Usher reference FTW! Anyway, if you know me or have read this post, you know that I have a hard time with confession. Please don’t misunderstand this as me saying I have problems with the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I don’t. Overall, it’s a beautiful sacrament, and it’s such a profound way of experiencing God’s love and forgiveness. To go through the embarrassment of saying aloud all of the crap you have done and then to hear that you’re forgiven is very powerful and humbling. The part that I have trouble with, the part that gives me anxiety, is the saying aloud of all the crap I have done. It’s been difficult to go from the Protestant mindset of confession (just pray to God for forgiveness and you’re forgiven) to the Catholic way of doing it (go into the confessional, literally confess your sins, and you’re forgiven). Truth be told, I like the Protestant mindset. I’m a very internal person, and I am only open with very few people, and those people I’ve known for years. And even then, sometimes I’m not the most open person. I think living alone also enables this. It’s just me, my thoughts, and my dog. I’m not constantly surrounded by people, which makes opening up difficult. The Protestant attitude toward confession and forgiveness allows me to remain inside my comfort zone. What I ask God forgiveness for is just between me and Him, and nobody else ever has to know.
The Catholic way of doing things, on the other hand, puts me squarely outside my comfort zone. I’m talking to the priest about the worst parts of myself, making myself vulnerable in the process, and having faith that the priest won’t let his personal judgement get in the way. This absolutely terrifies me. My heart races, I get the lump in my throat, and (as was the case TWICE yesterday), my mind goes blank. I go from feeling like I’m about to have a heart attack to feeling like I am about to burst into tears. HOWEVER, this way of confession and forgiveness has also allowed me to grow tremendously, both as a Christian and personally. I’m learning to open up and be vulnerable. I’m learning to be honest with myself, which is allowing me to hear God a little better. I’m learning from my mistakes. Sure, it’s uncomfortable. But it’s worth it.
Have you had to face any particularly uncomfortable moments in your spiritual journey?