“Shame is the inner experience of being "not wanted." It is feeling worthless, rejected, cast-out. Guilt is believing that one has done something bad; shame is believing that one is bad. Shame is believing that one is not loved because one is not lovable.” WHOA. This quote given by a Dr. Robert D. Caldwell stung like a bee. In sum, it is the epitome of my past. It’s true, I was a slave to shame and had no idea. The more I let shame rule in my life, the further away I pushed God out of my life. You see, shame only exists outside of God’s grace.
In my early 20’s, when I was in college, I decided to flirt with the world. I had been a “goodie – two – shoes” for as long as I could remember. That may have been due to the fact that I was pretty sheltered growing up (I was homeschooled K-12). I grew up in a bible-believing home, an active member in the church and took a great bit of pride in being a rule follower. I enjoyed pleasing my pastors and parents. If my nose wasn’t stuck in my Bible then I was either at youth group, on mission trips or simply just being a normal Christian kid who wasn’t allowed to watch MTV or The Smurfs (all my fellow homeschoolers know this reality). But then college came and my world opened up a bit. As I said earlier, I wanted to flirt with what the world was offering me, and to my surprise, the world doesn’t play hard to get.
When we sin we separate ourselves from God, and SHAME is what keeps us separated.
I was acting in sin. I was naïve. I was young and dumb. I gave into my fleshly desires. I got myself into very foolish situations. Not only was I flirting with sin, but now I was in full blown relationship with it. Being in relationship with the world is like being in an abusive relationship. You’re scared to leave and you never know what punches it will throw you. The world will use and abuse you, but for some strange reason you stick around, because you’re “comfortable.” The world offers you false comforts and counterfeit love. My relationship with the world came with consequences, and one of those consequences was shame.
After I decided to breakup with the world, shame told me I had to stay. After all, what would my church family say if I came back now? How could I go back to my relationship with God after everything I’ve done? Shame told me I was dirty, worthless and unlovable. Shame accuses you. Shame says you don’t deserve to be forgiven. I was bound by shame and I needed to break free.
In my effort to become free of shame, I found myself in a church community of women, broken and scared. At a round table with about six ladies, with trembling hands clenching to a Styrofoam cup of coffee, I began to confess to them all I had done, how I wandered off the path of God. I told them I was sick of living bound to the chains of shame. I told them I was tired of running from God and I wanted my relationship with Him back. Not one of them judged me. Not one look of disgrace was casted. In that moment, my healing began. We prayed, we cried, we hugged... and from that day forward, God began expose the lies of shame. I felt God’s love for me on a whole different level. Shame was lifted and grace began to flood in. God began to show me my true identity in Him. The understanding of God’s love is the beginning of understanding your identity. Once you know WHOOSE you are, you understand who you are. And with that knowledge shame begins to fade.
My story of freedom of shame is too long for a blog post. But one thing I can tell you for sure, is that you, too, can be free of shame. You can breakup with your bad habits and run home to a Father who loves you. He is waiting. For me, I had to repent and turn away from a depleting lifestyle. I planted myself in a community of believers. I committed myself to Jesus. If you are struggling with sin and shame read the passage below and let it sink deep. My hope for you today, is that you find the freedom that is waiting before you.
Blessed is the one
whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.
2 Blessed is the one
whose sin the Lord does not count against them
and in whose spirit is no deceit.
3 When I kept silent,
my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night
your hand was heavy on me;
my strength was sapped
as in the heat of summer.
5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you
and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess
my transgressions to the Lord.”
And you forgave
the guilt of my sin.
Psalms 32: 1-6
Meet & hear more of Dee's Story amd how she found purpose at #GatherHer this Thursday!
ENTREPRENEURS, DREAMERS, DOERS & FASHIONISTAS!
Kick off 2018 with clear vision for who God created you to be by joining us at Gather Her with special guest speaker, Deanna Opheim.
TOPIC: PURPOSE & VISION
CW Family member & Gather Her coordinator, CW Deanna Opheim, will be sharing her personal story of overcoming shame that separated her from God and purpose. After a myriad of battles, she finally came to a place of redemption and restoration that brought freedom to her true identity. Now, Deanna is walking out her purpose and wants to encourage you in your season of life! Whether you are in a dry and broken place or a season of joy and gladness, her testimony will bring insight and encourage you to overcome battles and find purpose in 2018.