Featured #TellHisStory Writer: Kris Camealy (And a Giveaway for Your Lenten Journey)

March 11, 2014 | 30 comments

#TellHisStory Storytellers Series

DSC_1111111

Story has the power to change the world, one paragraph at a time. I share this space, once a week, with some great storytellers I’ve met during my years of writing.

This week’s featured storyteller is Kris Camealy, author of Holey, Wholly, Holy: A Lenten Journey of Refinement.

Be sure to come back Wednesday to link your own stories or photos with us in the #TellHisStory community.

The Beauty of Confession
By Kris Camealy

My fists unfurl, white and hot from the clenching. I hadn’t realized how tight I’d been holding on–my physical stance, a true representation of the tension welling up in my insides.

(My oversized pride makes confession hard.)

Two years ago I bent down in my closet, pounding my fists into the carpet. Angry with God and resistant to His hard humbling, I persisted in wanting to know why I needed to lay there, face to the floor, sucking the dust in and out of my nostrils. I snarled and wailed, impatient for His answer. I hadn’t yet learned the beauty of confession.

Minutes passed–only a few before He spoke.

It was my pride that had sent me low. It was an awakening I’d prayed for, but when it came, it crushed me.

Confrontation with personal sin can feel like a sudden exile into the wilderness. My heart suddenly revealed itself to be such a pit of darkness, and I’d lived so long believing in my own disguises. I hadn’t wanted to believe the truth about where I was, and how I’d been living. I lived for years on a pedestal of my own making. The only god I really worshiped looked an awful lot like me.

Lent unfolds slow and hushed. Just a week after the smearing of ashes, I’m dying the death Christ calls us all to. My hands falling open, learning to be comfortable with this position, learning to hold the cracks of my heart out in the open–bending a little easier in admission of guilt.

My sin held Him there.

The wages of sin is death.

I’m learning to receive His invitations. Lent, feels like such an opportunity. A slow plodding through the wasteland of my barren heart, a somewhat unwelcome but necessary excavation of the things that pile up when I’m not paying attention–or worse, when I’m purposefully ignoring their accumulation.

Sin upon sin. Bitter roots knotting themselves up, pushing further in.

Lent opens the door. The ashes prove themselves as a visual reminder of that from which we have been rescued. Though our bodies will waste away our souls will not. I turn my hands over, palms up, fingers spread, and I lay it all down there in the dark. I don’t fight it these days–not like I did. Not like that day bent and pounding. My jaw relaxes and it’s worship, not curses that slip from my lips. It’s praise and thanksgiving for the hard swallowing days of this reflective season.

As Lent opens the door to my confession, I find His hand slips mysteriously into mine. It’s a quiet journey. A labored pressing onward. But I’m not alone. The journey to the cross is made alongside the Savior. He takes each stain that tumbles forth from my lips and with a crossing of His hand, I am blessed.

I’ve cursed and yet He blesses. Who can fathom this?

It turns out the admission of guilt isn’t actually the final nail in my coffin.

Confession opens my hands.

Confession lets the light in.

“Confession allows for forgiveness which makes us receptive to the redemptive work of Christ. When His mercy infiltrates our hearts we turn from being focused on our sin, to being focused on the Son.”
( Holey, Wholly, Holy: Companion Workbook)

A NOTE FROM KRIS CAMEALY (& giveaway details):

I wish I’d had Jennifer’s Love Idol
 when I was hard at work on Holey, Wholly, Holy: A Lenten Journey of Refinement
. God continues to oust the idols from my heart, and I am learning still, to confess, and be free of them. Today, I’m giving away a copy of my latest book, Holey, Wholly, Holy: A Lenten Journey of Refinement, Companion Workbook. One winner will be selected from the comments below (U.S. residents only, I’m afraid).  Winners will be notified by Friday.

by | March 11, 2014 | 30 comments

30 Comments

  1. Jen Sandbulte

    YES.THIS!!! I hadn’t wanted to believe the truth about where I was, and how I’d been living. I lived for years on a pedestal of my own making. The only god I really worshiped looked an awful lot like me.

    Pride and Humility are such hard idols to bear! But God has this way of using them for His glory! Thanks for being brave and sharing!

    Reply
    • Kris Camealy

      Thanks for reading Jen. Praying for you as you hand over your idols. How freeing it is–

      Reply
  2. faye

    Reading “the Beauty of Confession” by Kris Camealy makes me realize that in many ways I am a spiritual fraud. I also realize that my Savior already knows this and stands waiting to hear me confess it to Him. Amazing grace…..beyond words.

    Reply
    • Kris Camealy

      Ah Faye, a spiritual fraud…yes, how I battle this still sometimes. He is always ready to receive us. He always forgives when we ask.

      Reply
  3. Diane Bailey

    “The ashes prove themselves as a visual reminder of that from which we have been rescued. ” This year for the first time, I am understanding Lent. And, I now see the ashes in my life. When you are saved from childhood, it is easy to miss how you have been saved from sin. Not that my life was perfect, but I was saved by confession early in life. Only now I see the idols in my life, and how he continues to woo me away from them by His mighty love.

    Reply
    • Kris Camealy

      He is so faithful, Diane. And persistent. Praying you feel the deep tenderness of His passion for you. How utterly loved you are.

