At confession I confessed my sins, including a few I have been holding on to for a while. It was hard to confess them. Not because I don’t regret them, but because it is hard to say them aloud and admit them – to another person, to God, and to myself. Even though God already is aware of my sins, I felt it hard to admit my sins and ask for forgiveness.
But there I was in the confessional admitting my sins, one after another. It sounded like I was a terrible person. I felt like a terrible person. In some ways I wanted to put some caveats on my sins, explain to the priest “well this one happened way back when…” or “that sounds bad but let me explain the circumstances a bit more…”. But when it comes down to it all there is the sin and me. God doesn’t want my excuses. God wants my sorrow, my regret, my repentance.
And then he wants to forgive me. He loves me despite my sins, but he wants me to come to Him and seek repentance and then change my ways and sin no more. He offers me His light and He wants me to live in it. When I sin it is I who choose darkness instead of light. But God is great, loving, forgiving, ready to welcome me back with open arms when I seek reconciliation.
To face your decisions, especially your regrettable ones, requires surrender. To surrender to your ego, your denial, your avoidance of the truth. It is not easy. But when you do it, after it is all done and you’ve been given a beautiful penance (yes, a penance can be beautiful) and you are restored into his light, you see that surrendering in Reconciliation is a beautiful surrender.
When we stand before God on our Judgement Day we will be a sum of what we have done – in thought, word, and deed. God will not ask us to explain our decisions. The fear (and beauty) of that day inspires me to make the decisions God wants me to make. I am the sum of my decisions. Since every moment I exist He sees the true me, I should live in a way that acknowledges this so that when I stand before Him on that day, I will not fear Him seeing me in the truth of who I was.
At my moment of judgement all that I try to cover myself with to hide my failings will be stripped away. My soul will be naked before God. Jesus will be my advocate at my side, but it is I who will face judgement and decide if I am worthy of God’s grace or not. I pray to God that I find myself to be worthy enough to choose His eternal love. Contemplating that moment strikes me with fear – because I know I don’t fully understand his love and grace, but I hope that I understand it enough to prepare myself to meet that moment as best I can.