Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate. (Joel 2:13)

WHO IS SHE? I stared at the mirror, wondering who was staring back. I did not recognize the woman I had become. Although my outward appearance hadn’t changed, my heart had grown calloused and cold.

A few months prior, someone I loved had hurt me deeply. Trying to cope with the pain that wracked my soul, I became bitter and hateful. I acquired a vengeful attitude and vowed to hurt back. However, in the process of being mean, I heaped more pain upon myself.

I hated who I had become. I was embarrassed and ashamed. How could God love a person who acted like this?

Then I remembered King David. After he committed adultery with Bathsheba, David begged God for mercy. He asked God to wash away his iniquity and cleanse him from his sin. David knew God was compassionate and that His love never failed. If God could forgive David, a man after His own heart, I knew God would forgive me, too.

First John 1:9 tells us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” When we ask God to forgive us, He does. He purges the bitterness and vengeful attitudes from our hearts. God hears our pleas and faithfully enfolds us in His love and peace.

Seek God with all your heart. His compassion and love never fail.

Sheryl Baker is a wife, mother, and grandmother. She likes to sing, read, write, and bring hope and encouragement to others.