Seven months pregnant. A four-year-old and almost two-year-old busily making a fort using every pillow and blanket in the house. The family room coffee table balanced the queen-sized duvet off my bed. My big belly was enveloped inside each draping of the blankets. A piano bench with pillows propped on either side to design the perfect sized tunnel for these two Energizer Bunnies. With each new pathway created, squeals and giggles echoed as Darren and Ryan crawled inside.
the magic brown and green box
Two hours later, an answer to prayer came as the boys were pooped. While they recharged their batteries with a nap, I needed to recharge too. As I went to the freezer to defrost some chicken for dinner, my eyes spotted a familiar brown and green box. It was secretly tucked under the frozen waffle box. A jolt of excitement raced through me as I had forgotten I placed the Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies there, hidden from the reach of little fingers (and my husband’s).
hiding the evidence
“I’m going to eat just two,” I told myself as I began to make a cup of tea. My pregnant self seemed to have little will-power those days. Two cookies became five, then ten. “Might as well just eat the one sleeve at this point,” and that is just what I did. Guilt washed over me as I quickly crushed the box and hid it in the trashcan. I shoved the other sleeve of cookies way back in the freezer.
a tender conscience
You may think that the cookie incident as a minor thing, not worth giving a second thought. But I had first hidden the cookies from my family, eaten them in secret and then buried the evidence in the trash. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. I have a tender conscience and one that I don’t want to become hardened. Burk Parsons writes, “Our consciences are easily seared by our sins and the rationalization of our sins. We should live our lives in such a way that we never presume upon the grace of our loved ones, never presume upon the grace of God, and are constantly striving to mortify every sin—not just the big ones, but the little ones too. To repair your conscience, you have to pray and continue praying, fervently asking God to make you sensitive to your sin and to convict you of your sin.” That has become a daily prayer of mine.
We are not in this alone. The Holy Spirit has a way of revealing areas of sin for which we need to confess and ask for forgiveness. 1 John 1:9 says: When we confess our sins, He forgives us and purifies us. This means we do not need to let shame and guilt control us. Confession heals.
the power of confession
The next time you feel guilty or filled with shame, remember that you are never alone. You have the gift of the Holy Spirit dwelling in you, just waiting for you to pray, ask, submit, and surrender. Its power is transforming! When caught with my hand in the cookie jar (or should I say, freezer), the Holy Spirit urged me to confess. That is just what I did. My husband just laughed, my two boys wanted a chance to see if they could eat as many cookies as Mommy, and sweet little Katelyn, growing inside of me, learned way too quickly the satiating power of the Girl Scout cookie. It may have been minor to them, but the cookie experience taught me the power of confession.