These writings are for the imperfect person searching for more of the Perfect God.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

How to forgive the unforgivable

"I forgive you.  You took something very precious from me. I will never talk to her again, but I forgive you. And may God have mercy on your soul. "
These were the words which effortlessly & yet achingly flowed from the lips of a Charleston S.C victims daughter.

I was temporarily paralyzed, as my ears fixated on her words which tangibly provided momentary life and drenched the court room with the sweet fragrance of forgiveness.
They made-no-sense, based on the violation.
Yet, they penetrated my own heart and coated it with a soothing ointment that changed me in that very moment.

Just yesterday I read a statement spoken by a Christian psychologist that forgiveness is a choice. Not a feeling.  But a continual, on purpose choice to forgive- even suggesting to tweet the thought.

I camped out on this statement.  Spent time climbing through its words, swimming through its meaning & hunting for the root of truth which gave birth to her suggestion.

I deeply desired this to be truth. I desperately wanted to receive this into my core belief system.
To believe it could be this simple.  
To believe I could choose to release an anger, a hurt, a heartache, a violation, a rejection, an unmet need, a memory, a tormenting pain.....all by a simple on-going choice of the will, regardless of my heart condition.

But from my experience, I've found it to not only be impossible, but painstakingly frustrating.  I also found it to cause further harmful and deceitful shame- that I once again could not "do" something.... Like forgive. Just one more thing to my already long list of what I'm incapable of doing.

If forgiveness ushers in freedom (which it does).....
If it releases me from the toxic residue of anothers harmful actions (which it does)......
If it restores my strength (which it does)....
If it renews my joy (which it does)...
Why would I NOT choose forgiveness?

Could it be that God specifically & purposefully designed and orchestrated forgiveness to go deeper than our own human power of a will-fill choice?

Could it be that the enemy of our soul desires us to believe the deadly lie that forgiveness also means reconciliation or restoration?  When in fact, the default button of forgiveness is not always reconciliation or restoration to a particular toxic relationship.  The only restoration God is after is the restoration of the heart, mind, soul and spirit.

If choosing to release someone of their debt seems impossible & certainly more complex than a simple willful choice, you might be asking, so what now?

It's possible some of you, like me, have found it nearly impossible to forgive on purpose.
Not just the kind of forgiveness that stays in the shallow end, but the kind of forgiveness that is genuine, real, authentic.
The kind that bears fruits of true life-giving freedom that goes much deeper than speaking the word forgiveness and hoping our minds will finally one day be convinced enough to believe it.

No, not the kind where we persuade ourselves through will power that forgiveness is the right thing to do, yet each time that specific persons face enters the mind, all the pain bubbles up again.
No, I'm speaking of the kind that indefinitely, sincerely, legitimately frees me from the snares of chains of an unforgiving spirit.
The chains that get tighter each year and heavier each footstep.

The kind of forgiveness where the persons face no longer ushers in grief and despair, but compassion & grace.

Whoa. Is that even possible with someone who has taken an emotional knife to the heart and ripped it  up, down, left and right through viscous words, violent abuse, tormenting rejection, debilitating betrayal?

Yes. It IS possible.  South Carolina proved that to be true this past week.

But I'm also the bearer of bad news, on this summer evening, when I share there's most definitely a choice involved, but not the kind we think of when we make every day choices.
No, this type of 'choice' involves that of the heart.  The soul. The spirit. Gods territory.

The book of Luke shares a story about a woman like me, like you, that found herself less than perfect.  
Her strongholds, her poor decisions, her defects of character, her brokenness, her woundedness, all led her to this moment. A moment that DEFINES the richness, beauty & remedy to genuine forgiveness-

(Jesus speaking) "I tell you her sins-and they are many- have been forgiven, for she has shown me much love.  But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love." (Luke 7:47)

Could it be it's impossible to unlock & release the undeserved gift of forgiveness without first being forgiven and fully loved myself?
Is it possible that I can't give what I don't have?

This one little line of Jesus' words holds enough weight to transform a life, a soul, a generational line.  I'm mesmerized at the raw beauty of recognizing that a person simply is incapable of choosing to forgive when they themselves are not forgiven.
Forgiven like this woman. 
Forgiven where the very core of my being sings the tender song of knowing how deeply, undeservingly, transformationally forgiven I am for my past, which then naturally ushers in the enormity of Gods crazy, pure, make-no-sense kind of raw love.

