Posted by: Judy | April 27, 2020

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I’ve always understood that I needed to repent, every day. However, I struggled with feeling like I was being punished. It’s only been more recently that I’ve come to understand that repentance is a gift not a punishment. I’ve also always understood that I’m a sinful creature; it’s human nature. It’s taken me long time to learn the difference between being wicked, which I’d thought I was as an abuse victim, and being flawed, weak, imperfect. I remember the relief of learning that in Greek perfect meant complete, finished. The knowledge warred with my perfectionism, the need to never make a mistake. It was an understandable fear considering all the times I heard, “What can we do to make sure you never make that mistake again?” The “we” was a lie, along with a whole host of lies. I was punished for not doing things “right.” Even when I was right. The insanity still boggles my mind. Blessedly, the Lord has been patiently teaching me to take responsibility for me, for my choices, my decisions. More importantly, He has been teaching me about His grace and mercy. He wants what’s best for me and wants me to be happy. I’ve had to learn that happiness and joy aren’t in things or situations but in resting in the peace of knowing Jesus makes up the difference. I learned that I can never be good enough, right enough, perfect enough to return to God’s presence, not by myself. Jesus provides the bridge and the price is me giving all my sins to Him. He gives me the opportunity to practice, every single day. I’m learning to seek the Lord not in shame but in a desire to know what I need to give to Jesus today. ~ Laurel Hawkes

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