Conquering Addictions continues to stir up the pit and at the same time my God continues to sweetly break me free from the bondage that has held me for 35 years!!! It is amazing to me and greatly saddens me that I could be forgiven but still held captive by sin that has been repented of and turned away from!
Last Tuesday the topic of discussion was confession - not just confession to the Lord but, of all things, confession to another believer. I have never been one to believe in public confession - God alone forgives my sin so why would I need to tell any human of my transgressions? Well that is not what we were taught last week. We were reminded that God's Word does say "confess your sins one to another". Another one of my biggest arguments with this whole thing has been that Satan likes to remind me too much of my past failures - I do NOT need to give him an opening to rub certain things in my face again. So I have been adament that I was NOT going to participate in confession and revealing my 'inventories' to anyone - it was just going to be between myself and my God! Well, as usual, the Lord had a different plan. He began to pester my about a shameful secret from my past (35 years ago).
This particular sin has been a heavy burden that Satan has repeatedly told me "If anyone finds out about this, you will lose all respect and they won't want to be around you anymore" "God may have forgiven you, but you will never be rid of this - it is way too BAD for you to forgive yourself".
As I prayed about this particular situation and asked God first of all to 'please don't make me do this - please don't make me confess this to anyone - there certainly can't be any good reason to confess this - I have been forgiven and turned from the sin never to return to it in 34 years.' But God kept reminding me of something that Tim had said during the teaching. He said "There is freedom from shame when you can confess the sin to someone." The Lord would not leave me alone about this. But at the same time Satan kept whispering those lies to me. And I was confused! Did God want me to confess or did Satan want me to ruin my reputation with my friends.
On Thursday morning all the way to school I was praying about what God wanted me to do. I told Him I wanted to be obedient more than anything else and would He please make it clear to me what I needed to do. I got to school and within about 10 minutes my dear friend, Nina, came into my classroom and sat down across from me. Now, this is not unusual! Nina comes into my room every morning. However, she usually starts talking or working on something. What was different on this morning was she just sat down and looked at me like she was ready to listen. I could hear God saying, "Go ahead - tell her - get rid of your shame and be free!" So I very reluctantly began to talk to her about this big secret I had harbored for 35 years. She listened and she very tenderly talked with me about what had happened and about the things in my life that followed the incident. She helped me understand a lot about my choices during my late teens and how they related to this particular incident.
But the biggest thing I now realize is that there IS power in confessing to another believer. I now know that my dear sisters in Christ will not turn their back on me. I know that even though I had been forgiven I was in bondage to shame. But the good news is: Satan can no longer rub that shame in my face - I am free!!
Lord Jesus - You are awesome! I praise Your holy name! Your power has saved me and set me free! Thank You for my dear Sisters in Christ! Thank You for Nina and her amazing friendship! May I always remember the lessons You have taught me this week.