Confessions {A Challenge of Submission}

Holey wholly holy

The slow burn of sanctification melts away the edges, and as the fire slips in, we begin to crack. A confession swells and resisting will only lead to more pain.
We must bend.
~Kris Camealy, Holey, Wholly, Holy

Stubbornness runs through my very marrow. And I’ve told my Creator it’s the way He made me. He should expect nothing less than me refusing to bend.

Friends, it took over 30 years to catch a glimpse of how He’s really made me.
As it turns out, I’m rather flexible.

Nearly 14 years of marriage has taught me many things. Some lessons came quick and sharp. Like ripping off a bandage. Others came long and slow as I agonized over how far from the truth I could really be.

I remember one evening like it was yesterday. We’d lost count at how many times we’d had the same discussion. Frustrations ran rampant. My stubbornness at its boiling point. When finally the boils burst and I saw clearly. Wow. How could I have been that ignorant?

It took all I had within to meet my hubby’s gaze. I worked my way up. Aiming my apologies first at the frieze. I focused on one particular carpet strand as it seemed to be twisted the wrong way, standing out from all the rest. Suddenly, my shirt felt too tight. I pulled it away from my vocal chords while gulping for air. My husband in all his grace asked me to repeat myself. Not for him. For me. Because somehow he knows me down to my marrow.

My glance rose to his torso as I repeated my confession. It surprised even me that I got it out, although it was softer than the first. My better half showed love in all its glory as he whispered my name in matching tone. Without thinking, my eyes rose to meet his. And like a deer in headlights, I stepped over my wall of pride to get closer to his call. Love surged as I looked at his welcoming eyes. Suddenly, nothing else mattered but him and my desire to be pressed firmly against his chest. The sound of his heartbeat calming mine…

I don’t regret it and have experienced it many times since. Friends, it’s true. Love requires you lay your own life down.

His Word tells us this process is how He really loves us. By loving the filth right out of our hearts, He draws us ever closer and when we release, when we lay low, we can finally hear His heartbeat.
~Kris Camealy, Holey, Wholly, Holy

My thoughts turn to Jesus…a convicted (albeit innocent) criminal forced to carry the weapon used in His murder. We look at the cross today and cry holy. Which has always confused me as it was merely a means to an end. But I see it now…I do.

This is His gift. His sacrifice. We cannot fathom this love. This gift is undeserved, yet still, He’s offered up…even as we pretend not to need this saving.
~Kris Camealy, Holey, Wholly, Holy

While Rome was using this action as a means of submission to their rule, Jesus was using it as a means to submit to our actions. The burden of us. Revealing who rules as He opened the floodgates for love’s grace to enter in.

Friends…Jesus paid it all. All our sins, regrets, pride woven tightly in slivers and thorns. You see, love will never ask for more than it will give. And He gave it all. Oh how He loves us.

Jesus shed all, bore all, bled all, died for all. And invites us to do the same.

The difference? Jesus did it for Every.One. He’s only asking we do it for ourselves…Not for Him. For us.

Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper,
but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
Proverbs 28:13

It took me over 30 years to realize confessing was not for Him but for me. As I laid there, drenched in my own sin, wailing my own failures, I heard His whisper. His invite to come. And like a deer in headlights, I never looked back. I simply pressed hard into His chest and let mercy calm my softening soul.

Oh how I pray we all take advantage of grace freely offered.

Dying to be remade requires confession. Confession of pride and failures dumped out into the light to be washed away into redemption’s gutters… Beyond the confession…awaits resurrection. This is the gift, the prize of the hard confessions….

He is risen, and, in Him, we rise.
~Kris Camealy, Holey, Wholly, Holy

You should know I have more to say about confessions. I will post the second half sometime before next Wednesday. You will be able to find it under this tag HERE.

NOTE: This is a part of my Lenten series based on my experience through Lent last year and my reading Holey, Wholly, Holy by Kris Camealy this year. You may check out the entire series HERE. I’ll be back next Wednesday. If you’d like to prepare, please read through “Feasting and Fasting” of THIS BOOK as we will talk about fasting. If you do not have this book yet, Kris is giving away FREE PDF COPIES HERE for a limited time! Or you may purchase a kindle or hard copy (highly recommend) HERE.

