Confessions of A Mamma’s Boy
The lights of the white holding room beam down on me as I sit on the floor with my back against the wall. I’m not sure if it’s the wall that’s burning hot or me. The incessant hum of the florescent lights buzz as if they are waiting for me to crack, but they are nothing compared to the glare hammering down on me from the interrogation officer. My stomach churns and my mind is about to explode. I want out but I don’t want to spill. The battle wages and the interrogator’s eyes continue to hammer at my will power. “Is there something you want to tell me?” That’s it; the final strike and the walls have come crashing down. “I listened to the Backstreet Boys!” Tears flood my eyes and drench my cheeks as I confess my crime.
This is the end. My world is over. I’ve broken the law and now I must pay the hefty price. I am beginning to process the thought of my world being no bigger than an 8’ x 10’ room. “Okay,” she says, and that was it. I was free to go. Wiping my tears away, I got up off the laundry room floor, slightly confused, but nonetheless relieved. A hug and kiss on the top of the head told me my mom wasn’t playing some sick joke. I was actually free to go.
The confines of the laundry room, from my days as a seven year old, brought some of terror, but also warmth. Aside from sitting against the dryer on those cold winter mornings, these confessions of my ‘sin’ actually brought more closeness than punishment to the relationship my mom and I shared. Now, my confessions were by no means a get-out-of-jail-free card, but what it did allow me was to feel safe. I may have been a teacher’s pet and a mamma’s boy but I was complex. I was also a bad boy; a three foot, 10 inch rebel without a cause. So, when I got into trouble and the world closed in on me I needed to rid myself of the guilt. No matter the shame I felt I was always able to take that deep breath, countdown from 10 and call for my mom. Then I became a teenager.
As the magically awkward years of high school took precedent in my life, naturally I searched to be as independent as possible (despite complaining about “no food” being in a full fridge). I eventually became successful in this search as I found out how to balance being very personable with others, yet distant with myself.
I learnt how to curb my guilt and shame, which seven years earlier would have sent me tentatively running to confess. It was so easy! All these instincts of wrongdoing needed where to be ignored. If I dumped the thought that getting drunk was wrong, eventually it would stop interjecting and would instead be replaced with the idea that this was awesome—I just need to make sure the parents don’t find out. But in the process of my new found loophole to life, I not only distanced a crucial part of myself, I put thousands of feet relationally between my mom and I, not to mention Christ. That is until my senior year of high school.
When I made the poor choice of attending grad parties, or rather drinking at grad parties, it seemed inevitable I would find myself lying down, feeling like a spinning top, and eventually keeled over the toilet. But on this night, in my inebriated thinking, I made one of the best decisions of my teenage years: I went to the interrogation officer.
The next morning as I braced my already vice-gripped head for an added vocal jackhammer of motherly worry and anger I was brought back to my seven-year old Backstreet Boys fan self. The furry I expected to be hit with was shockingly met with graciousness and gratefulness. It was from this point on I slowly began to close the gap I had created over the years, and it all began with a confession.
When I move beyond the fact that admitting my sin is going to be uncomfortable and it is very likely going to hurt one or both parties involved it is a crucial aspect to relationship. Not just because it takes care of a guilty conscience, or that the other person deserves the truth, but that it can also build up the relationship.
Reading James 5:16 we see how pivotal confession is for us. We are called to “confess [our] sins to each other and pray for each other so that [we] may be healed”. It is important to note this is a two way street, as it is not only about being vulnerable through confession but about caring for those confessing. Just through sincere prayer we extend grace, rather than delving into blame. As judgment is put aside feelings of safety and trust can be built. Instead of risking relational decay, there is opportunity for healing and personal growth. And I don’t know about you, but I want it that way.