At Trinity Harlem, we take honor pretty seriously. Honor is our calling. We honor up, we honor down and we honor all around. Yesterday, we took a moment to honor 2016 graduates from high school, college, other academic programs and even our own Growth Track. We are especially proud of Pastor Taylor for graduating Princeton Theological Seminary! We believe in and advocate for lifelong learning so we always seek to encourage those in that pursuit. Graduates, we are so proud of you! 

Speaking of education, what we’ve been learning in our first series is: This Changes Everything. We believe coming to know Jesus changes what we carry, why we’re here and how we live. We had special guests in the house this Sunday--Senior Pastors Rich and Robyn Wilkerson. We were blessed to hear from both of them and they left encouraging messages about how Jesus changes how we live. 

Pastor Rich shared with us that the Holy Spirit changes the trajectory of our lives. The Holy Spirit will visit a group that is faithful and the real will be distinguished from the phony. We sometimes live in deception as Christians, but the Holy Spirit will convict us. Real conviction will break life-changing bondage, if only we respond to it. 

Pastor Robyn reminded us that between Sundays, life happens. We all experience pain in life--it isn’t always rainbows and butterflies--but God has equipped us to deal with pain. Our pain, though it may slow us down, doesn’t have to paralyze us. She told us that we can live the lives we’re destined for, or we can run in place. 

You can live the life you’re destined for, or you can run in place. - Pastor Robyn

But we all know getting over pain, heartache, betrayal and the likes is easier said than done. Pastor Robyn offered three steps. First, Cry a river. Your feelings are valid. Your pain isn’t imaginary. God planned for you to have pain and planned for you to cry in that pain. Research shows that emotional tears are full of toxins. That release is good for the body and good for the soul. Crying doesn’t make us weak, it makes us human.

Second, Build a bridge. Reach out to the answer. His name is Jesus. Part of building that bridge is letting go and forgiving. The Greek word Jesus uses for “forgive” is “apoluo,” which means “to loose from.” There is freedom that comes from forgiveness. We often carry yesterday around and it keeps us going in circles. When we let go, we become lighter. The bridge helps us get over our pain, but only once we build it.

Finally, we must Get over it. We can’t hold onto pain forever. At some point, we have to let it go and move forward. Pastor Robyn encouraged us to quit rehearsing what we don’t want in our lives and start speaking to what we want. In sharing her own testimony, she told us she felt God volunteered her to be a special need mom. It occurred to us that if we adopted the same mentality for the pain in our lives, our entire perspective would shift and our lives would be enriched. 

This was especially true for Pastor Robyn with her third son, Graham “G-Money” Wilkerson. When he was just a baby, he was misdiagnosed and it resulted in his death. After about 45 minutes of being declared dead, the doctors were able to resuscitate him. However, they told Pastors Rich and Robyn that he wouldn’t be able to walk or talk. Today Graham is head of security at our Trinity Miami campus and he’s released three rap albums on iTunes. He stopped by Trinity Harlem yesterday to share his testimony and encourage us to have hope. It is his hope, he told us, that has gotten him to where he is.