Sometimes events just seem to snowball, tumbling and turning and growing - bigger and bigger. And at times, we realize it's happening, other times, we haven't the faintest idea until it's too late and you're crushed under the debris.
This last month has definitely been a season of challenge and learning for me. Enlightenment, almost. Like someone turned on a lamp and turned it back on everything that's behind me. And I saw things I didn't ever know were there. Normally, I have a pretty good memory, but some things missed my sight as I walked by them.
Now everything seems to make sense, and that's not necessarily a happy thing.
Actually, it's heartbreaking.
I never even knew.
And now, I can't take back past events, I can only try to move forward.
Have you ever tired to move forward when you're heartbroken? It's probably one of the most difficult things I've ever attempted to do. Sometimes I get stuck, going in circles, wallowing in grief and preoccupied with disappointment.
Not a great place to be.
But moving forward doesn't mean leaving past events to the past - letting bygones be bygones. Certainly forgiving oneself and others is important. But I would also like to think that moving forward means making an attempt to right what went wrong.
Sometimes all we can do is apologize. And then there are times when we can actually, physically do or say something.
I've been thinking a lot about what it takes to make amends lately. Not so easy as it sounds, depending on what exactly the offense was. In my case, it was good intentions gone wrong. The desired effect only worked halfway, the other half, was a disaster. Without even knowing, I tossed a straw that broke the camel's back.
One of the things Jesus does when he enters our lives, is he gives us a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). It's a soft heart that recognizes sin and wrongdoing. It can be broken and grieved. Stone hearts tend to be oblivious to sin. They don't recognize their faults - even the unintentional ones. So praise God that we can recognize our sin.
I read this verse in a favorite novel of mine. It was in Lori Wick's, "Who Brings Forth the Wind."
"yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance" (2 Cor. 7:9).Sorry to repentance.
It's one thing to say I'm sorry... it's another thing to have our sorrow lead us to repentance.
Repentance means to turn away from sin. To head in a new direction.
I don't know where you are at today. But as a Christian, as a person, no one is perfect. No one is righteous. And your sins may not look like someone elses. You may not have done something punishable by law. But you have likely hurt someone in your past - or hurt yourself, or even God. Don't be afraid to be self-reflective. Ask God to show you where you've gone wrong. Sometimes we directly go against God's will, other times we do something entirely by accident. In our humanity, we're feeble, and we snap at times.
But once you recognize where you've gone wrong, it's time to be repentant. And I know, for me personally, that's a big step towards humility, which, by definition, is humbling. It's a strike at our pride. But who ever said Christians were supposed to be proud of themselves? We've nothing to be proud of. Only a creator to praise.