Matthew 6:25 - 27

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Loss, Guilt, and Forgiveness

I haven't written in more than a month. There are a lot of reasons, but I'm not going to explain or make excuses today. Today I'm reeling from another "loss" and am just feeling tired of "life".  Everything lately has been a struggle. If I shared the "everything" list, you would see that this is not a generalization or an exaggeration.  But I am so overwhelmed already that to start listing it all out would crush me. Trust me. I've had major issues with my house and property, appliances, utilities, finances ... I know it could be worse, but I'm just so tired of all the hassles and expenses and pressure! And, I'm tired of being so alone. 

Yesterday, in the midst of running around all day, wanting to just go home and crawl in bed and rest, but struggling with the needs and requests of my son, I lost my electronic tablet. I'm pretty sure it fell out of my car door in the parking lot of a Walmart store and I didn't notice it. To make it worse, I didn't realized it was gone for an hour. When I couldn't find it anywhere I realized what must have happened and called Walmart. It had not been turned in. I went back out there, looked around the parking area, went back in the store and checked again if it had been turned in. Nothing. Apparently, someone found it and took it. I filed a police report. That's all I could do.

It's just a "thing". It shouldn't destroy me, but it has. I'm a mess and I'm trying to understand why.

On the surface is guilt. I feel guilty for buying it just recently for myself in the first place. I feel guilty that I bought something other than an iPad. If I'd bought an iPad, I could have found it by now - at least that's what I'm being told. Then, I feel guilty for being so careless as to let it fall out in the first place and not notice it. I feel guilty for getting so upset when I realized it. I feel guilty for accusing and yelling at my son when I couldn't find it. And, I feel guilty for feeling guilty. I know I don't need to. I know I am forgiven. But I do.

The next issue is fear. The fact that it was found and not returned means it was stolen. And I feel like any victim of theft. I feel vulnerable and violated. My tablet contains a lot of personal information, all of my email, contacts info, and account information for numerous accounts. I don't know what may happen. Will they just find a way to clear it all out and reset it and use or sell it? Or will they be able to access my information and then what??? I'm afraid to post online or even write this! What can I safely do?

And then, there's anger. I'm angry with myself. I'm angry with the issues surrounding why my attention was distracted. I'm angry with the thief. I'm angry (yes) with God. I wasn't angry with God when my husband died. But I'm angry about this. (That's stupid, isn't it? I don't know why I'm reacting like this!) 

Which brings me back to guilt. True guilt. In trying to fill the void left when Tom died, I've allowed "the world and the things of the world" to take a place in my life that is wrong. I can justify it. Others would even say it's "okay" right now, because of my loss. But the Holy Spirit has been showing me otherwise. It's not okay. It's sin. It chokes out God's word in my life. It takes a place in my heart that belongs to Him alone. I heard the truth being spoken to my heart in the last few weeks. I was trying to respond ... to repent ... to change (with His help). But losing this "thing" and responding so violently to it has revealed what is truly in my heart ... and it's ugly. 

God's word says that we are to "confess our sins to one another so that we may be healed."  Friends, I have sinned. I have allowed the love of the world, they things of the world, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (I John) to take over the place of God in my life. And I've seen it. And I'm so sorry. I repent. I do not want this in my heart anymore. Jesus is my Lord. He is all I need. He is all I want. 

As I've written this, my tears have stopped flowing, my heart has had the intense pain and pressure lifted, and I know that, in confessing my sin to you, and in your prayers for me, I can be healed ... and forgiven.