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Regret, pain, loss and tears (A prisoner’s sorrow)

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Regret, pain, loss and tears
(A prisoner’s sorrow)

 

I am writing a prisoner, his name is Roger, who has been in prison for a many years, but, hopefully will be getting out soon on parole.  He is I believe one of those who will not be going back in.  At least that is prayer for him.  In his last letter he talked about regret and if I could give him some insight into dealing with it.  I am not sure if I helped him, but since I have my own weight of regrets, I guess I do have some experience in dealing with it…..as I would suppose, most people do as well.  Below is some of what I shared with him.  I did not want him to think that he was alone in dealing with his past, that we all carry some weight around in our souls, even if it is often hidden.  One day it will come out.  I believe that as death nears, we do review our lives, or as the NDE’s talk about, have a live review.  So below is what I shared with him.  I need to say in passing, I have learned a lot from him.  About perseverance against strong obstacles and starting over as he has done and will continue to do when he is released.

Quote “Dear Roger,

You asked about ‘regret’ and how to deal with it.  We all have regrets in our lives.  Some, over embarrassing moments, others, about serious wrongs that we did over the years, some more severe than others because we knew what we were doing and not just overwhelmed with emotion or passion when committed; they were free, evil, acts. 

Regrets, which are wounds that we place on ourselves, can rise up from time to time.  For when we sin against another, we also sin against ourselves.  However, to feel sorrow over our past can be something positive if we do not wallow in false guilt, which is a waste of time.  Growth in self-knowledge comes from our contemplating what we have done in the past and from that knowing what we are capable of doing now and in the future.  It is not always easy, but if you do feel regret, bring them into the presence of the Lord Jesus who knows, understands and has already forgiven you.  Now you just need deeper healing for yourself and for those you hurt.  You can pray for them, also if you can, if it is possible, to ask them for forgiveness.  If they give it or not, are less important than you actually admitting it…..it takes a weight off and also leads to deeper compassion for others, as well as being able to forgive those who have hurt you in the past as well as the present….though it is always a struggle because of our powerful emotions.  Pain goes deep, emotional pain the deepest. 

We each carry a burden, but until we learn to love ourselves and accept fully the healing mercy of the Lord we will go in circles bemoaning our past.  Tears of sorrow are healing, tears of self pity are of a different nature altogether.  We need to look to the Lord and not to our feet like Peter did when he was walking on the water towards the Lord. He began to sink, yet the Lord reached out and pulled him up, as he does you on a daily basis.  You are God’s child, his son, his beloved, never forget that.  Allow God’s love to fill you with compassion for your-self, self hatred leads nowhere. One point, do not be afraid of the different types of inner experiences, for they pass and another will take its place.  It is from the stand point of faith that you learn to trust and not get swallowed up by inner storms. 

When you start on the path of faith, the Lord will want you to grow in self knowledge, which is humbling, for it is based on truth.  Do not fear the truth about yourself, for in that you learn to embrace your need for mercy and healing.  To deny that is only to allow it to grow unchecked and over time can become a devouring flame.  Christ Jesus died for you, would have died if you were the only human on earth, that is what God’s love is….infinite, incomprehensible, other….so don’t try to understand it from how we humans love.  Our love is finite, very comprehensible because it has limits.  If God loved the way we do, well yes, we would be in deep trouble, yet Christ Jesus shows us something different my friend.

When you see others there in the grip of some passion, or depressed, or overwhelmed with guilt, have compassion for them, and if possible let them know of God’s love.  Speak to them in everyday language, using scripture only if it helps you to share your experience of the Love you have experienced in Christ Jesus.

