* Invite God to search your soul. Ask God to reveal the deception you’ve been living with, and the sin that lives in your heart. Face the true condition of your heart so you can see your need for God.

 

* Release your burdens. Let go of your burdens and give them over to God, trusting Him to sustain you. Ask Him to heal you from the effects of traumatic memories. Refuse to seek revenge against people who hurt you, and trust God to bring about justice in His way and time. Understand that holding onto bitterness poisons your life and blocks your intimacy with God. Know that you must forgive your offenders and yourself in order to fully experience God’s love. Ask God to help you through the forgiveness process, and know that He will give you the power you’ll need.

 

* Claim your new identity. Realize that, regardless of what others have said about you in the past, you’re now a new person if you’ve begun a relationship with Jesus. Understand that the moment you accepted Jesus as your Savior, you became a permanent member of God’s family. Forget about other ways you once identified yourself, such as stupid, worthless, shameful, sinful, unworthy, rejected, evil, or unwanted. Embrace your new identity as God’s beloved child, with His eternal Spirit living inside you. Remember that who you are determines what you do. So let go of self-abusive behaviors caused by your old identity – like alcohol or drug abuse, physical abuse, promiscuity, poor health habits, or threats of suicide. Keep your focus on Jesus and your identity in Him, letting Him help you grow day by day.

 

* Embrace God’s love. Learn that, as part of God’s family, you can love freely without fear of rejection, violation, or pain. Remember that Jesus will never lie or leave you, and that He promises to love you unconditionally and forever. Come to Jesus just as you are, without waiting to try to get your act together. Know that He loves you the way you are, and that nothing could ever cause Him to love you any less or more than He already does. Develop an intimate relationship with God through prayer, reading Scripture, praising and worshiping Him, developing supportive relationships with other believers, participating in church, and taking time for quiet rest and reflection.

 

* Invite God to transform you. Decide to submit to God’s authority daily, trusting Him to do what’s best for you and obeying Him as He leads you. Accept your human limitations and rely on the Holy Spirit’s power to create a humble heart in you. Let go of your concerns, anxieties, self-sufficiency, and pride, and let God care for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you and guide your life.