I stare back at my past, observing myself as I was and as I am. I am not who I once was. I ache as the compassion and self-sacrificing nature have faded throughout my footsteps into the present. I watch as my focus steadily aims at myself through every footprint, losing sight of others. What once was the focus of my life has devolved into the background, growing hazy into the fog of the past. I have acquired the selfishness I so despised in others, clouding my vision with smog. I have become the unspeakable to myself: the arrogant and selfish. Ever so slowly the self-hatred creeps in, attempting to consume my thoughts, and I welcome it. Perhaps the criticism will manipulate my thoughts back into what they once were, God glorifying. I let the sharp blades slice through the numbing smog, embracing every tear they draw, hoping they will remind me. The numbness insidiously corroded away the acute feelings, leaving me standing in the smog, uncaring as the vague shapes of loved ones no longer touch my shrouded heart. My heart shrinks and develops a harsh outer shell, blocking who I once was from who I am. To love is to be vulnerable. I want that person back. I want to feel the pains of others as acutely as I feel my own pain, the claws digging in to reveal a tender heart. I want to regain the self-sacrificing nature that has evolved into self-preserving, the vision the Enemy has twisted from God and His will for loving people to loving myself. I want God to radiate out of all my actions that have come to reflect only myself, a broken and lost creature, a being revealing a depraved soul, forever needing more grace due to never-ending sins.
Yet I do not comprehend how to shift my vision to penetrate the suffocating fog. I claw my way around the fog, knowing not where I am or how to escape. I cry out, hearing only my voice reflected back at me, empty and mocking. Time aided the Enemy’s plot to capture my heart, and demands more life from me in order to regain myself. Time commands all things, consuming without us seeing, until too late. I look to God, realizing my depravity, and wonder if I could ever hope to beg for help. I look upon my belligerence and wonder if He would redeem me. I know what I did to become the monster I am, yet refused to change my actions due to my selfish desire. I craved to be self-sufficient. I sought to fulfill myself through myself alone, acting to fix myself, to better myself, to fulfill my desires. My selfishness brought happiness, not joy, and I am filled with shame. I know He will forgive me; however, I am too ashamed to ask. I do not deserve forgiveness, and want to fix myself, punishing myself by not asking for forgiveness. I refuse to be hard, and so I torture myself to become soft again, ironically seeking to do everything myself. So I look up in the fog, searching out God to return to Him, heart heavy in my shame.
“If I am guilty—woe to me!
Even if I am innocent, I cannot lift my head,
for I am full of shame
and drowned in my affliction.” ~Job 10:13-15