In his words, a genogram is “a way to draw our family trees in a way that looks at information about family members and their relationships over two or three generations.” In this exercise, you will draw your own genogram and, with God’s help, visually represent the emotional connections in your family of origin.
This process might take a bit longer than your typical Daily Practice, but is incredibly helpful in noticing the “icebergs” we have inherited from our families. Take time to thoughtfully and prayerfully write out this chart–it will be worth it!
- For guidance on drawing your own genogram, click here.
- After you draw your genogram, reflect on it in silence for 5-10 minutes and the write down anything that you notice from your genogram. Maybe it brings clarity to behavioral patterns in your family. Maybe it brings up old wounds that need to be healed. Maybe you are thankful for blessings that have flowed through the generations. Whatever it is, allow yourself to be honest about it.
- Remember, our heart in this activity is not to blame, condemn or criticize our family of origin. Families are never perfect, and we cannot expect ours to be. At the same time, activities like this help us notice the “icebergs” we have inherited from our families so that we can seek God’s true healing and freedom in our future.
- Thank God for the blessings that make themselves known through your genogram.
- For any brokenness revealed in your genogram, take that to God and ask for His healing.
Digging Deeper: As you developed your genogram, you did the hard work of mapping out your view of several generations of your family. Now get silent and ask God what His view of your family is. See if you can prayerfully discern a single word or image that summarizes the “shadow” you have received from these previous generations. Take each family member in your genogram to God and ask Him for His thoughts on that person and the relationships that they share(d). Make note of any similarities and differences that arise as you compare God’s point of view to yours.
- Summary: Write a brief summary (five sentences or less) of what God showed you during this exercise.
- Closing Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you that while my earthly family has ushered both blessings and challenges into my life, my ultimate identity is as Your child: fearfully and wonderfully made, loved and accepted. Lord, help me face my past and accept Your freedom.