So, your regret, can lead to deeper healing, or to just more worthless guilt that leads nowhere.  When you feel ‘negative emotions’ open up that chamber in your heart to the love, light, mercy and God’s love for you and those there with you…everyone you see and interact with is the beloved Child of God and how you treat them is how you treat Jesus Christ.  When you fail, just get up and if you can make amends.” End of quote’

As a Christian who has received the mercy of God through Jesus Christ, I have only hope for all and so I encourage others no matter what their inner feelings and emotions are to trust in God’s love and mercy.   God’s love is not predicated on how we feel at any one time.  True faith has a deep trust in the Lord’s love; that nothing can separates us from if we seek mercy, compassion for ourselves as well as others.  What we receive, we are to give back, to become channels of God’s love and grace.  We are Christ arms to embrace, he speaks through us when we share our faith and encourage others, and when we show compassion it is His Heart that flows through ours.  We are called to truly understand and deepen our understanding of what it means to belong to the priesthood of the faithful. 


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People have trouble defending their crimes.  Lived with someone who hid his for a while until i figured it out.  He was still going to keep lying, but eventually confessed under duress.

He was more manageable after that as the burden of being untruthful was damaging to our relationship.  

You can't keep things hidden for long, that are damaging to the spirit, under close scrutiny.  Your 'demons' get in the way, and force confession.

Is this prisoner ready to confess his crimes?

Will that fully release the burden?

It only released the knowledge of the action when my friend confessed.  It did nothing about fixing the original crime.

His inaction at fixing it, when the opportunity came, led to years of pain later, for him.  Years and years.  It ruined years of his life.

So I would share that with any criminal.

God will send you a chance of redemption, be ready to grab hold with both hands.  You only get the one shot.

My friend was given an easy opportunity for absolution and even a chance at redemption, but he was not a true Christian and refused to give (in his case) money to the offended (ie. his victim....for counseling they needed as a result of his action against them).

He chose to ignore their pain.  Never works.

Edited by eileenhat

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This prisoner admits his crime and is a Christian, a devout one.  His main fear is giving into an old way of life.  He is not going back to his old friends.  His main problem is allowing God's mercy to sink in, but he is working on that.  I am sorry for your friend.

 

Peace
Mark

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10 minutes ago, markdohle said:

This prisoner admits his crime and is a Christian, a devout one.  His main fear is giving into an old way of life.  He is not going back to his old friends.  His main problem is allowing God's mercy to sink in, but he is working on that.  I am sorry for your friend.

 

Peace
Mark

It does not sound like he is even close to redemption, let alone absolution Mark.  He still has fears of returning to a lifestyle that torments rather than seeing an opportunity for a healthy life.  His fears rule him, rather than make him see alternatives....from what little you said, that I can share about here.  That is the level he is still at.  Not much more than your average prisoner thinking pattern.  Fear blinds versus becoming a motivation.  He still suffers then from a stigma (quite common as job opportunities are non abundant for him).  He is scared and rightly so.  He lacks faith in the Lord to be with him (hence your involvement in his life....ie. to help him find faith).

Just saying, this is not your burden to bear (ie. what happens after prison).  You are merely the conduit to God for his redemption right at this time.  Once he is released, his old devils will bedevil him.

Prayer is our only course then (for the damaged), as we can not protect someone, from their habitual tendencies/fears.

It is their opportunity, and not ours, to overcome and we need not over protect them.

An aside....

You are seeing something in him you want forgiveness for yourself.  Some level of suffering, you and he can both see in yourselves.

Focus on that premise and see if that has value.

Love

Blessings

Eileen

Edited by eileenhat

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5 hours ago, eileenhat said:

It does not sound like he is even close to redemption, let alone absolution Mark.  He still has fears of returning to a lifestyle that torments rather than seeing an opportunity for a healthy life.  His fears rule him, rather than make him see alternatives....from what little you said, that I can share about here.  That is the level he is still at.  Not much more than your average prisoner thinking pattern.  Fear blinds versus becoming a motivation.  He still suffers then from a stigma (quite common as job opportunities are non abundant for him).  He is scared and rightly so.  He lacks faith in the Lord to be with him (hence your involvement in his life....ie. to help him find faith).

Just saying, this is not your burden to bear (ie. what happens after prison).  You are merely the conduit to God for his redemption right at this time.  Once he is released, his old devils will bedevil him.

Prayer is our only course then (for the damaged), as we can not protect someone, from their habitual tendencies/fears.

