A lagoon, by definition, is a small body of water separated from a larger body of water. Safe because it's sheltered. The lagoon might also be symbolic of issues beneath the surface or of isolation. A place of shame. A lagoon could also be a symbol of that cruel moment when not only your failure and wounds have been revealed, but when you discover you sacrificed so much to gain hideousness that will not readily go away.
Your lagoon experience will always be messy. It will never resolve without pain and scars. And making sincere promises of behavioral changes won’t mitigate the consequences of bad choices. Shame does not lead us to God and actually drives us away from God.
God does not live in a perpetual state of disappointment over who we are. Berating ourselves for our flaws and our weakness serves to undermine our strength to become. God invites us to join Him in the process whereby He heals our inner world so He can transform the outer world. The process of deep, from-the-heart healing, growth, transformation, and freedom begins when we believe we are loved.
Repentance becomes the most beautiful word you can find, here in your own lagoon. But this repentance cannot be one that requires more self-effort or one that beats you up.
Repentance isn’t doing something about our sin; it is admitting that we can’t do anything about our sin.
True repentance is fully dependent upon God. It means trusting in His complete power to erase your shame and self-disgust. It is tapping into the greatest power in the universe and believing that this power can cleanse you of the heinous result of your choices, redeem you and give you power to no longer stay here. It is powerful enough to break the spell of this madness.
Repentance, wherever you find yourself doing it, is always a gift.
Reflection: What might occur if you believed God wanted to help you carry this burden, and that it could be this all-encompassing and immediate?
The character in the story was beaten, abused, tormented, and left in shame in a dark cave. But someone still came for him. The character had to say “yes” to a new kind of love. A love that is humbling. It brought freedom not captivity.
The character knows that with freedom comes responsibility. Not to simply walk in freedom but to bring this freedom to others that is to be willing to go back to the dark places and offer redemption - the story we all search for. It is a beautiful story because the story offers insight into the Father’s pursuit in a broken world and that we are pursued in every season.