#TellHisStory Storytellers Series
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.