The name of this blog is Confessions of a regenerated heart. I’m going to try and keep that theme this year. Confessions. Confessions that will help you feel like you’re not alone. Confessions that will make you laugh. Confessions that will help you realize you’re not the only crazy person in this world. We’ll see how it goes.
I have a confessions to make, I love the act of going back and reading excerpts from my journal. A little narcissistic? Maybe. But that is my confession. During the last few days of the year I like to check out December of the year before to find out what I wanted to change in the year to come. It is a great way to refocus myself and prioritize the immediate desires to change everything. I often find that what I wanted to change last year was what has either changed dramatically or has gotten worse. Last December, I spent time thinking about my past and the shame and pain that usually goes with it. I asked God to help me find a way to live with it and use it help those around me who had a similar story. It’s funny what He did this year in my heart. He broke my heart. I know that sounds strange to those who don’t deal with God on a regular basis so I’ll articulate that concept for a moment. But I’ll need a new paragraph.
As we go through life things happen. Some of those things are good and some of those things are bad. Those things leave us with a sense of optimism or pessimism. As we continue through life we form ideas and opinions based on our experiences good or bad. Here’s a big confession. I, unlike you great people I’m sure, have allowed those experiences to make me cynical and skeptical of people. I doubt their motives and their intentions. I am quick to assume the worst of people. I judge them and label them in whatever way I see fit. I’m not saying it’s right, but it is what I do. Another confession! As a result, I spend a lot of time worrying about how people have judged and labeled me. I worry that my past with bring with it labels and judgments and assumptions. It’s a vicious cycle that I’m sure only I get caught up in, right? So, this year I wanted to stop doing this. The only problem is, when you spend time judging and labeling you often grow calloused to the feelings and thoughts of others. In order to stop labeling folks, I had to start looking at them without labels and judgments and start looking at them with some love. The first label that had to go was my own. I’m hard on myself. I expect way too much out of myself. The only way to avoid a spiral of depression was to go back to my faith. For a person who claims faith, I really had no concept of love. It broke my heart. I choose to believe there is a God. Why didn’t I choose to love? I’ve always heard God is love and so I have begun wrestling with that concept. God is love. He loves me. He loves me so much He came to earth in human form and lived a human life, even though He was God. It was a demonstration of His love. God loved me and then acted on my behalf. I didn’t do anything to get that love. He gives it to me. I don’t have to get my act together to get His love. I don’t have to start praying three times a day to get His love. I don’t have to read my Bible for an hour everyday to get His love. I already have it. And that breaks my heart. Someone loves me with all of my ugliness, pettiness, spitefulness, meanness, and pitiful thoughts and feelings. Why? I don’t know! But He does. This concept has changed my thinking about EVERYTHING! If I claim to believe in God I must choose to love those that He loves. I must allow them to be without labels and judgments. That isn’t my job. My job is to love. The skepticism and cynicism is still there but it’s not the driving force, all of the time. It’s nice to feel the weight of my own labels and judgments lift from my shoulders. It’s nice to feel anything again. It’s nice to see kindness and feel emotional about it. It’s nice to tear up at the thought of someone losing something or someone. Well, it’s not nice, but it’s a good thing to be able to feel compassionate again. It is nice to be open to love again. Interesting how the process occurred, but who am I to get caught up on those details. I’m just glad it’s happening.
Until another confession, enjoy the rest of your year. And be careful what resolutions you make this year, they could change your life.