It is their opportunity, and not ours, to overcome and we need not over protect them.

An aside....

You are seeing something in him you want forgiveness for yourself.  Some level of suffering, you and he can both see in yourselves.

Focus on that premise and see if that has value.

Love

Blessings

Eileen

 

Thank you for your comment.  I do believe that each human being has a burden, a thorn in their side that keeps them in the knowledge of their need for continued grace from Jesus Christ.  I understand regret, the struggle to overcome it, as well as learning that it says nothing about Jesus' love for me, nor my relationship with Jesus Christ.   We grow in trust, by simple trusting when we feel the opposite.  So yes, your are right, I do see in his suffering, my own.  That is what empathy is I believe.

I seek to encourage those I write in prison, not figure them out or to really try to change them.  People as they mature in their faith walk, slowly learn of the Lords faithfulness in their lives even when they feel at their weakest.   This man knows he needs to pay back his depth to society, he also knows of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

You have good insights into human nature, thanks for your comments my friend.

 

Peace
mark

 

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On 3/9/2017 at 3:01 PM, markdohle said:

Thank you for your comment.  I do believe that each human being has a burden, a thorn in their side that keeps them in the knowledge of their need for continued grace from Jesus Christ.  I understand regret, the struggle to overcome it, as well as learning that it says nothing about Jesus' love for me, nor my relationship with Jesus Christ.   We grow in trust, by simple trusting when we feel the opposite.  So yes, your are right, I do see in his suffering, my own.  That is what empathy is I believe.

I seek to encourage those I write in prison, not figure them out or to really try to change them.  People as they mature in their faith walk, slowly learn of the Lords faithfulness in their lives even when they feel at their weakest.   This man knows he needs to pay back his depth to society, he also knows of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

You have good insights into human nature, thanks for your comments my friend.

 

Peace
mark

 

I recall trying to be a good christian and help an old friend out who got jailed for a stretch.

He was drawn into the culture to the extent I had to cut him off.  He began to lie constantly.

He was deranged, by circumstances.  Mentally unstable due to the stressful conditions of jail house life.

I did not judge him, I just did not condone the lying.  There is a difference.

So to help anyone, they must be sharing their truth, otherwise, you are in fact supporting their fabrications.

My prayers for him did not reach his ears for a decade afterwards, then they began to have an effect, again.

Edited by eileenhat

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18 hours ago, eileenhat said:

I recall trying to be a good christian and help an old friend out who got jailed for a stretch.

He was drawn into the culture to the extent I had to cut him off.  He began to lie constantly.

He was deranged, by circumstances.  Mentally unstable due to the stressful conditions of jail house life.

I did not judge him, I just did not condone the lying.  There is a difference.

So to help anyone, they must be sharing their truth, otherwise, you are in fact supporting their fabrications.

My prayers for him did not reach his ears for a decade afterwards, then they began to have an effect, again.

 

We should never lose hope, yet boundaries are important as well.  You did well, love the fact that you trusted God enough to continue your prayer ministry to him.

 

Peace

Mark

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The bible puts all under sin.Without Jesus we all are in our sins awaiting the wrath of God. We can have empathy for sinners because we also were under the wrath of God. We know that God called sinners not the righteous to repentence. It's good to encourage others to face there sinful condition and turn to God. We are like thirsty travelers who have found some water to drink and see others thirsty too who don't know where the water is. Let us share the good news.

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On 3/12/2017 at 1:57 PM, Wayne222 said:

The bible puts all under sin.Without Jesus we all are in our sins awaiting the wrath of God. We can have empathy for sinners because we also were under the wrath of God. We know that God called sinners not the righteous to repentence. It's good to encourage others to face there sinful condition and turn to God. We are like thirsty travelers who have found some water to drink and see others thirsty too who don't know where the water is. Let us share the good news.

 

I agree with you Wayne, self-knowledge is the surest way to repentance.   I guess this self-knowledge grows as we allow grace to expand our ability to embrace our need for forgiveness and healing.  Surely this leads to deeper compassion and empathy for others.

 

peace
mark

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