Remorse

Remorse = deep regret or guilt for a wrong committed.

 

I turned on the TV yesterday afternoon and was very disappointed to find the OJ parole hearing.  I honestly didn’t know the full story of why he went to prison.  I honestly didn’t care either.  I never followed the first trial even though the media saturated us with every detail of it all of those years ago.  I, like most others, assumed he was guilty of murder.  It was very sad.  I was so very sad for his kids, for the families of Nicole and Ron, and even for OJ if he was, indeed, guilty.  How do you get so possessed that you commit murder of someone you supposedly love so much?  Anyway, I digress.

I found myself getting sucked into the parole hearing…which was so strange for me.  It was stressed that OJ needed to show remorse…that would be the most important deciding factor.  Did I see remorse in him – not really…then again it was made clear that he and the victim of that crime in Las Vegas had made peace with each other and forgiven each other years ago.  Truly some time ago OJ must have shown him that he was remorseful.  The love this man showed for OJ at the hearing was deep and genuine.  How can you show so much love for someone that hurt you so deeply if they aren’t truly sorry?

I found myself hoping that OJ would be paroled.  I found myself praying for this man – praying for God’s will to be done.  I felt kind of guilty hoping for parole knowing how much pain this man allegedly caused so many.  While I didn’t see remorse, I did see humility and vulnerability.  That is what pulled at my heart strings.  Here is this 70 year old man that was larger than life while in his prime…a man that was loved by so many.  I love someone that can be vulnerable in front of others…someone that is humbled by knowing his fate lies in the hands of others and he has no control over what they decide and must live with their decision – right or wrong.  I loved the happiness – the deep happiness I saw in his eyes when the decision was made for parole.  OJ mentioned that he was doing bible study while in prison and wanted to be a better Christian.  I truly pray that he will give his entire life to God…that Jesus will truly be his Lord and Savior.  I know that very often my heart is bigger than my head – as it was in this case.  I often want to believe that people will choose to be who God calls them to be…that they will be good and noble.

Over the last 24 hours I have been reflecting on this case…still feeling strange about how this parole hearing made me feel – how it opened my heart to someone that in my head had done so much that was wrong, yet I so wanted him to have a chance at life – a chance to be with his family and friends – a chance to show that he is reformed – a chance to be a huge witness for Jesus.  I still pray for all of those chances for him…I hope in my heart of hearts that yesterday wasn’t an act…I hope in my heart of hearts that I wasn’t fooled by him.

On to what the real heart of this matter is – as it truly isn’t OJ or his parole.  The real heart of the matter is remorse.  I’ve been struggling for years with particular relationships…relationships that caused very deep wounds.  I chose to do the Godly thing and forgive…I didn’t always forgive right away.  Sometimes it took a good couple of years and a lot of prayer.  Sometimes I opened my heart back up to these people that hurt me – other times I knew it was time to walk away.   What I found the times I chose not to walk away is that nothing really changed – people continued to hurt me over and over again.  I’ve prayed through the years for Jesus to teach me how to have a relationship with these people.  I finally realized this morning that it’s not possible.  What this case has taught me is that without remorse, the attacker will never be a safe place.  Convicts aren’t safe for society and will commit the same crimes again and again.  People that attack will continue to attack and hurt others over and over again – they will never be a safe place.  They are their own idols – they are more important to themselves than anyone else.  As sad as it is, you will either have to walk away or continuously guard your heart.  It feels like death when there is no remorse – like a funeral.  It hurts.  It’s important to forgive, but without remorse we can’t move forward in the same way.  You have to remove people from the places in your heart that you have let them reside.

Hallelujah Moments

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This is one of those posts that makes my heart weighted.  I’ve had it saved as a draft for several days because I knew I needed to have the emotional capacity to write it…not so much because it’s painful to write, but more so because this Hallelujah Moment I refer to is so pivotal – at least it was for me.  Maybe not everyone has one of these moments…maybe that’s something to be thankful for…each of our journeys is different because we are all unique with a unique purpose.  I love reflecting on this moment in my life – not the painful thing that caused it, but rather the raw and vulnerable moment with God that brought me to my knees at His feet in tears…my Mary of Bethany moment (John 12:3).

