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!

 

 

 

 

 

For my Sweetheart – Happy 11th Anniversary!

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Today (July 23, 2016) is my 11th wedding anniversary.  I opted to blog rather than buy a Hallmark – after all, my husband deserves the spotlight!

I guess everyone always says the same thing – I can’t believe it has been 11 years, and I can’t believe it has ONLY been 11 years.  It’s so hard to remember me before him…honestly, I like the me WITH him so much more (God played a big part in that)!

I met this incredible man in church.  I quickly developed a huge crush on him (which I totally hid as if my life depended on it).  I was drawn to him (not because I thought he was hot – even though I did think that) but more because he had the most gentle and sweetest spirit.  He had a laugh that was contagious – it lit up not only his whole face but the entire room as well.  He was intelligent.  He had himself together – already owned a house and had begun a wonderful career as a teacher.  I was very impressed…and I was very smitten too!

He asked me out, and to make a short story even shorter, we were married a little less than 7 months later.  Ecclesiastes 3 pretty much sums up the past 11 years: There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…  Together we have experienced weeping, laughing, mourning and dancing.  I hold in my heart all of these things…I wouldn’t change a thing.  Even through the most painful times, Chuck was there for me and held my heart like no one other than God could have.  He has let me cry with my face buried in his chest countless times, and his soothing and loving touch nursed my heart back to health.  He lets me dance through the grocery store isles when I hear a song I love (uncontrollable urge on my part), and he loves me even more for doing it.

I love that with him I am raw and vulnerable.  I love that I know how much he loves me always – even when we disagree…it’s an unconditional love like I’ve never known.  I love that when I’m upset, he immediately prays for me out loud on the spot with such passion and fervor.  I love his strength.  I love his passion.  I love his fight.  I love his dedication and loyalty.  I love his heart.

I’m so glad I waited for God’s best for me (even when I really didn’t want to wait).  Chuck is the perfect man for me, and I’m so blessed that He was God’s choice for me (I prayed for God to arrange my marriage).  I would marry him over and over and over again.  I truly love him more with each passing day.  I respect him more with each passing day.  I’m more thankful for him with each passing day.  I’m more in awe of God for bringing me him each passing day.  I’m so proud to be his wife.  I’m so proud of him – proud of the choices he makes, proud that he lets God lead him, proud of his noble character, proud of the man he is, period!

Happy Anniversary my Love!  You are the greatest love I’ve ever known!   This journey has been incredible, and I love that I get to walk out the rest of my days with you! I’m excited for each and every day of our lives together – love you always, your girl

 

Do you love me?

Imagine Jesus asking you this question – Do you love me?   Pause for a moment and think about how it makes  you feel.  Jesus asked Peter in John 21:15 if he loves Him.  He asked him 3 times in fact.  Peter’s response makes me think he was disappointed that Jesus asked him this – how could He ask such a thing when He knows everything – He knew that Peter loved him.

I tell Jesus I love Him all of the time, and I truly do with all of my heart.  I never realized that while I know Jesus loves me, I felt that I blended in with everyone else that He loves – nothing special to see here.  I’ve struggled for decades with feeling invisible.  When I read these words – I knew that Jesus was asking ME personally if I love Him?  In an instant that question healed a 30-something year old wound in me – the wound that told me that I am invisible.

That question made me feel singled out.  It made me feel the intense gaze of the greatest love I have ever known.  Wow – He sees me.  There was no blending in at that moment – truthfully, I didn’t want to blend in.  His loving gaze captured my heart and took my breath away.  I just wanted to stay there in that moment lost in His eyes forever.

I share this because I want you to have this moment with Him…I want you to know that He SEES you.  His eyes and His heart are fixed on you!  There is so much love and beauty in this.  This kind of intimacy is life changing.  You are His beloved – revel in the romance of that always!