This & ONLY this is when & where I can forgive.

If I could choose to forgive someone based on my own free-will or by convincing my mind I've forgiven them, why would I need Jesus' supernatural make-no-sense kind of grace filled power?

It's only by His power, His presence, His kindness, His grace, given freely & lavishingly to me that first cleans & purifies my own heart so that I am primed & prepared emotionally, spiritually & physically to forgive the unforgivable.

So, what is the answer? 
Make a willful choice to forgive even though I have very little grace in me to give?  Even though my inners are beat up, bruised, dark, skewed, twisted, angry & bitter? No, it's just not possible. 

First, the heart must be purified, cleansed, bandaged, loved-on by our maker before it's capable of true genuine, authentic, sincere, make-no-sense kind of forgiveness.

Out of the heart flows the well-spring of life.  If the heart is left in a stagnant & stale state of being shattered, broken, damaged, messy- without the healing touch of Gods fingerprint, how can it be capable of providing something as pure as forgiveness?

Anything outside of this IS self-willed forgiveness which bears no fruit of genuine, real, true, transformational, life-giving, radical, can't-wrap-my-head-around kind of grace.

You find a forgiving person & you find a forgiven person.

They not only go hand in hand, they simply can not exist unless they co-exist.

Until I'm willing to step out from the illusion and lethal trap of denial or open the dead-bolted closet door containing my own shameful past choices & decisions, than choosing to forgive & offer grace is not possible.

When we make the courageous, conscience & brave step to unlock the door, crawl out of denial & hand deliver all the areas I'm hiding, then can I experience & taste the sweetness of being forgiven and released from something I don't deserve to be released from.
The kind of release that frees the heavy chains, which in return frees my heart to love and to receive His love- the remedy and answer to life.

It's only here I can give to another what I DO have... forgiveness in it's rawest, truest, purest, make-no-sense-est kind of form.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

My Hiding Place

I'm haunted by the repetitive words over the years, months, weeks, days, moments that I foolishly purge from the mouth "life is too busy, too chaotic, too hectic, too over scheduled to have time each day with God."

Most days I dare not share this verbally, but within the confinement of my heart, I think this... I use this... I stand by this as truth.... or, as an excuse.

And not just the kind of time I use to cram for a bible study or a teaching, but the kind where I'm coming before Him to simply rest in His presence...
As the nourishment of my soul.
As the key to my joy.
As the strength to my bones.
As the remedy to my life.
As the restorer to my brokenness.
As the healer to my depravity.
As the father to my needs.
As the love of my life.

Before anyone is awake in my home.
Before attempting to climb through life.
Before interacting with anyone or anything.
Before checking my phone, email, texts.
Before wearing the label of mom, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, friend.

Before.


He has life-giving power, Jesus says.
Life-Giving.

It's here I sit and meditate on the rawness and truth of this foreign word my ears hear and my mind attempts to comprehend.

What in life is Life-Giving, I quietly ask myself.
Life is full of life-taking, life-depleting, life-exhausting.


But God is promising...
life-giving hope.
Life-giving nourishment.
Life-giving joy.
Life-giving peace.
Life-giving rest.
Life-giving love.
Life-giving hope.
Life-giving refreshment.
Life-giving NEW life,
Pressed down, shaken together, making room for more, running over and poured onto my lap (Luke 6:38.)

Interesting how soon I forget the beauty of spending time consistently, vulnerably, transparently, genuinely, intimately with Him fills me to the peak of overflowing-love, which enables & infuses my spirit to give out to others that which was given undeservingly to me.

And with this thought deeply surfacing round and round in my mind, I open to the back page of a treasured bible with words containing a powerful, yet a simple truth from Philippians:

"Don't worry about anything.  Instead, pray about everything. Tell God what I need and thank Him for all He has done.  THEN- I will experience God's peace which exceeds anything we can understand.  This peace will guard my heart and mind."



So, in the elementariness of my thinking, I recognize a pattern, a theory, a recipe for a healthy soul:

Prayer = Gods peace = guards my heart= guards my mind

(Spending time with Him ushers in peace, which ushers in protection of both my heart and mind.)


I'm beginning to recognize a pattern in God's design.  
Could it be that spending this daily time with Him not only ushers in His overflowing radical love, but pours in His unfathomable peace which then provides a protective mechanism over my heart and mind?  

