A bitterness had formed in my heart through years of numbing the pain of my past; a resentment so strong I could feel it pulse through my veins. I felt discarded, dirty, and unlovable from some of the choices I’d made. I was afraid to look honestly at the condition of my heart because then I'd have to quit living in denial that I was operating out of such a broken place. Whether they were decisions I had made, or someone else’s decisions that directly affected me, it was time to uncover what had been intentionally tucked away, never to be brought up again. That meant stripping away all of the facades, all of the hardness, and bringing to light the things I believed were so unforgivable.
When I encountered the love of God, the dam of my heart burst forth a water that flowed with repentance, like a baptism for my aching spirit. I fell on my knees in prayer and began to speak out every broken, lustful desire of my heart—repenting of things past and things present. Ephesians 1:7 says, “God is so rich in kindness and grace,” and in my frailty I experienced His loving kindness towards me. I admitted my powerlessness and asked God to lead me to a new life.
Here, in the humility of repentance, I found the freedom I’d always longed to have. A renewal of His spirit washed over me and His tangible presence wrapped around me like a mother who comforts her child. “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13) Mercy and freedom were there all along, waiting for the moment I uncovered my brokenness and sought out grace through forgiveness.
If you are in this place today, take heart knowing that God has seen every dark valley you’ve walked through, or are currently stuck in—and maybe have the desire to return to, because it’s felt safe and familiar—and He is not disgusted with you because of it. “There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. The power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.” (Romans 8:1-2) It is in our powerlessness that He comes through with His power.
Through repentance, we encounter the promise of God that trades in our sinfully stained identity for a new one—one that is positioned in Christ, blameless before God.