Have you ever been publicly humiliated? Have you ever felt shame because of something you’ve done? How did it make you feel? I’m sure every single person that is reading this right now has experienced some shame throughout her life.
What is Shame? It’s a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety — a condition of humiliating disgrace or disrepute.
Here I was, at the age of 19, living life, freedom, having sex, in denial, and running from God. The thought of me being a young adult, and I felt no one could tell me what to do. I didn’t even want to hear the words. I was invincible and thought nothing could happen to me. The realities of life never fully registered with me until the day in April 1998, I found out I was pregnant. I remember being scared, mad at myself, and full of shame. What had I done? I had so many thoughts circling in my mind, all at once. Once my parents, friends, family, and church found out that I was pregnant, I immediately felt shame. Everywhere I went, I could feel the stares, the questions, the assumptions, and the judgments. The shame has lived within me for the majority of my life. God is removing that shame even now as I write this.
Shame can lead to a plethora of emotions; it can lead us to hide away from the world, our family, and our friends. It causes us to hide behind who we are in God and from God. We create a façade of this perfect person to avoid facing the shame of what we have done in our past. Sometimes we choose to hide our shame in two ways, either we create this façade of being the perfect person to avoid disappointing others in our lives, we hold ourselves to a higher standard, we become people-pleasers while still feeling bad about who we are or what we’ve done. Another way is that we self-sabotage ourselves because we think that we are not worthy of being loved. We create this terrible attitude towards everything, and we literally poison everything that is around us.
Several examples within the bible speak of shame, but a particular story that we all may be familiar with is Adam and Eve. Shame drove both of them to hide in the Garden of Eden. The shame that they both felt after they disobeyed God by eating the forbidden fruit. I can’t even imagine the looks on their faces after they ate that fruit. I mean, they knew it was wrong because they tried to cover themselves up with fig leaves. But, can you imagine yourself if you were in the same place as Adam and Eve. What would you have done? Girl, I would have been terrified and shameful, knowing that I disappointed God as such. But God forgave Adam and Eve and we would have done the same for us. The unfortunate thing is that for ourselves, once we have done a despicable act, people tend to hold it over our heads. The beautiful reality of Jesus Christ is that he loves us so much, that he bore our shame for us on the cross. How precious and wonderful is God’s love and grace for us!
The reality of shame is more than a feeling of guilt; it can also be a sense of failure. Just the thought of shameful things that we have done can send anyone into a corner to hide. Shame can leave you feeling powerless. When you are rooted in shame, it can affect our entire life. I need you to understand that your past is your past, and you can’t change it. You have to break free from the shame and guilt of your past. You are purposed to help someone else but continuing to live in your shame keeps you bound. You are meant to use your story to help someone else!
I want to encourage you, today ladies, that no matter what you have done in your past, today or even tomorrow, remember that God loves you so very much. Do not allow shame to leave you powerless, doubtful, guilty, condemned, or feel rejected. God wants to help you. He loves you so very much! It took me a long time to realize that and truly understand those words. Know that he is with you, every step of the way. Every day take a step to read a few scriptures that I have placed below to encourage you and begin healing.
Hebrews 12:2 (NLT)
Romans 8:1-2 (NLT)
Isaiah 50:7 (ERV)
1 John 1:9 (TPT)-The Passion Translation- But if we freely admit our sins when his light uncovers them, he will be faithful to forgive us every time. God is just to forgive us our sins because of Christ, and he will continue to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Dear Abba, thank you for your unconditional love! You know everything that I have ever done and what others’ have done to me. I can’t seem to let go of my past and the shame I feel about my life. I know that because of your love for me you sent your Son to remove the shame of my past. God, you know where I am. I am struggling with finding my sense of purpose. Help me, Father, to renew my mind by your Word. Please help me to come out of hiding and to trust your love. Please forgive me for my sins and I ask that you would help me to forgive myself. Help me to know that I am free from shame, in Jesus Name! Amen!
Love!Love! Love You!
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