And doesn't it just so happen to be that these are the two key areas in which satan seeks to destroy the most?  They certainly are in my life.  

Could it really be that God, in His incomprehensible simplicity, asks only of my time, my dedication, my loyalty, my obedience to seek Him before all else; resulting in health and protection for my mind and heart? 
For my mind that's prone to wander? 
For my heart that's dictated by unstable emotions?  

Prayer, according to the transformational book of Philippians, is the natural remedy to a stable mind and a decisive heart that's fixated on the Only key to life.

And if all this wasn't enough, while sitting here on our well-used family room couch in the early hour of this Tuesday morning, I hear Sarah Groves angelic voice usher through the faint speaker of my phone. singing...
 "You are my hiding place... early when the day is new, before the stirring I will come and talk with you...and confess the ways I am broken to recall the words you've spoken.. and try  to comprehend the love you have for me... You are my hiding place."

That's when my eyes drift up to view the make-shift wall of blankets just footsteps from this couch.  A wall of blankets the children used to make a tent, a hiding place of their own less than  24 hours earlier.

Memories flooding back to the innocent joy I found in making a hiding place of my own as a child. Still seeing and smelling the fabric of each well-loved blanket that tapered over the old wood  chairs that were used as the infrastructure of my tent.

It was a place of safety & refuge.  
Untouched from outside reality.
Empowered by its solitude. 
Silenced by its peace.
Strengthened by its boundaries.
Refreshed by its simplicity.
Protected by its coverings.

Could it be that Jesus desires, above all else, to be my hiding place? 

To give me an opportunity each day to climb back into my child-hood tent and find rest, refreshment, safety, hope, love, protection and acceptance?  

A hiding place that is marinated in life.  
Desiring nothing but for me, for you, for them, for all- to choose and experience refreshment for the soul, rest for the mind and His love to consume the heart.

It's here, I find life.


Psalm 32:7
"For You are my hiding place.
You protect me from trouble.
You surround me with songs of victory."

Monday, June 8, 2015

Wisdom of a child

Sitting in the over populated, stiff-chaired auditorium of my first born's 8th  grade graduation, a school slide show displayed each graduate's "life goal" along with the students picture.

Slide after slide, we were given glimpses into these precious hearts and their "life goal" desires.
Some desiring to become a doctor, some a marine biologist, others hoping to contribute at making this world a better place, while another planning to marry a rich man...

But there was one.

One in particular that pressed the mental pause button in the moment and struck a cord in an uncharted territory of my heart.

"To be a daughter of God," it read.


My heart digested it in with slow-motion-fashion, primarily because the answer didn't match the question.

Or did it?

Could that be it?
Simple- no plans, no expectations, no strategies, no ideas, no details?

Could it be this 8th grader just revealed the key to success?
Could it be this 14 year old just revealed the heartbeat of God?
Could it be this rookie-teenager just revealed the simplicity of life?
Could it be this child just revealed the rest & refreshment God designed, orchestrated and originated for me to taste?

Sitting in the 15th row of the uncomfortable hard seat, my own conscience soon matched the pressing uncomfortableness of my aching back.
Questions rushing through my thoughts and dropping like buckets of rain in my heart...

Why do I complicate things?
Why do I not trust?
Why do I stubbornly plan my own way?
Why do I seek my own desires?
Why do I inherently live like an orphan, forgetting I'm His daughter?
Why do I pursue my own needs, wants, desires?

When all along, all He wanted from my lips were the simple words from the overflow of my heart... "To be your daughter, God."
To be Yours.
Nothing more.  Nothing Less.  Nothing in between.

This young lady didn't choose to say "To be loved by God, or to love God, or be known by God, or to know God.... But to be   His daughter.
To live her life knowing she IS His daughter, fully adopted and embraced by Him.

My mind drifts to a treasure I read & stuffed in the pocket of my heart earlier that particular morning...

"I must learn a new way to think before I can master a new way to be."


This 8th  grade child chose to learn a new way to think- one that aligns her with truth so that she can master a new way to be.... Being His daughter.



I can only imagine the life awaiting this simplistic yet wise individual.
Nothing hindering Gods plan and purpose on this life.
Nothing blocking the richness and provision predestined for this life.
Nothing clogging the pureness of His flow in this life.
Nothing inhibiting His presence and voice as He guides, leads and speaks in this life.
Nothing depleting His life-giving breath from this life.
Nothing ceasing His enormity of overflowing love in this life.