How about you, friend? Do you struggle with submitting? Are you able to freely confess your failures? How do you repent? I’d love to hear.
Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

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24 thoughts on “Confessions {A Challenge of Submission}

  1. Dear Nikki
    Like you have mentioned, my friend, we are quite obstinate, stubborn creatures. I like the way Brother Lawrence describes himself in his book, The Practice of The Presence of God, where he says that all he knows to do is sinning! But, and this is a BIG but, our Lord knows our hearts, and offered us His life anyway, for He knows that without Him we cannot even realize our sinfulness, let alone confessing them. Oh, dear one, if it wasn’t for His patience!!! For His Love. For Him, actually, in all His glory! Thanks, I am enjoying your series on Lent!
    Much love
    Mia

  2. Nikki,
    How beautifully your husband reflects the image of the Lord! Thank you for this very tender telling. I’m enjoying your series on Lent, too, and just finished reading Kris’ wonderful book.
    Much love,
    Peg

  3. Oh, girl…yesterday I was just pummeled–my ugliness staring me right in the face! It was a whole new level of what I need to shed in order to make room for more of Him. I also had a realization a few days ago. I’ve been struggling with hurt over people who will not stand up for me in important things over the years–that goes back to core wounds of self worth and lies the enemy has planted and reinforced hard core. As I sat in Church, it hit me, what you said about the cross, that Jesus died to take on all that garbage–all the injustice. HE stood up for me, in the biggest way, righted the injustice. ….About confession…as a Catholic, I have the indescribable, amazing blessing of Confession as a sacrament! Oh, how Jesus knows that, as humans, we need to experience Him, with our senses, in real life! Though it is humbling, I get to verbalize my need, in the context of beautiful prayers, to an ordained man standing in the place of Christ, receive absolution, and hear, “Your sins are forgiven! Go in the peace of Christ.” Awesome. Love you:)

    • Jesus stood up for you. Oh my goodness, if that’s all we come to believe down in our marrow this Lent, that will be enough, friend. Thank you for sharing this hard journey with me! I can’t picture it without you…
      I wish I would have learned this confession sacrament in church as a child, Mandy. I’m sure it would have helped me figure all this out sooner…So glad grace isn’t restricted by time! {HUGS}

  4. I’m chewing tenderly and thoughtfully on this, right here: ” …this process is how He really loves us. By loving the filth right out of our hearts, He draws us ever closer…”. Kris’ words couldn’t pierce any deeper. And God’s promise to love us and never leave us fills that piercing with such a love that I know, even as I read it and think how very UNholy I can be in my stubborness, that I am loved. And redeemed. And forgiven. Praise God!

    I read your own words, Nikki, and I am grateful upon grateful that there are ones, like you, who are willing to bare your heart for all to read. And for all to be encouraged by.

  5. “It took me over 30 years to realize confessing was not for Him but for me”
    Beautifully said from a lovely heart. Looking forward to part two!

  6. Nikki,

    This post today, Kris’ words in her book they are a God send. I couldn’t help but think of your words to me on Twitter this morning… all day this “Tonya-God’s after you today” has been tumbling around and I have His Spirit come up and surround and fill me to the very brim of my being. The next thing I heard today was Christine Caine’s words in an address she gave at Liberty University convocation – “There is only one love language and it is die – die to self…” And on the way to school tonight these words from the song Oh How He Loves played over and over in my mind “He is jealous for me, loves like a hurricane and I am a tree bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy… ” And I just asked God in the silence of my car after singing that line for the umpteenth time… What God what do I need to do… and then these words from Kris… “God speaks, and I reluctantly heed. I live wracked with sin and a willful spirit that cracks back against the call to bend – to submit, to surrender” And then these words from you “Jesus shed all, bore all, bled all, died for all. And invites us to do the same…”

    And sister this is a very long winded testimony today to let you know… that while I know that God pursues… This day, this very day may be the first time I have ever felt that deep pursuing – that jealous love, I am going to come after you no matter what pursuing that I have felt in a really long time… Planning on spending time on my knees and face…

    And just thank you, thank you for being right there with me.

    • I’ve been mulling that over, Tonya. The “there is only one love language….” I adore that statement on so many levels. And that song brings me to my knees every time. It never gets old.
      He knows no limits, does He…of how He will pursue and get through to us! Thank you for sharing this journey with me, friend. You bless me more than I can say. Still praying you through this {HUGS}

  7. Oh Nikki,

    Your posts grab me every single time. I am so touched by the story of your husband’s grace and your response.

    I am really enjoying reading your posts and Kris’ book. Thank you for your honesty and beautiful words.

    • I’m so glad you’re joining me here, Vicki! thank you. (looking forward to meeting you proper soon, too!) Isn’t Kris’ book a gem? I’ve read it multiple times and gain something new each time…love that. {HUGS}

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