It was just a little after 5:00 a.m. I fumbled my way to the bathroom, knowing that in just a couple of hours, I would be entering a local jail to encourage the hearts of incarcerated women.

“Lord, I need to know what You want me to say to these ladies,” I prayed. Immediately two words dropped into my spirit. “Forgive yourself.”

“A perfect subject,” I thought. Many of the inmates I’d meet that day probably struggled with guilt in some way. I was excited to bring them a message about forgiveness, to remind them of the importance of being free from guilt and shame so they can move forward with God.

Knowing my thoughts, the Holy Spirit quickly redirected me. “It’s not just for them…it’s for you, too. Forgive yourself, Kristi.”

It’s hard to explain, but somehow, in that brief moment right there in my bathroom, God took me on a tour, showing me some of the ways I subconsciously condemn myself every day.

My eyes focused first on my scale—a big ol’ doctor-style scale with metal weight balances. I suddenly realized how much that scale taunts me daily, reminding me of the weight I’ve gained and the unhealthy foods I often eat.