Focus: The healing power of confession
James 5:16 (NKJV) Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
After my second marriage failed, I thought I’d be alone the rest of my life. On several occasions, guys asked me out and I turned them down. I thought it would be worthless to date anyone—when they found out I’d failed twice at marriage, they probably wouldn’t want anything to do with me. So, why set myself up for more rejection?
My self-esteem was shot. I was having a very hard time emotionally. To say I was depressed seems like a huge understatement.
Through the winter, I had a job singing in a Christian restaurant in Florida. The job was a Godsend. I sang five to six hours a day—six days a week—during the lunch and dinner hours. While I was singing, I had to ‘keep it together’. It was good discipline. But at night—I did a lot of crying.
Now, you can listen and/or read!
By May, the tourist season had wrapped up in Florida, so I headed back to my home state of Michigan for the summer. I had a few commitments to sing up there and figured I might as well go back and do the concerts.
Going back was really hard. I didn’t want to do anything or go anywhere because whenever I ran into anyone I knew, I had to go through the usual questioning—and I just didn’t feel like talking about it.
At the end of the summer, one Sunday night I went to a church I hadn’t attended for a long time. After the service, I was standing by my van in the church parking lot—talking with the young man who had been my piano player for the past five years. During our conversation, a guy I didn’t recognize walked up to us and said, ‘hello’. He mentioned he didn’t usually go to that church either, and that he just happened to be there that night and was surprised to see us.
He went on to say how much he appreciated the songs I sang and that he had met me a year or so earlier at a concert I had done with my band. He continued by saying he had written me a letter. I wouldn’t have remembered meeting him—I met lots of people. But when he said he wrote a letter—it got my attention. He told me a little bit about the letter, and I began to know ‘who he was’.
I got a lot of letters from people who expressed their appreciation for my music—but something about one particular letter had really encouraged me. I kept it on my desk where I could see it. My piano player cleaned out my office from time to time because I wasn’t good at throwing anything away. I would tell him—‘don’t throw that letter away’, pointing to it. Now, I was meeting the guy who had written it.
We ended up meeting each other for pizza the next night. Something about Jeff’s shy mannerisms made me feel safe. I wasn’t one to just tell my whole life story to anyone, but that night I did. As I was telling him about my failures—I was also thinking, ‘this guy is never going to want to see me again after this’.
Jeff’s blue eyes never left mine as I went through the failures of my marriages. I saw the love of Jesus in Jeff’s eyes. Seeing how he didn’t hold my past against me, made me believe Jesus didn’t hold my past against me, either.
I think that’s why it’s important in recovery to be able to tell someone else that we we have failed—and the exact nature of our failures. When we are able to confess our faults to someone who is able to pray for us and forgive us—it helps us to comprehend that God can forgive us, too.
I had been ‘heartsick’. I knew I must have deeply disappointed God by failing at marriage not once, but two times. It was hard for me to believe God could forgive me—until I saw that Jeff did.
From that day, I started making progress. It was still a long time before I actually believed I could be married to anyone. I didn’t dare think of marriage—even though the bond of friendship with Jeff was very strong. But when my heart was finally healed enough and I learned to trust God—that the blood of Jesus was able to cover all of my sin…I married Jeff.
Declaration: I will find new strength by confessing my faults to God and another person I trust. As that person is able to forgive me and pray for me, I will have more faith to receive the forgiveness I need for the complete healing of my heart.
All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee as of the date they were written and posted. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog. This material will be published as a book in 2013, by the grace of God. To subscribe to New Strength, select ‘follow’ in the upper left corner of this page.
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For music selections that will help bring hope and encouragement during your recovery from depression and addiction, https://www.youtube.com/user/NewStrengthMusic/playlists?sort=dd&view=1
All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee 2012. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog.