I am an external processor. I think out loud. If there’s something I’m thinking through, I can see through the components best if all the cards are on the table, if I can listen to the words as I say them and get them out of me.
I’m not wired like an internal processor, though I was married to one. He had this excellent skill of looking at something through the kaleidoscope of his mind, seeing the facets and angles, and then arriving at a decision on his own – and sometimes announcing it in a public setting.
Which was my favorite. When we were out to dinner with another couple, and Robb would say something like, “Well, I’m going to go ahead and schedule that vasectomy.” What? I mean, I know we decided on two children, but you’re ready? Like, ready-ready?
Or, “I’ve got a big promotion on the line. Thinking through moving to my family to Wisconsin.” What?!
But there it was. Out there for my external processing mind to listen and gather and start processing out loud. We were rarely in the same pace with decisions. One of us was laps ahead or ages behind.
I’m thinking about this as it relates to confession.
When my mind begins to fixate and orbit around something I’ve done wrong, be it this week or last year or five years ago or when I was in second grade, it begins to burn a hole in me. I’m told this is a tool of Satan, but it’s hard for me to get past the guilt in my head in order to believe this is one big trick.
When I’m stuck in that place, I feel like I need to go on a rampage of confession, telling anyone the whole story or the overview or just enough to let them know: yes, I did it. Yes, I’m sorry. Yes, I’m wrecked over this, even after all this time.
What is the recipe of confessing our sins to one another as we are called to do, and confessing our sins to the Lord, as grace invites and allows?
Psalm 32 –
“Blessed is she whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against him, and in whose spirit there is deceit.
I have acknowledged my sin to You and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the guilt of my sin.
Here’s how this translated on the pages of my journal.
Content is she who lives in the moment with the Great I Am.
Blessed, happy, and content is the one who has been honest with God, the Judge and Forgiver.
Wise is the girl who sees no reason to keep a secret from her Creator.
She is in the center of God’s will, the child who can go to sleep without a knot of guilt resting in her stomach.
Blessed is the one who can believe forgiveness is for real, who does not need to wear a Scarlet Letter and tell everyone, everywhere, what has happened.
May she hold tightly to the warm blanket of grace and forgiveness, the shield that will protect her from the cold arrows of guilt.
She confessed. He forgave. It is finished.
So you can stop talking about it.