Sunday, March 1, 2015

But I Only....

Before reading the next phrases insert the word But at the beginning....

I only got drunk because she broke my heart.  I only cheated because he was abusive,  I only stole it because I really needed it.   Its only one rated R movie what can it hurt.  Work doesn’t pay me what they should so I’ll just take it out in trade.  I only curse while in traffic.  I’m so tired I’ll just skip church this one time.  Repentance is for sinners my acts were justified.  I am strong I can do this on my own, I don’t need God……..

Thought for the day:  We cannot hide any act of our lives from ourselves or from the Lord.   As prerequisites to forgiveness, there must first be recognition, remorse, then confession.  “By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them.” In addition to recognizing our sins, we must feel sincere sorrow for what we have done. We must feel that our sins are terrible. We must want to unload and abandon them.

I previously spoke of Godly sorrow and the need to abandon my sins, but how did it come to that, what was the process to bring me to such Godly sorrow?  It was not an easy road I can tell you that.  I spent many of my days in the past with a chip on my shoulder.  Everywhere I went I felt others were judging me for my actions.  I would never be able to measure up because of my sins, they would forever follow me and I am as dirt.  At one point I even stopped going to church because I felt if I walked in the door I wouldn’t be welcomed and it would be awkward because I am the black sheep, I am the sinner and everyone knows it.  I suffered greatly for many years and  turned to even more sin as well as embracing beliefs I didn’t understand to try to escape.

I became entangled in a web satan had weaved for me with negative and false thinking coupled with depression and fear.  I found myself spending my days fighting to make people believe that I was respectable and a good person. I always found myself in awkward circumstances and conversations of worldliness and I continually worked as either a beggar to have people believe I was a good girl, or as a fighter to save my reputation.  When all the time, the truth was, I was really fighting only me…..

I had a knack of excusing away my choices. And though the things I said to myself were indeed true, for I really was having a hard time I really was hurting and suffering and needed to do something.  The fact remained that I made the choices of my life, and I could not push them away with an excuse or blame.  I knowingly disobeyed my Father in Heaven and until I admitted that to myself, the merry-go-round would not stop and satan would continue to wrap me up as his trophy.

I was literally physically exhausted from the fight and because I fought so hard it effected my well-being.  I developed health troubles and had many trips to the hospital; I became an emotional roller coaster.  I worried to the point that I feared even my own children could not love me because I was such a bad person; and I know they grew weary of hearing me apologize and excuse myself for being a bad mother and person. And while its true that many people did know of some of my more serious transgressions, the fact remains that most did not; yet I was too focused on hiding my sins from myself, and making myself belive that I was justified, to realize how things really worked.  I was spinning out of control and had to make a change, if I did not, the thought of what could happen to me was terrifying for I had even contemplated suicide.

Reality Check:  “There is no royal road to repentance, no privileged path to forgiveness. Every man must follow the same course whether he be rich or poor, educated or untrained, tall or short, prince or pauper, king or commoner”- Spencer W Kimball

It is said that the first step in the road to recovery from addiction is admitting.  That proves to be no different on the road to repentance.  We must admit to ourselves that we have sinned. If we do not admit this, we cannot repent.  Whether it is a sin of great seriousness, a sin of omission, or willful  disobedience, we cannot seek forgiveness until we admit to ourself and Heavenly Father that we have erred.

“Let your sins trouble you, with that trouble which shall bring you down unto repentance. … Do not endeavor to excuse yourself in the least point” (Alma 42:29–30) The scriptures advise us further not to justify our sinful practices (Luke 16:15–16).

I found some of the greatest relief of my life, when I wrote in my journal of my sins.  Yes I wrote the circumstances and I wrote all the things that surrounded why I made the choices, but I did not excuse the fact that I had offended the one person who had never left me, never hurt me, that gave me all that I needed and more.  I had offended my Father in Heaven.

It was not easy to admit to myself that I had been wrong.  The pain of those transgressions caused a heavy suffering of my heart and soul that was near unbearable.  But when I went to the Lord with them, that acknowledgement brought me a measure of peace and I knew that I had come home. When I was willing to give away my sins and follow him, I came to know God.  I began to understand that the Savior gave His life for us and suffered for our sins so that if we believed on his name and repented we would not have to carry that burden.  Each time I ignored what I had done, I trampled all that he died for, I threw away the gift.  So I followed the promptings from my intense prayers and fessed up thus, beginning my road to forgiveness.  

I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.” Psalms 32:5

One of the best things we can do for ourselves is admitting when we are wrong and seek to make it right, that does not however, give us full throttle to beat ourselves up.  The Savior suffered so that we would not have to, the first step in accepting that gift is admitting our sin.  But we cannot let satan make us believe there is no hope.  We must stay strong and stay with God.

There is comfort and peace in admitting our mistakes, let us take note as we work through our days to  things we need to repair.

There is hope with repentance, let us then find ourselves in mighty prayer following the will of the Lord.

With Love, Dixie

Please join me next week for this series of blogs concerning the principles of repentance and my personal story of the road to safety and peace....