These Are My Confessions:
It has been close to 2 years ago that Wesley and I made the decision to move back to Atlanta to plant Tri-Cities Church on the South side of Atlanta. Although viewed as altruistic in some sense, it left me lost and dissatisfied. I left my ‘dream’ job at the nation’s top university (Go Tigers!) where I helped shape the world’s future leaders. I left to return to a common place. A place where I have been many times before… a place all too familiar…a place where I have lost and struggled…a place where I truly did not want to invest my blood, sweat, and tears. A place where I wanted to forget– I felt stuck. Yes! I am a Pastor’s Wife and I felt Stuck.
I had attained and gained so much in these last few years to squander it on a ‘wasteland’. I cheered my husband on with my words yet silently protested in my heart. I believed GOD had called us back so I initiated our return but saw no purpose to me being back here. Why would GOD drag me back here?
January 1st 2013, things became acerbic in my home. My husband looked me in the face and sternly pronounced my fate. He said, “Whether you realize it or not, I believe that God brought us back here so you can figure out who you truly are. You lost yourself along the way and what I see is only a shell of the woman I married. You need to do the work to figure out who are and you need to accept it. This season is for you.” For the next months we argued, fought, screamed, and forgave each other. Our frustrations forced us to the couch of our marriage counselor and the mercy-seat of our Heavenly Father. It was HARD!
I soon realized that the caustic seeds that had been implanted in my mind and heart began to be unearthed. My multitude of layers were being stripped away piece by piece uncovering raw wounds that were never healed only repressed. I felt naked. I felt guilt and shame. Some of my actions repulsed me that they left me nauseated at times. I had to confess….I had to admit that I had adopted the titles branded upon me not knowing that it meant detriment to my soul. I had to admit that I was caving under the weighty expectations of others and myself to perform even when I had no idea what I was doing. I had traded God’s pronouncement about me for the flighty compliments of others. I felt naked…exposed to the very core of my being with no place to hide. I had to deal with me. I had to allow the healing presence of God’s Spirit to renew every sinew of my being. I had to surrender! Praise God that He does not despise brokenness-.
The words of Charles Finney, a revivalist in the 1800s, rang in my ear during this season of my life.
“Self-examination consists of looking at your life, considering your motives and actions. . . calling up your past and seeing its true character. Look back over your past history. Take up your individual sins one by one, and look at them. This doesn’t mean that you just take a casual glance at your past life, see that it has been full of sin, and then go to God and make a sort of general confession, asking forgiveness. General confessions of sin are not good enough. Your sins were committed one by one; and as much as you are able, they ought to be reviewed and repented of one by one. It’s a good idea to take a pen and some paper as you go over them, and write them down as they come to mind.”
Many may not agree with the
harsh advice of Finney but
. The longer we stay silent, the longer we are enslaved to the insecurities and shames of our past.
Confession is good for the soul. It is not a one time event but an everyday activity.
It was time to speak out and speak up. A heart of humility is open to daily confession. I struggle with humility and have to work at it daily. I purchased a journal for my confessions and began documenting the times I recalled where I deliberately rebelled against God and chose my own way. I had to bring each emotion felt and action done to the cross for judgment. I spent weeks crying out to GOD about these habits, these thoughts, these lofty ideologies about myself. It was painful but in the midst of it, I found freedom. Praying, seeking, and declaring God’s truth helped build my resolve. His promises concerning me and those who love Him began to resonate in my heart. I was naked before Him yet felt no shame. Kimberly, stripped bare, was a daughter seeking her way back to her Father’s heart. The legacy and purpose longed for was found in HIM. Why did He bring me back to this ‘wasteland’? He had to change my heart and my perspective. The wasteland of my heart had to be severely plowed for fruit to grow in due season. It may take days, weeks, months, or years of labor but it so worth it. I am exactly where I need to be.
It is said that the first step to recovery is admission. We must first admit who we are before we can be accepted for who we are. For knowing who we truly are brings freedom. So I ask, “Who Are You?”
“ For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”- Romans 3:23-24
My question to you is this: ‘Are you willing to do what is necessary to ensure that you are in right standing with God– even if it costs you dearly?’ We are all a work in progress and none of us should view ourselves more highly than the other. We need each other. The prayer, camaraderie, and accountability is necessary for us to make it to the end. For the prayer, camaraderie, and accountability to be available; there must first be vulnerability. Until then, I implore you to
“Sow for yourselves righteousness;
reap steadfast love;
break up your fallow ground,
for it is the time to seek the Lord,
that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.” – Hosea 10:12