      Reply
  4. DeanneMoore

    There is a lot to the story I would tell you if we were hold cups of hot tea and sit on the back porch. I would tell you that I couple of weeks before Lent I asked the “why” question to God. His answer?… I am asking you to die to yourself and to do it in a very tangible way, your life is not your own. I gasped. The ugly truth is that taking the lead in caring for my father in a seven day week aggressive attempt to achieve a prolonged remission through massive chemo “bombs” to fight his cancer (multiple myeloma) has taken a toll on my life. And though there were/are redeeming moments, I have wanted my life back. God told me its not your life…it’s Mine…Whoa…and Yes! This Lenton season, I walk humbly toward the cross. This is my confession and my realization of just how self-focused I have been for much too long. I wept because I knew it was true and that to give all— even the precious time with my husband, kids, grandgirls, and friends—even my life as an aspiring writer was part of this dying so that I may serve my father and, in turn, my Father in heaven. Here is my confession and my hands are open…and so is my heart. I’m not sure if Dad is dying anytime soon but my “self” is and I am grateful. Blessed. Thankful– for your vulnerability and your heart.

    Reply
    • Kris Camealy

      Deanne, the dying to self can feel so terribly excruciating. Lifting you and your family to God right now. May he comfort you in the dying, and lead you ever closer to Him through your sacrifices. It is for purpose. he carries you through.

      Reply
  5. Michele-Lyn

    Gah!!! I adore you, Kris… your heart, your tenacious spirit unyielding to the temptation to hold too tightly to “yours” but living in constant open-handed surrender to God, even when those fists want to clench, you don’t cease wrestling until you are His. Your life example and your testimony is changing lives, calling others, showing others how to live for God!

    And Jennifer, your live is an invitation to dwell in God, to dwell amongst His people and partake, even feast on His living bread. You are like a spear of light piercing this dark world, helping to fill the earth with His glory because you are a carrier of it… I’m grateful to be joined with such ambassadors to God’s Kingdom… so very blessed. I love you both!

    Reply
    • Kris Camealy

      Michele-Lyn. You know where I am these days. You know the struggle. Thank you for your faithful encouragement and prayers. You bless me greatly. Truly. I love you. And Jennifer? Well, she’s a door holder in the Kingdom like no other, right? Man, I have the best friends. God is so very generous!

      Reply
  6. Tracy Earley

    Oh goodness…I just looked at my hands…they were clenched fists…oh how this penetrated my heart…sitting here in the dust.

    Reply
    • Kris Camealy

      oh Tracy. Just praying for you right now. Praying you would feel His mercy as He lifts you from the dust in due time.

      Reply
  7. Karen

    I had a closet moment last night. But I didn’t move on from there to the point of confession. In my anger I didn’t realise that was required. Thank you for this.

    Reply
    • Kris Camealy

      Bless you, Karen. Praying grace and hope for your heart today. he’s not finished with any of us. ((hugs))

      Reply
  8. Elizabeth Stewart

    I’ve always loved Jesus since I was a little girl. When God’s Word says “there is no one good, no not one”, something in me said that He didn’t mean me. When I asked Him to show me the truth about my own heart and He did, I ended up in the fetal position on the floor. Such ugly, ugly attitudes were hidden within. I’ve never forgotten that humbling experience.

    Reply
    • Kris Camealy

      Elizabeth, our stories sound similar… I’ve been forever changed by His revelation in my heart. Thank God. He is good to love us this way.

      Reply
  9. Christie Purifoy

    Thank you, Kris. This is powerful, and your book is such a blessing to me this season.

    Reply
    • Kris Camealy

      Oh my, thanks for your encouragement, Christie. I am so grateful that our blogging lives have crossed. Your words encourage me every day.

      Reply
  10. Christy Willard

    I think those fist pounding moments are often turning points, when we are broken and done enough to turn to the only One that can save us from ourselves. Dying to self is such a painful death. Accepting your sin and seeing yourself as you really are is never pretty. Thankful God reveals in His time and walks us through the difficult path faithfully, lovingly, honestly. And yet, as you say, we cannot stay there, focused on our sins & our wretched selves, we must in turn focus on the Son and what He has done for us. Such encouragement!

    Christy @ A Heartening Life
    http://www.ahearteninglife.com

    Reply
    • Kris Camealy

      Thanks for reading, Christy. God is such a gentle companion on the journey. PS: I messaged you on your FB page 😉 praying for you.

      Reply
  11. Shelly Miller

    Dying to self is never finished is it? We want to arrive, put it behind us, figure it out and wrap it up with bow in the closet. It’s a constant surrender, daily. And its worth every blessed minute. Thankful for you Kris.

    Reply
    • Kris Camealy

      Never ever finished…It is totally worth it. It’s a beautiful ache.

      Reply
  12. lynndiane

    Humbling ourselves for Lent because “confession opens my hands”…thanks for sharing this…i’d love to read your book.

    Reply
  13. Jules

    I love this post.

    Reply
  14. Maria E.

    Wow… what a moving post. I need to get to the down and dirty with God and open my hands and heart to His will. How do you do this when life seems so busy to find His will? His will…. seems like it’s with my kids right now but there is a never ending ache in my heart to find what He wants to do with me. Patience is I know important, I’m trying.
    Thanks for bearing your soul.
    Maria

    Reply
    • Kris Camealy

      Maria, I’ve found, in season where I feel too busy to listen for God, then I’m simply too busy. Making time to listen for and abide in Him is my first priority. I cannot care well for my family, if God is not absolutely first for me. This doesn’t loo like much, other than me, waking up early to hang out with Him before my house wakes up. Or in some cases, spending time with God during the kids quiet times, or in the evening. Praying you’d find the space to let him fill that ache–nothing else will. Praying with you right now for God to show you how to come fully to Him. Fall right into His arms, Mamma. He longs to hold you. How loved you are, Maria. dearly, passionately loved by God.

      Reply
  15. Nefetari W.

    I stumbled across Jennifers site when I felt unworthy and unprepared because I did not have a mother. I am filling my void with GOD’s love but I stil had felt inadequate.

    Reply
    • Kris Camealy

      You are whole. He fills us. Bless you, friend–what a journey!

      Reply
  16. Celine

    What a moving post.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest