“All of my longings lie open before you O Lord
My sighing is not hidden from you.” Psalm 38 verse 9
“But I trust in you, O Lord;
I say ‘You are my God.’
My times are in your hands;
deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me.
Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love.
Let me not be put to shame, O Lord, for I have cried out to you.” Psalm 31 v 3-6
‘Arise my love and come away with me. The time for singing has come.
The fig tree puts forth its fruit… the vines are in blossom.. they put forth their fragrance’
“How lovely is thy dwelling place O Lord of Hosts to me”. Psalm 84
‘So how about you start forgiving yourself ?’
She asked it straight. A transcontinental whatsapp conversation. I sat on the floor by my bed . She was sitting with her kids at home on the other side of the world.
‘I don’t know how to even begin to do that,’ I replied. And then I wept.
The question has remained with me for three days. So how about it ? How about forgiveness? Today I read the verses above – I struggle to believe that I can, will or should feel ‘God’s face shining on me’ or that I can ‘arise’ with him and sing, or that I can take up my dwelling in his house ( or even that I am already there).
I imagine the judgement of those who know what I’ve done. I imagine them asking ‘how can she write of her relationship with God, and living and loving and serving and worshipping, when she’s messed up so much?’
And yet I know that if the word of God is true, I have been forgiven and I don’t have to keep carrying that burden of those sins (infidelity, dishonesty, unkindness) with me all the time.
I think that because I have been so keen not to shirk my responsibility for what happened, that I don’t feel that I can lay it down. I don’t want anyone to think that I hold someone else entirely responsible for what occurred. I will not pretend for a second that I did not choose actions which took me down a path.
But maybe it’s time for me to say – Jesus give me grace.
Give me grace to receive your forgiveness.
Give me grace to lay these burdens down.
Give me grace to accept the forgiveness I’ve been given by others, my husband most particularly.
Give me grace to see myself as you see me.
Give me grace to understand that it is right to keep sharing God’s goodness.
Give me grace towards myself so that I allow myself to tell a great story of a sinner who’s been forgiven and is on a redemptive journey.
Today Jesus, give me grace.
I am so pleased to have linked up with Lisha Epperson’s Sunday series