Have you ever experienced something in your life that makes you feel like your choices  altered the course of it and even altered your heart to the very core?  I’ve already blogged about that particular incident in my life (Buried But Never Forgotten), so I won’t rehash all of those details.  My hallelujah moment was many years later after much healing – after so many layers had been peeled back, and I was finally able to see the truth.  It was in that moment that I broke down into hysterical tears and wept and wept and wept…the beauty of it was that I wept at the feet of my Savior and my greatest Love while He stroked my hair.  I was finally able to look at Him and tell Him how sorry I was that I ran from Him because of shame instead of running to Him to make it right.  I felt like I had turned my back on not just myself and my values, but like I had forsaken Him and let Him down beyond repair.  It was a clear plot of Satan, as it usually is…he feels threatened so he tries his hardest to separate us from God…but those that love God with the deepest love can always find their way back to Him.  He is always there waiting with the most tender eyes and  loving arms – no anger just enormous love.

It was so freeing for me to tell Him how sorry I was for breaking His heart – it was so freeing for me to tell Him how heartbroken I was.  It was the most beautiful, healing moment.  I think the most healing thing of all was standing on the truth, cradled in His arms, reveling in His love…our hearts united at the deepest level knowing that they could never be pulled apart again.  Do you know how much our heavenly Father adores it when we go running to Him full speed ahead, unstoppable until we are in His arms?  He longs for that.  He longs for us to shower Him with our love.  Our love makes His eyes dance.  Our love makes His heart sing.  There is no moment that can possibly be more intimate.  This hallelujah moment puts you back on course – leaving that thing that took you off course at the foot of the cross while you take your Love’s hand and continue your resurrection journey.

There are several references to this hallelujah moment in the Bible – the two that stand out to me the most are Samson and David. It was the story of Samson that made me have this revelation…how he lost his power when he let Delilah shave his head(Judges 16:18).  My power was my heart and being able to love without abandon…I let someone take that from me, and it was indeed heartbreaking and had lots of consequences, but it didn’t make God love me any less – and in the end it made me love Him so much more.  My favorite hallelujah moment in the Bible was when David realized that he had sinned against the Lord with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 12).  I love David’s heart.  I’ve always loved his heart!  He loved God so much!  He was so quick, once he recognized the truth, to fall on his knees and weep before the Lord for betraying Him.

I pray that if you have something in your life that altered your heart, you will have your very own hallelujah moment – I pray you will find Him because He is waiting for you with more love than you could ever fathom.  I pray that this moment will set you back on course to experience life in your rightful place – you are His Beloved – Prince/Princess – Son/Daughter of a King.  You were created for a wonderful and significant purpose – it’s time to walk in that while your proud Daddy’s heart beats in tune with yours to the melody of His love!

 

 

 

 

 

When truth and love breed rejection…

I decided to write today because sometimes it is the only way for me to process things. I’m in an awkward in-between stage in my life.  Maybe it’s not really an in-between stage; maybe it’s a short, strange transitional season.  I have no idea where this journey of life is leading me – really, I have no idea where God is leading me.  I’m doing my best to wait on Him – to wait on His leading.  I keep feeling uncomfortable in my own skin and find myself in the familiar place of wanting to charge ahead into a space that I control – truly a space where I can hide and mesh into the fabric of being on everyone else’s back burner.  That place honestly sucks, but it’s where I have spent most of my life, so it’s comfortable to me – in a sucky kind of way.  The real truth is I hate that place, and I want something different.  In this moment I find myself manifesting the hurt of 35 years…this hurt has followed me my entire life – which really means this has been an on-going attack of Satan my entire life – one meant to cripple me – one meant to keep me from my purpose and destiny.  As much as I don’t like this particular place of vulnerability that I find myself in with Jesus, I hate the thought of letting Satan defeat me more.  I’m ready to step out and walk in my purpose, and I know this deep wound/scar tissue is holding me back.  I know that God wants to heal it…He has been pointing it out to me for weeks.  Every time I think I have moved past it, I realize that I haven’t.  Today everything caught up with me, and I find myself in a horrible funk.

