When do you think contentment comes? Guys, today this hit me like a mac truck(sidebar- I have never understood this saying). At what point are you finally just.. okay with everything? When do you stop regretting past decisions, present decisions, and the decisions you are afraid that you are going to make?Better yet, when do you stop thinking about those mistakes. Or better yet- when do they stop becoming mistakes?
And WHY do I ask so many questions on these blogs? (It's a bad writing habit, I guess... I'm trying to keep you guys interested. Leave me alone!)
In the past hour especially the Lord has really convicted me on this. He keeps showing me how much regret and guilt I live with. Whenever something that I'm struggling with comes up in conversations, songs on the radio, or drenches my memories in a 24 hour period- I start to listen.
Trace says it all the time. "Why do you think so negatively about everything?" And it's true. I do. I think negatively all the time. I think negatively about my body image (she's so skinny, look at her legs!), my personality (Why am I such an introvert? Why am I so awkward? Why am I so self-centered? Why is it so uncomfortable for me to express my feelings?), and conversations I have with people (Did I say the right thing there? Ugh, no that was probably the WORST thing to say. Another person would have said something way better).
And its not only that I think negatively, I act on those negative thoughts. I often don't pursue things because I expect them to fail based off of past decisions that turned out badly. I wish I could practice what I preach.. but it's a lot easier said than done (two cliches in one sentence, like that?). I tell my middle school girls all the time that the past doesn't matter, "God can forgive anything!". Again, sometimes my actions make me think I don't really believe that.
They are to bring to the priest as a guilt offering
a ram from the flock, one without defect and of the proper value.
In this way the priest will make atonement for them
for the wrong they have committed unintentionally
and they will be forgiven.
I had to leave this blog as a draft for a full week before I could come back and write it. Partly because I kept getting distracted every time I sat down to write it, and partly because I was done with dealing with it for a little. I have this tendency to just come to God and tell Him my problems and not actually listen to what He is trying to tell me. I feel better for a few days and then the same thing hits me again. I just really want to feel like "Yeah! Woo that's right, got that off my chest. Me and Jesus are cool. He loves it when I tell Him my troubles and then don't stick around to listen to what He has to say!"
I went to the back of my bible to the concordance and looked up "GUILT". This was one of the verses it gave me. So I thought, "Old Testament. Old school. Cool." At first I thought I couldn't take anything from it because it was about preparing a sacrifice. We don't have to do that anymore, though.
Oh, but wait. Why did they do that? They made sacrifices (male lambs specifically) to God to forgive them, because they were waiting for the lamb to come later that would take away everything they needed to be forgiven for.
Why don't we do that? Oh yeah, because we already had a lamb who came and covered everything. So if I let regret and guilt infiltrate my every thought, aren't I saying that I don't really believe in my God who I say saved the world from its sins? It's almost like I tell Jesus, "No, it's okay. I can handle it! I'll take it back from you. Let me put this on my own shoulders, Jesus. I can take care of it better than you can."
This might be a gross metaphor, but it's the only one that I can see that really fits. It's kinda like when a cow eats. It swallows, and then it throws it back up and eats it again. Following me? When I keep reliving these mistakes it's like I'm the cow that keeps throwing it back up, just so that I can deal with it again. I let God have it momentarily, but then I want it back.
Another thing that stood out to me in this verse was that this ram that the people offered didn't only forgive the sins they knew they committed, but it also forgives their unintentional sins. This is something else I had never thought about. These mistakes that I made so long ago were unintentional. Mistakes can be unintentional for two reasons:
1) They can be unintentional because at the time you thought you were doing something that was good. Something that you thought would make you happy. You can't really go on hating yourself for something you did when you only thought you were doing good.
2) There is another way that sin can be unintentional. I think this one most applies to what I have been dealing with: If sin was committed, and you knew at the time that you were in the wrong. You can know that you are in the wrong, but if you were at a point in your life where you didn't know the Lord, it is a whole different subject. Oh, you can still have a conscience when you don't know the Lord. Believe me. Because I felt bad while I was doing these things. But the fact that I couldn't wrap my mind around a God who loves me unconditionally, and had already taken care of the bad things in my life- I did them anyway. I was so broken and unwilling to mend myself, that there was no way I was going to be able to comprehend God telling me why He didn't want me to do these things. I understood that He didn't want me to do them, but I didn't understand that He didn't want me to do these things because He just wanted to protect me.
Let Him protect you. Don't try and take that back from Him. He wants you to let Him.