Nothing- but Jesus and His plan... not mine.
His desire....Not mine.
His way... Not mine.
His story... Not mine.

Could this be a guarantee to success- true success?
The kind that fills the depleted soul with wholeness.
The kind that fills the shackled spirit with freedom.
The kind that fills the tired bones with joy.
The kind that fills the anxious mind with peace.
The kind that fills the dissatisfied life with refreshment.
The kind that fills the inconstant thoughts with rest.
The kind that fills the weary strength with purpose.

And then I recognize this is a moment my experience matches the words of Jesus.

"Unless I change and become like a child, I will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  And whoever becomes as humble as this child will be the greatest in Heaven."

There is something about this word, humble, as my mind wanders back to just moments before when I witnessed the simplistic wisdom and beauty of her life goal.
Humility...  it's geniune leadership, isn't it?
True reverency.
True love.
True selflessness.
True life.

Could this 8th grade child possibly been the only wise soul in a room full of adults?
She taught me humility, right order and simplicity, this child on that June Saturday evening.

This child led me to the doorway of life and reminded me of my purpose during these short and fragile years on earth... to be His daughter.
Powerful.
Simple.
True.

Life-giving supernatural love now has the opportunity to manifest itself in the reservoir of my heart and release this selfish, goal-driven mentality to rest in the guidance and protection of my Father.

Oh, how grateful I am to be taught the lessons of life by a child.

"We may throw the dice, but God determines how they fall."
Proverbs 16:33



Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Love- the problem and the answer?


It rings in my ear at the oddest times, a statement I once read... "Love is both the problem and the answer."  It was during a feast on a book by author Stephanie Tucker, where she posed the simple, yet complex question...

If love is the problem, could it also really be the solution?

Could it be that because of love, I've endured my greatest pain and yet my greatest joy?

Isn't it love, or lack of, that catapults us into the arms of something or someone to fill the gaping hole in our soul?

The black hole, I call it.  It's the hole that drives us into the muck of destructive choices, the web of harmful people and the enticing trance of decietful hope.

Little do we know these false gods not only flow directly through and out the hole, they increase its depth, width and length, leaving us in more pain than where we began.

Love deprivation, love starvation drives our soul to find nourishment and satisfaction as intensely as if we were desperate for water after countless parched days in a desert.
Desperation for a drop of water on the tongue puts my ethic, moral and personal integrity at risk.
Desperation often erases virtue.

Love, both the answer and the problem.

I once heard a story about a young boy who was adopted by a loving family.  This boy had been mistreated and starved in his prior life, both physically as well as emotionally.  However, after adoption, the survival mentality wasn't immediately erased.  He knew he was no longer being mistreated or malnourished, but his mentality told him otherwise.
His cupboards were full of food and his new family were full of overflowing love.  But his deep engrained memories responded out of fear, even amongst the safety of his new adopted, nurturing, warm and fully loved new family.

I often respond to life as an orphan, fearing the unknown and staying in survival mode.
While the truth being, I am fully adopted and been given access to the purest, deepest love imaginable to mankind; cupboards overflowing of the purest food to saturate every need.

The love of God has the power to not only love passionately, uniquely, intimately and fully, it empowers with the actual presence and power of the Holy Spirit.  They go hand in hand.
This is precisely why the love of a human being does not fully contain the strength or power to change another person.

On the other hand, the love of God, undoubtedly, unquestionably, unsurpassingly does!
This is the first, and possibly only revelation needed to break free from an out-of-order lifestyle.

But let me tell you with great confidence-  the enemy of our soul will work overtime to convince us that God is not enough.  Not sufficient enough.  Not big enough.  Please allow me to speak directly to your spirit for a moment...DO NOT BELIEVE THIS LIE.

So, the question is, how do we take this theological head knowledge regarding the immensity and sufficiency of His love, 18 inches down to the heart?

2 Peter 1:3 gives the exact answer to this well searched question:
"By His power, I have everything (not somewhat, not a little, not a portion) but everything I need to live a Godly life."
And if living a Godly life requires experiencing the magnitude of His love, how do we obtain it and abide in it moment by moment?
The book of Peter answers this question directly- "we receive ALL of this by coming to "know" Him.

