I watched as she intentionally pulled her life apart piece by piece and I grieved for her. Her family, her friends, her ministry, her reputation, her relationship with God all lay strewn about her. It was a horror show, but to get near her would put one at great risk, so I prayed. Reflecting back over my own life I had often come to the same impasse, “ how can I forgive myself when I alone am to blame?” I suppose I could play the ‘blame game’ and dredge up memories of birth family mistakes and unhappy memories. I could even remember some genuine neglect and real injustices. But some of those steps that led me to destruction were carefully thought out plans and that I could not deny. The flesh wants relief from the pressure of responsibility. The flesh is full of pride and leans toward independence from God. The flesh wants to read books and make resolutions and attend programs. The flesh wanted to help itself, but it was the flesh that sent me on that downward spiral of self destruction. Help and hope had to come from an outside source. They told me God loved me unconditionally, that he died on Calvary for forgiveness of sins, and that we have an advocate with the Father, Christ Jesus, but it wasn’t until I came across Hosea 13:9 that I made peace with myself. Israel had proved to be unfit and unlovable, undependable and cold, but it wasn’t about Israel, it was about God. Although I didn’t know all of the facts, watching her across the sanctuary I felt some of the anguish she was going through. I slipped out the door and walked quickly through the hallway around to the side where she was sitting. I slid into her pew and whispered in her ear, “ Oh Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself, but in Me is thine help.” There’s nothing like honest confession of guilt to cleanse the soul. Confess, repent, allow God to make you whole again.
Dear Jesus, I have become my own worst enemy. I have done it myself and I take responsibility. I don’t want to go on in this way of doing things and this pattern of thinking. Help me to walk before you humbly, to live according to your Word. I confess my sin to you and I repent. Please forgive me and help me to allow you to work in my life to restore me and make me whole. Amen.