My Guilt is a prison I’ve made for myself. Chained like a slave hand I kneel head bowed. Bound from head to toe in my own misery. The guilt like shackles chaffing my ankles while my regret and shame keep the manacles on my hands bound. But around my neck, my neck clad in the iron of PRIDE. For refusing to look up. For refusing to look toward the heavens. I kneel on my bloody knees being pulled down. Down. Down. Toward the dirt and darkness. Toward my destruction.

The guilt. It weighs heavy on my heart. I cannot cope. I am drowning in my guilt. Drowning in my own sorrow. Drowning. The guilt and regret are crippling me. Pulling me down further into the ground. Toward the darkness.  Toward the bottomless obsess. On my knees I see no hope. No joy. No love. Just the endless cycle of my misery. I need only look up, but the irons around my neck forbid it. I don’t deserve forgiveness. I am weak. My pride forcing my face toward the ground into the dirt.

I need only look up. I need only let go. Let go of my pride, my shame, my regret, my guilt. I need only reach my hands toward the surface and like Peter He will lift me up.

But I can’t. I won’t. The guilt is too much. Instead it is dragging me toward the darkness. Drowning me. Struggling against myself someone calls out to me in the distance. I hear a voice whisper, “Come.” Against myself I look up. I look to see who is speaking to me. Who cares that I’m here? Who notices? Who would say come? Don’t they see I’m chained? Don’t they know I’m shackled? I cannot move. I will not move, but I look up. There in the darkness is a hand. It’s reaching for me. I hear someone say “Come unto me.”

I grow angry. Can’t they see I can’t move. I’m stuck. I’m shackled. I’m down here in the darkness. I cannot come.  My pride tells me to look away, but my heart begins to take hold of my hands and they reach up. Toward the hand. Toward freedom.  No longer wanting to remain stagnate I reach toward the hand. This time I hear more than a whisper. With the booming voice of many waves, I hear clearly. “Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.”

As my hand grabs his my shackles begin to fall. My pride falls and becomes a necklace of humility as I bow before his  greatness. My manacles of shame and regret become bracelets of diligence and kindness. While my shackles of guilt. Still clinging to me reminding me that I have sinned, fall when he speaks again “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye  shall find rest unto your souls.”

I rise. Welcomed into his arms he hugs me as tears of gratitude stream down my face. He kisses my forehead and lifts my chin and tells me. “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Welcoming me home he fades taking all my insecurities with him. Leaving only Forgiveness.