I have been reading two books simultaneously recently and both of them talked a lot about shame in the sections I was reading the past few days. Now, irony is not lost on me as this is also a tough time of year for me.
For the past 8 years I have held so much shame during this week of the year. Shame that things didn’t end differently. Shame that I wasn’t stronger. Shame that I didn’t make better choices. Shame for all the lies I’d been telling. Shame that I got myself into the situation to begin with. Shame that I was a statistic. Shame that it all made me question my faith. Shame that I had to admit to my family what had happened. Shame that I hadn’t learned to follow my own advice.
Shame is from the evil one and I know this deep down. While I know this to be true, it doesn’t mean that it never creeps up. I’ll be the first to admit that I give into shame, and often! I’ll also be the first to admit that I would tell someone else that was going through this battle that it is not her fault in any way…that she doesn’t need to feel shame…that healing is freeing. Yet here I sit, knowing that I am the biggest hypocrite when it comes to shame.
One important thing I read today that really stood out to me was that people often mistake shame and guilt for each other. In reality, guilt says “I should not have done that” and shame says “I am a terrible person because I did that.” It is important to not allow oneself to live in shame.
The beauty is that God gives us grace. He takes that shame and turns it into glory. He makes what Satan meant for bad and turns it into good. He allows one to heal and be free from shame.
My one little word for the year is FREEDOM and I truly believe that I am going to work toward freedom from shame this year. I will take my story, share it, and let God use it to bring Him glory!