“Stop condemning yourself,” she said as she laid her hand on me. I took this with a grain of salt as she continued speaking. “You’ve already been forgiven, you don’t need to condemn yourself anymore.”
Powerful, right? Yeah, that was about the point I burst into sobs for about the fourth time last night. All this from a complete stranger. Again, I had never met her and she had never met me. How did she know what I needed to hear?
She didn’t. God did. I’ve already admitted to myself, and everyone else through this blog, that I am my own harshest critic. And not in the way that makes me try harder to be a better person (although I do this as well), but more in a way that causes me to agonize over everything. And, while I know I do this, I can’t seem to let it go. I know the first step to letting this go is recognizing the problem. But I also need to hold myself accountable for the times I’m actually putting myself through the wringer.
And with this kind stranger’s words last night, I finally heard that God knows I do this. God knows I can’t let my past indiscretions go. He knows I feel I should be punished, and I punish myself any chance I get. But he’s already forgiven me. And while I thought I knew that before last night, hearing this woman deliver God’s message directly to me validated everything for me.