David was a great king after a tragedy like Saul but he had flaws. His most famous flaw was the account of Uriah the Hittite he murdered after committing adultery with his wife, of which he repented. Yet, he was considered a man after God’s own heart. He was a man after God’s own heart, save the matter of Uriah. Well, I hate that line tacked just beyond such honorable words. I don’t want to carry that phrase in my identity. I want to be a woman after God’s own heart. Period. End of story. But alas, that would be untrue. Surely, I also bear those words in my identity — brilliant scars protruding from an otherwise polished exterior. Alicia, the woman after God’s own heart, save the matter of…
I recently poured my heart out to my brother, expressing the internal warfare I had the burden of bearing in my vessel. The lingering consequences of my sins feel all too loud and they’re getting louder. In his words of encouragement he told me that I am “Alicia, a woman after God’s heart, save the matter of…” It was meant as an encouragement, but it sent me into sobs. I hate the scars. I wish I reasoned and yielded to the Spirit before throwing myself onto the blade that left these scars. That’s the thing about sin. We think about the sweetness it offers us immediately but we don’t even *seriously* consider the permanent scars we contractually sign for. The sweetness is a year gone, but the scars, if anything, are getting brighter and larger, or I’m just becoming more aware of them. They’re everywhere.
Approval, distrust, anxiety, self-loathing, pain, grief, guilt, shame, anger, malice. These are just very few of the many things gushing from the scars. I hate them! I can’t help but feel that spiritual blogs are commonly penned after a trial is overcome, but this one is not. I think it more as a channel for reasoning alongside readers. Explore with me some truth.
Did God in the flesh die on the cross? What did he do it for? Was this sacrifice like one of those the high priest did in the holy places — those that temporarily satisfied God’s wrath? Or, did this sacrifice cover sins of the past, present, and future, once and for all? Are the chains of guilt and shame broken? Is there forgiveness? Is God strong enough to redeem that which is broken? Does God work all things for good for those whom He has called? Are we to rejoice in trials? Does God love conditionally or unconditionally? Is His grace sufficient? Does He discipline those He loves? Are there consequences? Yes. But is the aim to shame? Or is the aim to teach and to move to repentance? Ah. There it is.
To reorient yourself on the cross has a way of making our sin issues feel silly. Yes dear reader. Simply asking myself all these questions has brought me peace. I’m Alicia. A woman after God’s own heart, save the matter of…a few things. But God has forgiven her much, and so she gives thanks and forgives much. He has loved her much, so she loves much. He has purified her. She is new. She is blameless.