I titled this blog when truth and love breed rejection.  I’ve always had a loving heart – I see the good in everyone, even when it is deeply buried.  It’s part of my calling (which took me a long time realize).  My point here is that I love with my whole heart.  I don’t hold back.  Yet I continuously find myself being horribly wounded by everyone that I hold dear and even those that are just a little dear.  Because I love using my whole heart, when people hurt me, it’s so hard to recover.  I’ve spent my whole life running from these wounds and accepting the lies of people’s actions as truth.  This started all the way back in elementary school in the 4th grade.  This grade was exceptionally impactful for me as it was my first year in school without my daddy.  He died at the end of 3rd grade.  I was already pretty lost because of his death – very unsure of what his death even meant for me – very unsure of who I was now.  I moved forward in the 4th grade making friends and giving my whole heart to these little girls that were now my friends.  As it turns out, maybe they really weren’t my friends.  Maybe they didn’t love me back – maybe they just pretended to love me back.  I stayed loyal to one of these friends all the way through 7th grade, and just continued to get hurt over and over and over again.  I don’t know why I didn’t just find new friends – I guess I just needed some sense of belonging.  The thing is that regardless of who my ‘best’ friend was over the years, they always ended up doing the same things…betraying me, saying mean things about me behind my back, chastising me about the way I dress, my hair cut, the way I dance, and all sorts of other things. This list of folks isn’t just limited to my best friends – I went through the same things with very close family members.  I went through the same things at several of my workplaces.  Throughout my life my love and honesty has bred so much rejection and deep, deep hurt.  Throughout my life I have been told by all of these people that I don’t have value; I don’t have worth; I’m not loved; I’m not special.  I felt I was allowed to stick around because I was willing to do whatever anyone needed me to do; but I never felt wanted, loved and adored or valuable.

I mentioned that I’m in a transitional season.  I resigned from my job in corporate America at the end of April.  The truth is that I pigeon-holed myself in a field that I honestly didn’t like.  Rather than doing what I knew in my heart was my passion, I chose something that I thought others would find more meaningful – I chose something that brought me no life in hopes of finding acceptance from others.  Guess what – it didn’t work so well.  My career of over 20+ years brought me more rejection and feelings of hopelessness because I felt like I wasted my life. I had true successes throughout my career, and I made a lot of money – none of that matters to me.   I know now that my life nor these years were a waste – God uses everything for good for those that are called according to His purpose.  After much prayer and waiting, I knew it was time to leave that long path of un-fulfillment in April.  I honestly feel like it’s time for me to move into my calling, my purpose, my passion.  I know that God is telling me that I have been created for a time such as this.  I know in my heart of hearts that God has the most spectacular journey laid out for me, and it is something that will bedazzle my heart.  I know it is something that in an instant will make me feel like those long years behind me barely existed…a thousand years is but a day.  I also know that in this transition there are places in my heart that are still so wounded, and those wounds need to be healed in order for me to truly experience everything God has for me moving forward.  I spent the first month after my resignation climbing the walls – staying home with nothing to do or no purpose was so foreign to me.  I’m in the second month now, and things are better – I have a bit of a rhythm going, and I have some things I’m working on that are truly my passion.  During this time God has been digging deep into my heart and showing me the dead parts.  He has already healed some of the things He has shown me during this transition period, but there are other things He has shown me that are still there causing death in my heart.  Mainly the things that remain are all of the things I have talked about here – how friends, family, etc rejected me and wounded me.  I’ve known the root for a few weeks – God showed me where these things originated…but my healing still hasn’t happened even though I tried to convince myself that it had.

God uses things we find bizarre sometimes to point us to our wounds.  I woke up today like any other normal Saturday – the whole day ahead of me with really nowhere to be or nothing pressing to do.  The first thing I did was look at my phone – there on social media was another one of these things…someone I had poured my heart into decided that people that were so mean to me were more acceptable and more valuable than I was.  Something else on social media caught my attention –  a former Voice finalist was shot and killed after one of her performances.  Seeing this put me in such a deep funk – it made me feel so wounded.  This is what I mean about God using bizarre things to point to our wounds.  My feelings about her death were irrational.  She was very talented, but beyond watching her season of the Voice, I really had not followed her career.  Yet all morning I have felt so much bitterness from this.  I realized that I identified with the characteristics her shooter projected onto her – clearly he thought she had no value or worth – so much so that he took her life.  I’m certainly not trying to say that anything I have been through compares to this – it clearly doesn’t.  What I am saying is that it makes me angry that someone else decided her fate – that someone decided to play God with her life.  She was a beautiful, young girl with so much passion and love for everyone.  She had her whole life ahead of her – a life to touch so many people…and in an instant it was gone – someone had snuffed it out.  That’s the part I identify with – I feel like I’ve had several people snuff me out…they didn’t literally kill me, but they have been killing my soul year after year.  I know now that this has been the master plan of the devil – trying to keep me hidden and isolated – making me feel invisible – making me feel rejected, unworthy, unloved and devalued.

