This past friday was the first time in 16 years I went to confession. I have social anxiety which made going to confession very, very nerve wracking and difficult. Also while I don’t have a full blown case of OCD or scruples, I definitely venture into that territory often.
During the confession, even though I had a list, my mind was all over the place and I think I started to get into too much detail (I get very talkative when I’m nervous) . The priest stopped me once to ask for clarification on something, then after confessing a few more sins, he stopped second time to ask me why I came back to the church. I told him what I tell everyone who asks me that: God’s love. God’s love has changed so much in my heart, how I act, and think. The anger and rage I use to feel inside is gone. The rejection I felt is gone. It was the grace of God that has brought me back to church and I truly feel like I am home again. After I told him this he congratulated me on coming back, gave me a few words of wisdom, gave me a penance and went straight to absolution. I was shaking like a leaf and so overwhelmed by the situation that I didn’t interrupt him, even though I still had a page and a half of sins to go over. I was still shaking when I got the pews to pray. It wasn’t until I got to the car and was able to calm down that I had this sense of peace I had not felt before. I thought about the sins I had committed, even the ones that weren’t confessed and they weren’t torturing me anymore, there was nothing but a sense of peace. It was the most beautiful feeling ever.
The previous two weeks at mass I felt a very strong urge to take part in communion which I had not felt before. It felt like God was calling me (I explained this to the priest too). That was the tip of the iceberg that got me to go to confession. As you can imagine I really wanted to take part of communion at mass yesterday and Saturday night I was praying and asking God if it was ok for me to take communion the next day. Fast forward to yesterday morning and before mass they were doing the adoration of the Eucharist. This was the first time since I started going to mass again this year since I’ve seen this happen. It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever been a part of. Then during the homily as the priest was explaining the Gospel reading, he explained what Jesus was saying to Peter: “I love you, I forgive you, come and share this meal with me.” It felt like Jesus was talking right to me so I took communion and it was a really humbling and beautiful experience.
Unfortunately for me, I worry about everything and anything. And I am more than capable of over analyzing a grain of sand. I started to get doubts last night about my confession. I had zero doubts about it from after the confession on Friday until last night. I don’t know if it’s me over analyzing the situation again or what. I’m still learning how to see God as love, pure love. Not just as angry judge. Up until my confession on Friday I knew God loved me, I had felt His love before, but after the confession I felt His love on a whole different level. I keep thinking that if I was truly forgiven I wouldn’t feel this way, but I didn’t feel this way up until last night and I feel like I’m driving a wedge between me and God because of my worry and doubt.