The candles flickered on the communion table, and the silence of the people in the room reflected the holiness of the moment. After washing down the slightly stale cracker fragment with the blackberry wine, I stood off to the side, arms around my three children, watching my husband kneel in front of the altar. Tears filled my eyes. The kids got restless and moved away from the altar, and I sat on the front row, eyes closed. Lord, I prayed. No words, just fullness. Thankfulness. Abundance.
Do I need to repent? I thought. To repent is to turn away. And then I knew my prayer.
Lord, I turn away… from turning away.
This doesn’t mean that I am refusing to repent. It means that I will stop fighting Him. I will no longer resist. I will run straight towards God, and not let my insecurities, self-blame, self-condemnation, or emotions stop me. I will not accept my own shallow, flimsy excuses for why I can’t, or won’t, go to God first. I will stop playing games, posturing, leaning on myself until situations are so far out of hand that all I have left is to turn to God.
I will stop turning away, and will run towards Him. No, that’s not right. I can’t let myself get that far away in the first place.
A scary prayer. And, yet, 100 percent, completely right. I sense deep within that this is what He wants of me, this is what He’s asking me. Lord, help me. There is nothing about Him to be afraid of, yet I think this is the scariest prayer I’ve ever prayed.
No more excuses. A complete relinquishing of control.
I turn away from turning away.