For weeks my heart lay buried beneath a blanket of regret. I couldn’t believe I had behaved so despicably toward my child. And you know what? It wasn’t the first time I had reason to feel this way, nor would it be the last. I frequently carried that dirty blanket with me, like a two-year-old refusing to surrender her most cherished possession.
For a long time I actually denied I was carrying guilt. Regret, yes, but guilt was too scary to admit. Guilt meant I was a wretch. That I stunk and needed a bath. So, maybe I called it by another name, but I still clung to it, refusing to face it’s ugly reality. Instead, I made myself at home with its tangled tatters.
I’d clenched that blanket to my heart because releasing it meant I could no longer hide behind excuses. “I know I behaved horribly, but my child deserved it,” I’d reason. “I know I acted self-centered, but I was overwhelmed and exhausted.”
Sometimes trudging through life with guilt draped around me was easier than what I feared it might take to right the wrong I committed. Sometimes nursing the guilt felt safer than exposing my filthiness. Even if cleaned up, wouldn’t I then find myself standing there, cold and naked?
In truth, guilt often served as a pacifier, comforting a deeper pain.
Simply stating the truth was the only way to find true comfort. It took years for me to realize that saying, “I was wrong” no matter how justified I felt, was far safer than clinging to that stinky old blanket. And it wasn’t nearly as hard to do as I feared. You see, when we confess our sins we are cleansed.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9, NKVJ).
Confession opened my soul for a cleansing. And it didn’t leave me naked and cold as I feared. You see, Jesus exchanged my filthy rags for His robe of righteousness.
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21 NASB).
I simply had to choose to put on His robe. If I merely confessed my sin without taking on His righteousness, I would be more likely to think clean Christian living was totally up to me. I would fail time and again and find myself reclaiming that musty old blanket.
A total unwrapping and rewrapping of the soul is necessary. It’s only then that I can lift my cup of warmth and …
… rejoice greatly in the Lord, … exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10, NASB).