Repentance Cleans the Heart

Print

I’m grateful for all the love so many of you have poured on me in the last two days. It was a beautiful gift and a balm to my heart. Thank you! I’ve been amazed at how fast the Lord has held me and all that the Spirit has shown me. This has been the cleanest grief of my life so far, and I believe that the key is repentance.

Repentance Born of Suffering

Repentance-Born-of-Suffering
God sent me my dogs before I was born again, and there were many times when I was a thoughtless and stupid steward of His gift. I made many mistakes over the years, and almost all of them were failures of authority and responsibility. And in one way or another, my dogs suffered as a consequence of those failures. And that fact broke my heart in repentance again and again.

My many, MANY repentances have never erased what I’ve done; they’ve simply ushered in the grace and forgiveness that I so desperately need just to walk through this life in the reality of who I am and what I’ve done. That same grace enables a real change to take place in my heart and my life. Repentance has never been easy for me, but it is very, very simple. All it requires is acknowledging the suffering I’ve caused – taking full responsibility for it – and receiving unconditionally the truth that the Spirit brings about the motive of my heart.

The Fruit of Repentance is Perceivable

The Fruit of Repentance is Perceivable
My dogs didn’t hold a grudge. Month by month, the Lord made me a better steward to them…still does. Buddy’s death is wrenching but clean. Was I a good steward when I screamed in his injured face and slammed the door on him? No. That was just horrible of me, but it wasn’t the whole of our time together, just a moment. And a year later when Beauty was mauled by a bear and dragged herself home with a bloody skull peeking out of her mangled scalp, I didn’t run. My time with Buddy’s terrible ordeal prepared me for Beauty’s even worse condition. Repentance for my initial cowardice and lack of love with Buddy led to real change that was evidenced in how I was able to deal with Beauty.

These are just a few of the things I’m seeing right now, and my gratitude for Buddy fair overwhelms my grief at his passing. There are many things that I take on pure faith in this life, but there is also an abundance of concrete proof of the Spirit’s work. The fruit of repentance is tangible. And right now, I am amazed at the lack of self-recrimination I’m experiencing. It is miraculous, all things considered, and can only be the result of years of repentance and the grace that poured over me when He forgave me.

Buddy may be gone, but my time with him is a gift that will continue to bear fruit all my life. God’s gifts always work on many levels, and His gifts are so very good.

The Lord of Hosts Himself has planned it; therefore, who can stand in its way? It is His hand that is outstretched, so who can turn it back?
Isaiah 14:27 HCSB

Comments:

Posted by Linda
September 7, 2015 at 9:21 am

I understand the sadness of losing a loved pet. It breaks your heart. Bless you Jen!

Your post really helps me to see how God has worked grace and love INTO my heart. My mother passed away a few months ago and papa was in a special home. So I took the dog, one I had never been fond of, and brought him into my home. Reading your post allows me to see how God has filled my heart with love and compassion for this dog. It is only God! Thanks for sharing Jen.

Reply
Posted by wanda
September 5, 2015 at 3:35 pm

Jennifer, you have no idea how much this post set me free of a long time torment. Your statement about screaming at Buddy and slamming the door in his face, and the following words: “that was horrible of me, but it wasn’t the whole of our time together. Just a moment. What wonderful freeing words. I love you.

Reply
Posted by Pauline
September 4, 2015 at 10:59 pm

Jennifer, you are a witness to the world of the Spirit’s power — a living epistle, even during this sad time.
Thank you for your offering . . . you are loved!

Reply
Posted by kathy spuler
September 4, 2015 at 2:28 pm

Jenn, so sorry for your loss. You are so gifted with expressing your feelings. Sending you hugs and prayers.

Reply
Posted by Paul
September 4, 2015 at 7:22 am

Wow Jennifer! My heart aches for your loss!! Thank you so much for sharing your story with us and the lessons that God has taught you on this journey!

Your statement about repentance is one of the best I’ve ever read on the subject!! Bless you for magnifying the grace of God and for helping all of us to better know His ways. Kathy and I send you our love and prayers !

Reply
Posted by Lynn
September 4, 2015 at 6:13 am

Love you! Keep writing your story.

Reply
Posted by Margo
September 4, 2015 at 6:02 am

I don’t own a dog, but have had some in my life.
Your statement “My many, MANY repentances have never erased what I’ve done; they’ve simply ushered in the grace and forgiveness that I so desperately need just to walk through this life in the reality of who I am and what I’ve done”,
is so true and reflective of both dogs and God.
I had never seen how dogs reflect this part of God’s grace and forgiveness until I heard Wendy Fracisco’s song God and Dog. It’s on YouTube; I recommend it for dog owners and non-dog owners. Watch it with a tissue. 🙂

Sorry for your loss Jennifer. <3

Reply
Posted by Sam
September 4, 2015 at 5:31 am

Oh my… you had to face two really awfully wounded animals. That takes courage. To take care of animals also takes responsability. And cleaness of conscience (“lack of self-recrimination”) when they are gone.

The fruit is tangible. Of course it is!

Love love love

Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *