IT strikes again

It’s almost a choking sensation. It grabs me by the throat and nearly cuts off my air supply. I look upwards for help, but God seems impossibly far away. Nobody else is around. I focus my energy on one breath at a time. In, one, two. Out, one, two. Maybe I can get through this.

Not too long ago, I committed some terrible crimes. No, I didn’t break any laws–except God’s. Blind, young, and selfish, I didn’t realize how terribly stupid I was being, nor did I realize that maneuvering the outcome would be like untangling a knot.

I couldn’t go back, so I moved on. I tried to make the best of a pathetic situation. I didn’t ask people to feel sorry for me, but I did hope they would leave me alone. And mostly, they did. It was my own thoughts which tormented me, without any need for anybody else’s bullying.

Most likely, there were people who cursed my existence and prayed that God would punish me for life. They secretly wished that I would suffer for what I had done. They didn’t want me to be happy, but I defied their expectations. Or did I?

That’s the trouble: how can I continue to be repentant for the wrongs I’ve done in the past, while at the same time enjoy my life in the present? My sinful history always threatens to tip the uneasy balance I’ve managed to obtain. Then, the choking starts. How can I go on another moment? Why doesn’t God just strike me dead? Am I not enough of a stain on His Name?

Today, I came to a startling realization: I need to be brave.

Brave enough to face my past…while stepping out into my future. Yes, it’s good to learn from our mistakes. It’s good to try and understand why we did what we did, to unravel the complexities of human nature. But if that’s as far as we get, we haven’t gone far enough. We need to move forward from there, and apply what we’ve learned toward something constructive. And if we’re going to do that, we can’t be wimpy.

It takes a strong person to admit, Yes, I did those horrible things. But, it takes a stronger person yet to say, I’m not going to let it ruin my life.

That’s not to condone callousness. We shouldn’t brush our sins aside as if they mean nothing, pretending they aren’t really that bad. No. It’s crucial that we acknowledge who we are and what we’ve done, and stare our filthy reflection straight in the face. We must grieve our wrongdoings, and sorrow over the hurt we’ve caused others. However, if we’re still alive, it’s because God has a purpose for our existence. To live in continuous apology and regret doesn’t coincide with the fact that He’s forgiven us (after we’ve sincerely confessed and repented of our sins). We have to let go of our shame at some point, and choose to live in the freedom His forgiveness grants us.

Even though God for some reason hasn’t “come to the rescue” (fixed everything to my liking), He’s linked each day together into a strand leading to where I am now, and to where He plans for me to be tomorrow. Each day is building up to something, something that I don’t quite understand, but that I’ll find out eventually. My ugliness, my failures, my wickedness–(could it be?)–He is stringing into a human ornament: me.

 

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6 thoughts on “IT strikes again

    • Thanks. Even though it’s “real” (at least as real as I feel I can get without revealing ALL the details), I wonder if it isn’t also a bit too depressing? Maybe I shouldn’t post any more of these “I’m struggling with a choking sensation” type articles. I’m kind of laughing right now about it, but actually, I’m serious. I wonder if it’s enough of a benefit to others to warrant it’s public existence? What do you think? If you want, you can email me.
      Jessica

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  1. ‘If we are still alive,it’s because God has a purpose for our existance.’ Yes,this fact is also encouragement to keep going on for me.

    Your post reminds me of my close christian friend who had similar struggling.She had felt for long time that she should not be happy.But by His grace,now she changed.

    This article is a beautiful testimony,which can encourage many people,including me.

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    • It almost seems queer to think that my post could encourage anybody! But if it can, praise God for it.
      I kind of feel like your friend, that I shouldn’t be happy. Still, I hope by God’s grace to change, like she did.
      Thank you for your uplifting comment, Sanae! It really helped me.
      Jessica

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  2. If ‘IT’ strikes the next time, go to ‘You Tube’ and search for the song title ‘But For The Blood, SE Samonte’ I trust it might sooth your heart at least a little.

    Have you ever contemplated about Peter , how he deceived Jesus but after filled with the Holy Spirit was a changed person.
    Wish you courage.
    God bless, Love Ruth

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    • Thank you, Ruth! I listened to the song on You Tube, and it certainly was very soothing and comforting.
      Thanks for the reminder about Peter. Yes, I think that I had been like him in a way: I was full of passion for the Lord when I was younger, but I lacked perseverance. When put under pressure, I yielded. I think I have learned from the mistake! But, it is sometimes hard to deal with the guilt, especially when having to interact with people that I had previously hurt. It is so helpful to have friends to encourage me, and uplift my spirit when I am feeling down! I appreciate your comment so much, Ruth! Really!!
      Jessica

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