The shame that leads to repentance

Winter yields into spring, and spring back into winter, summer birds singing sweetly through the snow-showers, and dogs slogging through the slush. Cars skidding off our road, and children trapped inside by the cold and wet, unwilling to go back to winter boots and snowpants.

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dlambpics/5528069703/sizes/l/
November has been our hardest month, following the seasons, for the past 3 years. (see links here, here, and here for an explanation if you are new here.) There follows a slump of digging ourselves out of the graves of snow poured down on our yellow farmhouse, the winter colds and the getting to know each other again after hospitalizations, and the gaps in our routines to be filled back in and built back with mortar of prayer and Gospel grace.

I look back to a chaotic past that didn't follow the seasons. There was an eternal winter over college, sparks of joy like glitter off the snow, but so much time spent hunkered down, finding my place, wrestling with God, looking for the easy out to the life of a Jimmie Buffet song. I wanted out of my Black Crowes existence, I shredded the tape streaming from the Guns 'n' Roses albums, and I smoked Marlboro Reds and covered myself in ugliness to push away a world I thought only wanted to push me further into nothingness. At the same time, God motivated me with my perfectionism, and I streamed through college with a nearly perfect GPA, school somehow floating untouchable above the quagmire of life on the inside of my soul (looking back, a total God moment, as He brought me to the surface through my nursing career, and carried me to heights I'd never known through my ministry with dying children). I lived most of my life in secret and hid behind identities I created for myself with this friend and that friend, holding everyone at a distance, like a girl in a plastic bubble just rolling on toward the glimmering light at the end of the college tunnel and the few promises of God's Word I'd hidden deep in my blackened heart.
For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. (II Corinthians 7:10)
Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them.  But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?” Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:29-32)

The truth about discipline that leads to repentance is that it is lined with love and covered in mercy. It is made up of the red river of the Savior's blood that floats us out of our circumstances and into our freedom.

I look back now at the saving Grace that called me back home.

This song speaks deep to those scarred places where I hurt myself, where I sunk myself deeper in my own mudpie, where I slathered the filth of my sin like a cursed woman over all my skin and went looking for a lake in which to drown.

The song is about a one night stand. But the one night stand I had that affected me this way was the one I had with God. A whole string of them. On bended knee, He ministered to me like a Father, sometimes like a Lover, always like a Believer. Knowing the truth of my circumstances, He lowered Himself to walk His Holy Spirit through them with me, side by side. And I felt Him every inch of the sinful way.

Read the lyrics, along with my poem to the other side. I hope you get it. It's an obscure message, but one straight from my past and straight from my present heart.

Grace Potter's One Short Night
One short night with a stranger
One full moon over my head
One false move and it’s over
So I always think of what we said, my baby

Strange how heavy my heart is
Strange how dark it is tonight
Strange the way this all started
I guess I’m losing track of wrong and right

And as the lights go dim
I lie down with him
And as I’m lying there
I can only smell your hair
It’s like your across the hall
With your ear glued to the wall
And as I move to let him in I can
Feel you crawl under my skin
And I can feel you from the inside
Prowling like a devil that I try to hide
I can feel your heart beating
Closer than the poison of my pride
Caught up in a moment
I thought I’d feel no shame because I

Didn’t have tell you lies
When the daylight came but now
Down goes that silver tear
Down goes my golden year
Down we go in a water slide
That’s made up of the tears I’ve cried




Genevieve's One Short Night with my Savior
One short night with a Savior
Full moon showing Him bright
One false move I think He’ll leave me
So I always think of what You said,
I’m right here with you

Strange how heavy my heart is
Strange how dark it is tonight
Strange the way this all started
I guess I’m losing track of wrong or right

And as the lights go dim
I lie down with him
And as I’m lying there
I can only smell God's breath
It’s like You’re across the hall
With Your ear glued to the wall
And as I move to let sin in I can
Feel You crawl under my skin
And I can feel You from the inside
Prowling like the devil that I try to hide
I can feel Your heart beating
Closer than the poison of my pride
Caught up in the moment
I thought I’d feel no shame because I

Didn’t have to tell You lies
When the daylight came
But down goes that silver tear
Down goes my golden ear
Down we go in a waterslide
That’s made of the tears I’ve cried