"Knowing" anyone requires transparency, vulnerability, trust and time.
This is the same recipe for "knowing" Jesus.

If I hide and refuse Him access into the very areas that have been dead bolted shut, whether consciously or unconsciously, I am refusing the ability to "know" Him.

God's greatest desire is to reach into the depth of our spirit and free us in order to experience His radical love.  But often there's memories, circumstances, issues so deeply repressed, it may take time in the arms of God to reveal and expose the root of the fruits being experienced.

For example, if the fruits of my life are continual disconnection from God, fear, anxiety, worry, just to name a few, than there must be a root feeding these fruits.


Jesus' desire is to not only gently and firmly yank out the root, but to penetrate its prior position with His healing ointment of love.

God enables Love to be our armor and protective mechanism (1Thes 5:8).
And then... the gift of love is no longer the problem- it's now the solution.
Marinated and infused with the love of  God, who IS love,  I'm now enabled to love others from the overflow of His pure, intimate, sweet, healing, fulfilling, true, merciful love.

Another promise my eyes fixated themselves on while sipping my morning coffee... "Keep on loving others... then you will not become spirituality dull and spiritually indifferent."
Could this be yet another key, another law, another promise, another guarantee into having a fully ignited relationship with Christ?

So, lets see... a lack of love for others has a natural byproduct of making me "spiritually dull and indifferent."  A guarantee. A promise. A law.

My thoughts flood back to Revelation where God states He will spit out of his mouth those who are neither hot or cold.
Can you picture that?  Have you ever took a sip of coffee, but unknowingly it's right on the verge between hot and cold.  We do just that, don't we?  That's how detestable we are to God when we are "indifferent"- neither hot or cold.


The tricky part here is that it's impossible to accurately and fully love others with out first experiencing and overflowing in God's love.  We simply cannot give what we don't have.
Otherwise, any other form of love, without first being from the reservoir of God's love, will be inherently flawed.

It will contain toxic remnants of:
selfishness
envy
pride
greed
idolatry
and any and all areas of our flesh.

But Gods love, on the other hand, is:
pure
kind
selfless
patient
honest
enduring
forgiving.

As John1 states, the only way God's love can be brought into a full expression in my life, is if I also love others through the love He is providing for me- and then, and only then, can He live in me. (1 John 4:11)

"Those who love God must also love others (1 John 4:21)
Those who are abiding in God's love will naturally, effortlessly love others from His overflow.
John is stating here it would be an oxymoron, an impossibility, to love God and not naturally love others.  They go hand-in-hand.
The love is a fruit from my root being deeply imbedded in Him.

Interestingly, my heart wanders back to the passage I read this morning in Revelation which reveals that the leaves which grow on these fruits also hold value, great value.
They represent healing- the mind, body and soul.
So, not only are we receiving righteous character through fruits of abiding in him, we also receive healing which co-joins with the fruit!


These thin pages of His word- how they erase the heaviness, the burdens, the anxieties, the weight of life.  My eyes scroll down this life- saving book to the sentence that shares that my love for others is the proving grounds, to the world, that I am God's disciple.
Not my knowledge of the bible?
Not my degree?
Not my gifts?
Not my talents?
Not my personality?
Nope.
It's LOVE.
wow.
I need to sit on that for awhile and let it sink into my belief system that speaks contrary to this truth.

And then I hear it.... the simplicity & magnitude of His voice,
"You are free to love others, Joy, because I first loved you."









Monday, June 1, 2015

A ball of chaos

Ah, there it sits in all its beauty.

Hand crafted with intricate detailed carvings into the refined polished wood.  Flawlessly dressed up in symmetrical lines of elegance and charm.  Propped up in place of honor in the master bedroom so that its beauty can be displayed and seen by many.

But I don't dare open it...for inside this charming and delicate jewelry box lies...
A ball of chaos.
A tangled mess.
An enmeshed headache of never ending disorder and confusion.

Oh, it started out with such high hopes, this jewelry box.  Filled with empty wonder at the thought of the beauty that could one day fill the velvet lined drawers within.

16 years later, three kids later, this once unsurpassed piece of charm does not match the ball of ugly chaos lurking within its walls.

My thoughts flood back to the moments of each piece of jewelry being safely and delicately placed in  the box.  The beauty within once matched the beauty of the hand crafted exquisite jewelry box.


