I am a serial confessor. Ask anyone who has ever been around me for more than ten (okay two) minutes at a time – I confess absolutely everything. Every stupid thing I’ve ever thought or said, I feel the need to confess it at the first available opportunity to whoever may be in my general vicinity at the time. I don’t even need to know them. I’ll confess to anyone.
Several weeks ago I was at Target (otherwise known as my happy place) with my daughter and spent a tad (bucket load) more than I had intended to spend on account of all of those pretty little red clearance stickers on all the stuff at the ends of the aisles. By the way, this is one of the many reasons why Target is my happy place. They really get me. I know that I don’t need a purple reindeer shaped candle in the middle of July, but stick a little red clearance sticker on it and put it at the end of an aisle and I’m sold. Heck, I’ll buy three.
As we were checking out at the end of our shopping spree, I leaned over to my daughter and said, “Don’t tell Daddy how much I spent.” Hey, what happens at Target stays at Target, right? Obviously I was working on my mom of the year award. She laughed a little and we headed to our car. We loaded all of our wonderful (and necessary) goodies into the van and I immediately called her father to confess. “Honey, I just spent a ton of money at Target on a whole bunch of crap that we don’t need and I feel really terrible because I told Elisa not to tell you and I’m pretty sure she’s gonna need counseling because of it and now we probably can’t feed our kids because I can’t stop buying all the stuff.” He laughed. Yep, I’m a treat.
I’m sure you also don’t know this about me, but I was born with stupid eyelashes. This means that they’re a perfectly acceptable length for a boy, but are completely unacceptable for any woman. I blame my mother because she has stupid eyelashes too. My four girls, however, all inherited their daddy’s eyelashes which are long and beautiful. Boys with long eyelashes make me grumpy and mean. So, I bought myself some fake eyelashes to blend in with all the other girls in my house. I didn’t want to be the only one with stupid eyelashes because obviously that’s such an important thing. I loved them so much that I started wearing them out to places. I started small with family gatherings. Then I moved up to my regular places (Target and Starbucks). For the final test, I wore them to church…and (at least a few) people noticed! As soon as someone mentioned my pretty eyes my immediate reply went something like this: “They’re fake. Not my eyes. My eyelashes. I have stupid short eyelashes and wanted to see what it would be like to have long lashes so I bought these at my happy place. They cost $5.99.” My confession was met with an awkward smile, backing away and a “well, isn’t that nice”. Ha!
I once had a friend tell me that when someone compliments something I’m wearing that they are not interested in the store I bought it from or how much it cost, but instead they would be happy with a simple “thank you”. If only it was that simple for me. I would like to say that this weird confessing habit developed as I got older, or that it is just a phase, but sadly I’m pretty sure I’ve always been this way. My mother tells a story about me as a child when I was maybe seven or eight years old. I came to her with a concerned look on my face and asked if I could talk to her. She asked me what was wrong and I busted out crying and screaming, “I’m a liar! I’m just a LIAR! I lie all the time and I just can’t stop lying and I’m worried that I’ll never quit and I’m just a BIG FAT LIAR!!!” So my mother, being the super nurturing woman that she is, erupted in laughter and made a mental note to tell this particular story to all the people for all the rest of time.
Luckily I grew out of the compulsive lying, but the compulsive confession is apparently a born trait so I’ve decided I might as well embrace it. In fact, at band practice last week, my drummer suggested a new, special title for me: Kim the Confessor. Not quite as cool as Elizabeth the Great or Richard the Lion Hearted but I suppose it’s at least accurate. It could be worse, after all. Check out these guys with very unfortunate titles (Alfonso the Slobberer is definitely my favorite one)!
I wish that we, as Christ followers, felt the kind of safety that would allow us to confess like that to each other. I wish that we, as Christ followers, showed that kind of transparency to one another on a day-to-day basis. I think that it might grow some sort of grace in us towards each other if we were allowed to confess to each other without the threat or fear of being judged. Imagine for a minute that you felt so loved, so accepted that you were able to confess the thing that’s eating you up inside to people who could help you find your way back to guilt-free living. Imagine a place where there is SO much grace that you felt free to take a risk and be yourself – your REAL self. Is there anyone in your life that you can confess to? Share with? Be real with?
Now – ask yourself this – are you the kind of person that someone would feel safe confessing their heart to? Are you filled with Acceptance? Compassion? Grace?
Every day, I pray that God would grow His grace in me. That He would make me the kind of person that other people would feel comfortable sharing life with. I pray that He would teach me to love the way that He loves, and to show the kind of kindness to others that He has shown to me. Sometimes I get it right. Sometimes I don’t. Either way, I fall on grace. Grace is the goal. The fruit of a Spirit-driven, Christ-following, God-worshipping life is always the goal.
“To pray is to change. This is a great grace. How good of God to provide a path whereby our lives can be taken over by love and joy and peace and patience and kindness and goodness and faithfulness and gentleness and self-control.”
Richard J. Foster
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”