As a result of my wounds,  I learned to just fade into the background.  I learned to stay on the sidelines loving people and working hard and never being seen or acknowledged.  That empty place is where my soul has resided for over 35 years.  Frankly, my soul needs a new home – a home that is filled with love and adoration – a home where I’m valued and of worth – a home where I am accepted fully and loved just because I am me – a home where others actually want me around because they truly enjoy being with me.  What God is showing me in this very moment is that regardless of the hurts, I have always been someone that people  have valued and loved and adored and wanted to be around.  Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy – and he has done a fantastic job up until now…I am just realizing that the lies we receive from people’s actions are truly lies – just because they make us feel a certain way doesn’t mean it is truly their heart for us.  It doesn’t mean they don’t love, accept and value us. Satan will use every opportunity to bury us or to snuff us out – and the best way to do that is by using everyone we love…we are all pawns in his nasty game.

The first step to freedom is always recognizing the lies we believed.  The truth always brings light to darkness.  The truth is:  You are a Princess/Prince – the Daughter/Son of a King,  You are wholly loved, You are wholly accepted, You are beautiful, You are adored, You bedazzle your Daddy, You have captured His heart, He delights in you, He created you for your very own unique purpose, He will never leave you or forsake you, He loves you as far as the East is from the West and then some, He is the lover of your soul and He carries your heart, He catches your tears and washes your heart with them, He dances with you, He carries you when you are faint or weary, He holds your hands every day and walks with you, He is your best friend, He is your greatest Love, He is your Truth, He is your Delight, He is your Honor, He is your Defender, He goes before you, He walks beside you, and He walks behind you.  He is the Vine, and you are His Branch.  His sweet and gentle spirit dance all around you making your heart sing and soar!  Bask in His truth today and always! Wrap yourself in His love – His love is yours!

As I close this post  I pray that you would be able to recognize God’s knock however it may come – whether through a song, a current event, a book, the Word, a movie or anything else in this world.  We are meant to have abundant life and joy.  We are meant to walk in freedom with purpose.  I pray that your heart would be open to His healing always!

 

Unashamed

I’ve been reading Unashamed by Christine Caine.  I’m only on Chapter 5…usually I fly through books, but this is one to take slowly, to absorb all that God is showing you.  Funny, I bought the book because I knew it would be good, but foolishly I thought there wasn’t possibly any other major thing that God could heal in me.  I was so wrong, and I’m so thankful that I was.

I’ve had intimacy issues throughout my marriage…the one place I should never feel  shame.  My husband has always been so patient, understanding and so loving.  There have been times in my past where the thought of being intimate with my him crippled me with fear – it wasn’t all the time – it was very sporadic.  Every time I feel this fear, God is about to heal something in me.  God showed me early in our marriage that I had been molested when I was a little girl – I had repressed it.  That was definitely part of the problem, but it wasn’t all of it.  He long ago healed me from that.  There have been some other things I have walked through that left me very broken hearted.  God has been healing these things one at a time.  As I was reading Unashamed, my Spirit felt heavy, and I felt that same familiar feeling – God was tugging at me showing me that I had a wound that was still buried.  He showed me on the spot exactly where it came from – it came from an unhealthy relationship in my past.  I thought I had been healed from that…I had shared all of these things long ago with my husband intentionally because I know that truth brings light to darkness.  I didn’t realize that I still carried the shame from it.  What I discovered yesterday is that it was not even my shame to carry – it was shame that I attached to myself and wore as my own.  I had been exposed to some sexual perversion as a child from someone very influential in my life…I wasn’t part of these acts – I just saw them by mistake (mainly because things were left out where they shouldn’t have been).  These things made me feel dirty, and they gave me a completely different feeling about this person.  I thought this person was dirty.  I realized that this particular relationship that God was showing me from my past, though not perverse at all, made me identify with this person, and I put the filth on myself.  I was dirty from then until yesterday.  Yesterday God showed me a picture of myself from high school…I was such a pure, good girl.  God showed me that is who I am – I have always been that sweet, innocent girl.  That’s my heart – regardless of any relationship I have been in – my heart has always been pure.

I’m so excited about what God is doing in all of His daughters’ lives!  Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Freedom!  I pray that God would use this book to heal something in every single person that reads it!