Purity & FreedomWomen & Pornography

Why Are We So Sorry?

It’s a pattern I’ve seen repeated in e-mails and in my own life more times than I care to count.

I don’t mind being broken; my problem is I hate feeling defective.

This past week has been full of emotional turmoil.  Wounds have been ripped open and new ones formed.  I’ve spent all week trying to pack on bandaids waiting until I had time to sit down and process the events and figure out where to go from here.  Then, I guess I forgot.

What started as deliberate ignorance turned into pure ignorance.  Life went back to normal until Sunday morning.

Five minutes into the sermon, I felt like God had ripped my broken heart out of my chest so He could fix it Himself.  I spent the next thirty minutes dabbing my eyes with my gloves, trying not to breathe too deeply, and praying for the sermon to be over.

After service, I tried to reclaim my heart and act like nothing ever happened.  I’ll take care of it when I get home, I thought.  That didn’t work.  Before long, I found myself searching for my pastor.  In those moments, I started to realize the severity of what had happened and the damage that had been done.  My search began to turn desperate.

That’s when he showed up again.

Pull yourself together, Jessica.  Grow up!

You should have seen this coming.  You should have known better.

You are making a big deal out of nothing.

Quit bothering people with your stuff.  You’re such a drama queen.  They have better things to do with their time than to deal with you.

That last one almost got me.  As I made my way up to the pastor’s office, I felt like an idiot.  I felt like some needy, dysfunctional, annoying child.  I spotted my pastor, but by that point my resolve had weakened drastically.  He was in the middle of conversation with someone else.  I felt like an unwelcome pest and part of me just wanted to run for the door.

He saw me.  He came.  He greeted me and welcomed me into his office.  As soon as I took my seat, all I could do was cry.  I took tissue after tissue wiping mascara and snot off my face.  Well, this is real mature, Jessica.  I found myself apologizing… incessantly.  I felt stupid.  I felt bad for involving him.  I felt guilty.  I felt horrible.  I felt like an inconvenience; like a burden.

I hate feeling like a burden, and I know I am not alone.

Women e-mail me, and somewhere in many of those e-mails is the word, “Sorry.”

Sorry to bother you.

Sorry this is so long.

Sorry to take up your time.

Sorry to ask so many questions.

Sorry if my thoughts aren’t together.

Sorry to be such a pest.

Why are we so sorry?

We are in the process of a journey to freedom.  We are encouraged to find fellowship in community.  If all of this is so good, why are we so sorry?  That’s the question for the masses today. 

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6 comments

  1. The {in}courage group I’m a part of has been studying shame this week; I can see some links between the two of these in my own life. Because I believe/live under a mindset of ‘you’re just a bother’, that I should feel the way I do, and don’t need to pressure someone with the burden of me; because I feel like I am just an inconvenience and no one should have to worry about me – I apologise. I’m sorry I’m in your way, that I’m here, that I did it wrong and you have to redo it. I’m sorry you have to see my mess, because I’m too lost for you to worry about.
    Honestly? I’d like to say sorry for how all over the place this comment is, but I won’t. 🙂 Except I just did…
    Maybe it’s that if I can make things right in the world around me, things in the world inside me might quieten down and no be so painful and obvious (to me).

  2. This is so spot on Jessica! Exactly where I am at the moment. I’m living in a new situation, and I was keeping secrets, because I didn’t want people to see me as defective or broken.
    I usually feel so frustrated when I start crying in a message… Or when things hit home.
    I feel so childish and immature when these things happen. What normal adult cries everytime someone says something nice? But maybe we should stop blaming ourselves for being broken? Is it this blame of ourselves that keeps us broken?

  3. Jessica I seriously never thought about this. I remember all my life always apologizing. I do it now. I always feel like I’m a bother. I guess because I’ve always seen myself as worthless. Because of my addiction and guilt I felt and still do at times like I don’t count for anything. God however, is starting to show me my worth. I’m grateful for that.

  4. I think part of it too is that it’s just difficult to let go of regret and sorrow for our sin. We want to prove to ourselves (if no-one else) that we’re truly repentant.

    I say that, because in the midst of pornography, deep down I knew it was wrong, and I wanted to feel regret and hate my sin, but my frustration, bitterness and anger at God for still being single was standing in the way. After God broke me, and I agreed with Him about my sin, then true repentance came. The question we struggle with is: “how much regret and repentance is enough so I can leave it behind?”

  5. […] A week ago I asked the question, “Why are we so sorry?” […]

  6. I re read this post today, and I think I have another answer.
    I apologise all the time because I feel like I shouldn’t have struggles. There’s this ideal image of me I like to project to people. The strong Christian woman. Nothing shakes her. She’s always full of faith, always knows what to do, and has it all together. Then there’s the real me… The one who’s broken, hurting, and doesn’t always have faith, doesn’t always stand strong.