Then it happened.  It just took one time.

A careless shove of a necklace.
A hasty toss of a bracelet.
A negligent cram of an earring.

Before I knew it, I had myself a cluttered, disordered, chaotic, tangled ball of mess!

The irony of my jewelry box is overwhelming that I almost dare not share.
How I work so hard at getting the outside jewelry box of life to look appealing, likable, perfect, acceptable... in hopes, consciously or unconsciously, that others will accept and embrace what they see.

I, too, started off with such high hopes of desiring the inside jewelry of my heart, mind and soul to exceed that of my outside.  All the while, the outside "box" portraying itself flawless on social media.  Perfect at church.  Secure in public. Strong at work.  But inside, don't dare open the box....

A necklace of regret..
A bracelet of bitterness.
A ring of fear.
An earring of envy.
A charm of inadequacy.
A pearl of doubt.
A diamond of unworthiness.
A watch of pain.

And then I did what should of been done years ago... opening the box and begin the process of unraveling.  Unraveling of the precious jewelry with ease and patience, right?

I begin meddling through it as I hold onto a glimmer of hope that I can unravel the ball of chaos effortlessly and flawlessly, on my own.
But, it only takes a matter of a few frustrating moments to understand this process is not only difficult, but has the potential to strip me of every sane remnant left in my life.

Jewelry, once held as delicate and precious in my eyes, now is screaming and begging to be thrown out the window with full aggression and frustrating release.

I imagine, for a moment, a someone, a hero, coming into my home and gently assuring me to release the white knuckle tight fisted ball of chaos into their care.  They release me from this position and assure me they will unravel the mess and deliver back the original treasured, delicate and beautiful pieces of jewelry, restored to its original design and beauty, free of charge!

I'm now,
free from the frustration,
free from the insanity,
free from the ball of chaos,
and overflowing with hope and gratitude for the undeserved kindness of this helper.

Overwhelmed with this accurate representation of life, He gently reminds me of the preciousness, the treasure, the delicacy, the beauty His eyes see when He views this ball-of-mess of mine, just as I once viewed the pieces of jewelry entangled together upstairs in my jewelry box.

That's when He precisely asked me to bring the tangled mess to Him.  To cease the agitating process of unraveling myself so that He could take each entangled, each enmeshed piece of life and make sense to the chaos, one by one.

In His patience and deep love, He finds joy in the unraveling process.

Could it be that the pivotal fork in the road is here, is now- the very opportunity for God to pour Himself in the recess of the heart of the chaos and patiently, perfectly unravel the mess?  This takes time and uninterrupted intimacy in the lap of the Great Physician.
And then I ask the obvious, but also the most confusing question of all... why is the unfathomable working of the Holy Spirit penetrating His power deep into the depth of my being, shaking the chains loose, breaking the enmeshment of shame and unraveling the pain of loss and woundedness? The enormity of His love, I will never fully grasp.

And, more often than not, the busyness of life has significant weight which tends to pull & lure me in different directions, making time with God limited and often interrupted.
But through more error than success, I've come to the firm conclusion it's only when I get to a place of solitude, of quietness, of rest, of time out, can I begin to hear the gentle whisper of God's healing voice and strong presence of His Spirit which pours out His unspeakable, transformational love for me (Romans 5:5).

Could it be this is an opportunity to...
Peal off the masks.
Abandon the facade.
Leave the masquerade...
and come before God transparent, raw, exposed?

Could it be that just this simple act has enough power to radically free the chained heart and usher in beauty of order and transformation within the jewelry box of my soul?

My eyes stumbled on James 4:7 yesterday.  Oh, what an accurate depiction of choosing to come before the healer and grieve losses, acknowledge defects of character, face past violations, release strong holds, confess fears... and profess anything that is separating me from God.

"So humble myself before God.
Resist the devil and He will flee from me.
Come close to God and God will come close to me.
Wash my hands.
Purify my heart for my loyalty is divided between God and the world.
Let there be tears for what I have done (and/or what has been done to me).
Let there be sorrow and deep grief.
Be sadness instead of laughter.
Gloom instead of of joy.
Humble myself before the Lord, and He will lift me up in honor."

And it's exactly here in this hour, in this moment, in this time, in this place, where He reaches down, wipes my tear stained cheek and brings order to my mess.  It's here He surpasses the beauty of the outward with the unmatching grace of the inward.