A young 16 year old girl was sitting in a sea of people yet felt so very alone. She vowed that one day she would leave that town, burn bridges and start a new life. That girl did just that and yet she found herself in college, sitting in a sea full of people, feeling so very alone. “I know what I will do” she thought to herself. “I will stare at the ground and not say a word. Then no one will notice me and I will never have the opportunity to mess up. No one will know me or my name and I won’t have to feel any more pain”. But as the days, and years, went on she realized that pain deep down never went away. No matter how much she put up walls between herself and friends, family and even her husband, that pain was still there. “What is this pain?!” she cried out to God. “What is wrong with me? Why, no matter how much I hide, does this pain remain? I thought if no one knew me, the real me, I wouldn’t have to experience pain. No more pain of rejection and no more pain of disappointment. If only I could remain invisible then all this pain will go away. Yet it remains. In fact, the more I run the stronger the pain grows. Please help me God, I can’t go on this way”.
Can you relate to this girl? I sure can….because it was me. If you have breath in your body you have probably dealt with shame in some area of your life. Shame crept its way into my life as an overweight child. I would hide behind over sized t-shirts and athletic shorts in hopes that no one would notice me. That shame stuck with me and as a teenager I made many poor choices which resulted in a great deal of shame surrounding me. I thought if I could run fast and far away from that shame that it would disappear. I thought if I became a nobody and no one knew my name that those painful experiences would cease to exist. But the truth is the further I ran the more intense the pain and shame became.
The problem with shame is that it causes us to dwell in darkness. Everything we do is hidden or secret for fear of people around us knowing the truth. Shame has been around since the beginning of time when Adam & Eve hid from God out of shame. Satan tells us to run and hide but God tells us to bring it into the light.
The Lord has brought a great deal of freedom and healing in my life but this last weekend I attended a conference and the Lord revealed to me a root of shame that I was still carrying from that 16 year old girl I just described. The Lord showed me that root of shame had not been dealt with and was causing me to receive shame in other areas of my life without noticing it.
Some daily things I would experience shame on included feeling shame about eating a cookie, or not exercising, or thinking I was failing as a mom, not feeling worthy enough to be a church leader, feeling stupid for writing this blog, not feeling worthy of God’s love. As God uprooted that root from almost 16 years ago I felt shame in all these other areas fall off. I feel like I just delivered a baby, the intense pressures to be perfect are gone and I lost weight over night.
Shame will literally suffocate and paralyze us, keeping us from walking into the destiny God has on our lives. Do you have a root of shame in your life? Here are some spiritual truths for you today:
Shame says: I must keep things hidden, it is safer and easier that way.
God says: I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but have the light of life. (John 8:12)
Shame says: I am not enough. I will never measure up.
God says: I am complete in Him Who is the Head of all principality and power.(Colossians 2:10)
Shame says: I have done too much. God will never be able to use this hot mess.
God says: I love to make a message out of your mess.
I am holy and without blame before Him in love.
(Ephesians 1:4, 1 Peter 1:16)
Shame says: I will never be able to overcome this addiction. I am a loser.
God says: I have the Greater One living in me; greater is He Who is in me than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)
Shame says: I am too fearful and timid to be used by God.
God says: I don’t give a spirit of fear or timidity but power, love and a sound mind.
(2 Timothy 1:7)
Shame says: I am too dumb to do anything great. No one will ever take me seriously.
God says: I have received the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus, the eyes of my understanding being enlightened. (Ephesians 1:17-18)
Shame says: I am not special. There is nothing unique or lovable about me.
God says: I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ unto good works. (Ephesians 2:10)
Shame says: I am not chosen or valued.
God says: I am part of a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people. (1 Peter 2:9)
Shame says: I am not forgiven. Therefore, I must put my sins on replay and beat myself up over them.
God says: I am forgiven of all my sins and washed in the Blood. (Ephesians 1:7)
This list could go on and on. I can promise you for every thought of shame or insignificance you’ve had there is a promise for you in God’s word to counter it. It says in 2 Corinthians 10:5 that we must take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. We do this by speaking God’s word to that thought. Stop playing the shame game with the enemy and start receiving God’s grace and love today.
I pray that as you are reading this, any spirit of shame will fall off you in the name of Jesus. Bring the darkness into the light and allow God to wash you with the blood of the lamb. The only place you can run from shame to receive healing is into the arms of Christ. Let Him heal you today.