|Confession + repentance = starting the U-turn back to God|
Dear and Compassionate Lord,
Confession is hard. I know I need to move beyond sweeping generalities and examine the nitty gritty of my flawed behavior, or my stained heart. I know I need to see my sin clearly so I can leave it behind and turn back to you.
Forgive me for the many times each day that I neglect my relationship with you. the prayers that wander off into mental "to do" lists. The abandoned Bible Study reading. The postponed quiet time. The rushed or neglected prayers with my kids. Ugh. There is a hole in my heart as I recognize these missed opportunities to snuggle into your love. Thank you for repeatedly forgiving these sins and continuing your patient presence in my life.
Forgive me for being crabby and irritable with my husband. He deserves better. Help me to overlook minor nuisancees, or better yet, to see them as reminders of his unique and charming personality. (Empty Equal packets left on the counter = reminders of his sweetness that is never artificial.) Help me to keep my sense of humor with him, not a list of pet peeves. Help me to have a grateful heart for his love, not a list of grudges. And remind me to plant a big, loving, romantic kiss on him at least once a day.
Forgive me for being impatient with my kids. They are so young. They do try their best. I'm so sorry for all the times I fail to recognize their need to dawdle explore the nooks and crannies of their days. I'm sorry for all the times I fail to recognize the warning signs of their stress or hurt and label their behavior as immature and self-absorbed tantrums. I'm doubly sorry for all the times I get stuck in my thoughts or "to do" list when they need me to be available, interrupt-able, and present in the moment with them. I'm triply sorry for the nasty-yelling-angry-psycho-mom that sneaks out when I'm at my wits end. That hole in my heart is leaking ugly shame now... And yet you forgive, you plug, you heal and cleanse. Thank you for forgiving my many parenting mistakes, and for showing me your wondrous example of unconditional love.
There is more, Lord, so much more. Neglected friendships, unanswered emails, ignoring the dog, avoiding a chatty acquaintance because I'm just not in the mood, illogical rantings in a highway traffic jam. And that was just yesterday. You see it all. You know all my faults. And you love me anyway.
Thank you for your forgiveness and unconditional love. Help me to see when I start to slip into sin. Give me the strength to turn back to you. Most of all, help me to accept your forgiveness. Help me to embrace your grace. Show me how to leave my sins at the foot of the cross, so you can cleanse my stained soul and direct me to your better path. Show me how to be the child of God that you see in me.
That hole in my heart is shrinking quickly now, as I rest in your love. Thank you for the healing touch of your forgiveness.
If we make it our habit to confess our sins, in his faithful righteousness he forgives us for those sins and cleanses us from all unrighteousness.1 John 1:9 (ISV)