I stared at the bed, its mostly crinkle-free bedspread, my pillow tossed at the top. I stood at the side of the bed for several minutes holding my prayer journal and two pens. I figured I’d need them both. I’d known I’d needed to do this for a while.
I’d found myself on a plateau. I didn’t really feel guided by the Holy Ghost. Usually, when that happens, I’ve offended the Spirit in some way to make it withdraw from me. I knew I needed to ask for guidance and make amends to the Lord.
I took a big, deep breath and kneeled down.
I opened my prayer journal to a fresh, empty page. I planned to ask Heavenly Father to bring faults to my mind. I’d write them down and make amends for my many wrongs.
I felt like this general petition would be opening doors to places I might be afraid to face. I remembered when my dad related times that the Holy Ghost brought large and small things to his mind from decades earlier for him to clear with the Lord.
That’s why I had two pens. I figured the list would be infinitely long and probably painful. I doubted I could even write it all.
Resolving to Repent
After an embarrassingly extended deliberation, I stepped into my resolve to face my Maker and repent for my sins. I wanted a relationship with God more than I feared the inevitable sin list. I wanted to feel the Holy Ghost guide me and prompt me, lead me by the hand giving me answers to my prayers.
I prayed aloud and instantly broke into tears.
“I’m so sorry! I know I have so many things to repent of. I’m full of weakness and pride. I fail so often and regularly, that I can’t even imagine the infinite number of spiritual grievances I’ve committed! But I am seeking Thy Face through the Grace of Thy Only Begotten, perfect, sinless, Son, and I am ready to acknowledge my sins. Please tell me each of them, slowly, so I can write them all down and make retribution for each. Who knows how long it will take, but I will do it. My soul yearns for Your conversation, and so I will stop hiding in sin.”
I selected a pen to write something that I knew would be on the list right off the bat.
The pen didn’t work! HA! Even my pen was afraid to approach the throne of God while full of sin.
I grabbed the other pen and began again. Blocking out all distractions, I poured out my soul to God about my intention to repent.
Approaching the Throne of God
I began to feel a still, small voice.
The Lord, through the Holy Ghost, speaks to all of us differently. He speaks to me differently at different times. Sometimes I see words in my mind. Sometimes I see images. Sometimes I just feel. Sometimes I feel words. Sometimes I hear words. Sometimes joy erupts through my senses.
That day, I felt a still, small voice—it penetrated my heart and mind through emotional, yet tangible aspects of the senses.
“I know! I’m trembling under my sin. Lord, help Thou my unbelief!”
He told me to close my eyes and remember a dream I’d had decades before. It was a dream of deep space. I was wandering through space, and decided to fill space. So, I added colorful, geometric shapes into the expanse. It was so vivid. I’ve thought of the dream periodically over the years, but never thought to ask God if it meant something.
“The shapes represent your attempts to create truth. But they’re bulky and don’t fit correctly into space. You’ve always felt a discordance about that dream.”I had. Suddenly, an understanding came. I have the power and ability to create, but because I tried to create by my own power, the truth I “created” was not eternally viable. It was tainted by ego, vain ambition, pride.
“You are commanded to create but, essentially, what you created were idols because they weren’t consecrated to me. Do you understand?”
Again, an understanding came. Though I’ve served and worked and created, I failed to consecrate that effort to His glory.
“That is your major sin and what blocks your progress the most. You are independent and capable and willing. If you shift your focus, I can magnify you beyond your capacities.” …
The teaching moment continued. I understood His individualized lesson for me. The experience filled with me joy and I felt wrapped in Mercy’s love.
Mercy Prevailed Over Justice
Instead of listing millions and millions of wrongs I committed that Justice demanded retribution for, the Lord taught me the root cause of those wrongs and invited me to change that habit, that belief system, that incorrect tradition. If I would repent of that wrong, the other symptomatic wrongs would fall out of my life.
I can’t explain the love I felt. He did not condemn me.
When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. And the woman glorified God from that hour, and believed on his name.
The weight, the burden, the yoke and bondage of my sin lifted.
And I said: Lord, how is it done?
And he said unto me: Because of thy faith in Christ…
I have struggled through the repentance process and have felt the peace that comes from forgiveness of sin. I know the burden of Justice and that Jesus Christ, my Savior and Redeemer, paid a horrific price for my soul. I know that through His grace, I am saved.
This experience was different in a sense from my prior experiences. I came to the bar of God expecting spiritual lashings, but with everlasting kindness, He knelt with me and taught me what I lacked. And He took the burden as I promised to do better. Undeservedly, I found Mercy at that judgment seat and a peace that passed all understanding.
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.