Repentance begins in me.

Those words have struck a chord in my heart for months now. I have chewed on them, cried out over them, searched and asked and wept.
The things of this world, the ugliness and sin have left me broken and longing for Heaven. I couldn’t bear another worldly justification for sin, I couldn’t hear more hate filled words and lashings, I couldn’t watch one more abortion video.
And then more…

Refugee Children.
Scandals.
Limbs.
Fear.
Hate.
Fights.

My heart was in shambles. My head was in agony, never resting, always thinking.
I was ready to shield my eyes from the next terror, the unsightly, the brutal…the uncomfortable.
We are living in a terrorized world. Fear encapsulates us all. From the unborn, to the marginalized, the persecuted, to the ones who flee and the ones who merely look on it all with closed hearts and hands.

So many fall to fear. Too cowardice in our faith to stand. Too weary in our own full lives to see the hunger of those broken around us. So we look down, afraid to meet the eyes that bear into our souls…afraid to ask God for His desires and expectations.

Lord, If repentance begins in me show me how I can be better, show me how I can put aside my selfish thoughts, my prideful ambition, my anger, disdain, my desire to pretend none of the hurting exists.

I yearn for peace, not because I’m a peacemaker working to resolve the chaos, but because I desire to be comfortable.
I desire tranquil calm waters, not rushing rapids.
I desire beauty over craziness.
And I desire it not for anyone else’s sake, but for my own.

Yet, for months I’ve felt anything but peace.

For months I have battled old fears.
I’ve cried over war torn countries, war zone cities, and brutally torn limbs.
I’ve wept for the marginalized and persecuted, the hate, the bitterness; for the believers who argue and extol their own ideals and have become clanging cymbals without love.

Repentance begins in me.
Lord what does that mean?
I’ve given you everything. I have surrendered to you daily.
Pry open my hands of whatever I’m holding on to.

Repent.
Repent, Beloved.

I have nothing else to give. I’m spent. I have no words for all of this. You see it all. You hear the screams, the cries of those in the valley, the weeping of those broken and hurt and scared.
I’ve been redeemed Lord. I have been set free. I’ve change, I’m not the same as I was yesterday. What does my heart have anything to do with the chaos of this world?

Repent.

My heart aches for you Lord. I daily repent of my sins, yet my heart keeps breaking.

“After this I will return and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen. I will rebuild its ruins and I will restore it, that the remnant of mankind may seek the lord…” Acts 15:16-17.

He promises to rebuild and restore. To give back all that has been lost, broken, decayed and barren.
I long for restoration.

“So that the remnant of mankind may seek the Lord…”

My repentant heart leads to restoration.
Restoration opens the eyes and softens the hearts of those searching.
Restoration allows for light to shine through the darkness.
Restoration builds truth and peace and hope.
Restoration brings others to seek truth and peace and hope.
Restoration brings others to seek God.

Repentance brings restoration.

Repentance begins in me.

Me. Surrendering and repenting those quiet, shame filled sins that I do not even dare to whisper. Those sins that only I and my father know.

Repentance of my deepest sins brings my restoration.
Repentance makes way for confession.

A whisper of a confession breaks chains I still carried because of the lies of guilt and shame.
I surrender, quietly, again. He takes my shame; the secret lies I have carefully tucked into my soul; he takes them and restores.
He rebuilds the years of shame. He repairs the broken.

“He leads me beside still waters, He restores my soul, He leads me in paths of righteousness for HIS name’s sake” Psalms 24: 2-3.

It is God who breaks the walls of the cocoon and reveals a butterfly.
It is the potter who breaks down the clay in order to soften and form its shape as a useful vessel.

Repentance removes my sins, He builds my heart and renews my mind.

Repentance begins in me.

“…In Me you will have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” John 16:33.

His truth, His love, His grace overcomes the world.

Repentance allows me to fully live and fully love. To see clearly, to pray wholeheartedly, to be bold and brave. Repentance brings Restoration and so much more.

Repent and be Restored.

You are His Beloved,
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