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  • Writer's pictureLaura Kae

Repentance: turning from my culture’s most celebrated sin

I still remember exactly where I was standing with blood running down my legs. My scarred knees tell the story of exactly how I liked to play as a child. My cousin stood next to me insisting I needed to go into the schoolhouse to have someone help me cleanup. I insisted I was perfectly fine. I didn’t need any help. I was okay! Finally my playmates had to bring the help to me.

Independence has a long history in my life. Who wants to need help? Receiving help can come as a huge relief, but needing it? That can be a tougher pill to swallow.

The last couple months God keeps creating more and more time in my life. The things not being removed from my life outside of my control, He seems to be asking me to give up. Yeah, I am still busy enough; but since e-publishing my book in December, my load continually gets lighter and lighter.

The last few weeks I have begun to realize why God is creating so much time and space in my life. He is giving me room to repent.

I still remember where I was standing when the world came crashing in on me. I was only a child, but I knew my life was over. It was finished. It felt like an iron door had slammed down locking my heart away from the rest of the world. I was alone, and I would be forever. Life was over. No one would ever get in. I didn’t yet know it, but that iron door also met I could never get out.

For years, I have known my personal growth was “stuck” right there. Try as I would, I couldn’t get past it. Prayer, counseling, 12-stepping, nothing seemed to be able to unstick me. Every time I tried to engage in trust and intimacy, I couldn’t. The same pattern kept repeating itself with what seemed like little movement regarding improvement.

When I think of the person I was ten years ago, there was a vast improvement. But man, in the moment it always seemed like the same battle. Like every time I faced why there was a pattern in my life, it came back to the same instance of abuse and that earth-shattering moment when my life was over.

God is giving me room to repent of that moment. Not of what was done to me – I am so innocent in that; but of the decision I made to defend my heart forever. The decision I made to always be alone. The one that determined I would never allow anyone to hurt me again. The one that meant I viewed the entire world through suspicious eyes. The one that blamed God for the cruelty and painted Him also as evil. The one which has kept me bound in years of torment and caused me to wound an unknown number of people.

In a culture enthralled with the do-it-yourself-er, God is giving me room to repent of living outside of community. He is giving me room to repent of putting myself and the safety of my own heart before worshiping Him and loving His family.

In a culture obsessed with the “self-made man”, I get to learn to reach out for help again and again and again.

And it is more than a little humbling. I get to keep making the decision of whether I am going to step back into the same destructive cycle or reach out for help.

But there is a miracle in this all. You see, after so many years of going around the same mountain, God is breaking the cycle. Sometime in the last month, not with the abuser whose actions ended my life but with a very different type of people, God broke the cycle. But I am just remembering that that is the story I am planning on telling next week. So I will leave it there.

Repenting of my life-long quest for independence is pretty tough. After all, you probably know this, but it isn’t just America’s most celebrated sin. God-made men have been trying to convince themselves for millennia that they can become self-made.

If only we could just stand alone. If only we could become just like God. If only we could be all-powerful. Then we would know we were worth it all.

When I think of what could be the spiritual equivalent of the Fourth of July, I think it must be Easter. But I catch myself just in time, because Easter is not a spiritual Independence Day. It is a day to celebrate our spiritual dependency.

We are free! In Christ we are free from the power of sin that bound us. Free from death. But we are not independent. We will always serve ourselves, created things or our Creator. We will never attain our independence. We will never be able to stand alone. We will never be God.

Do you like to reach out for help? Which areas of your life are easy to reach out for help in? Which areas would you rather die than have to ask for help in?

(If you were sexually abused as a child, Wounded Heart by Dan Allender is a great resource and has influenced my life and therefore the writing of this article. :)


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