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It is the terror that if our dark soul is discovered, we will never be enjoyed, nor desired, nor pursued by anyone. (Dan Allender)

Shame is that inner tormentor that whispers lies and accusations. It is the silent, insidious voice of self-contempt for one’s own need for love, relationship, and acceptance and is the seat of fear and rejection for the woman who bears its burden.

Introduced into my life at the intersection between my parent’s divorce, a stepfather, and a little girl’s desperate longing for love, I’ve been acquainted with shame since before my fifth birthday. I couldn’t have known that my new daddy’s affection and attention were the seeds he’d scattered in my life to engender trust in a lonely child’s heart. But once the abuse began, shame grew from those seeds–unloosing  self-loathing and self-disdain; always asking, What if I hadn’t? or What if I had?

Shame, though, doesn’t limit itself to only those who are abuse survivors. It invades the lives of women who were the first in their family to experience divorce.

Women who were bullied for their appearance or personality.

Women who experienced the pain of an absentee parent.

Women whose husbands indulge in pornography or flit from one affair to the next.

Women living with the trauma of a child’s death.

Do you, too, know the voice of illegitimate shame? Has its poison poured into the soil of your heart, assaulting you with cruel falsehoods?

You’re never enough.

You should have done something.

You shouldn’t have done anything.

You aren’t worth being loved. 

Some of us tuck shame behind our smiles; the great pretenders#nomoreshame#soulhealing#youareworthloving. Click To Tweet

Some of us tuck shame behind ours smiles; the great pretenders. Others of us hide behind success and performance, unhealthy relationships, food or alcohol consumption, or even closed hearts–certain we’re safer not being known at all.

Two thousand years ago, another woman lived with the shame of bloody discharge.

In the crowd that day there was a woman who for twelve years had been afflicted with hemorrhages. She had spent every penny she had on doctors but not one had been able to help her. She slipped in from behind and touched the edge of Jesus’ robe. At that very moment her hemorrhaging stopped. Jesus said, “Who touched me?”

When no one stepped forward, Peter said, “But Master, we’ve got crowds of people on our hands. Dozens have touched you.”

Jesus insisted, “Someone touched me. I felt power discharging from me.”

When the woman realized that she couldn’t remain hidden, she knelt trembling before him. In front of all the people, she blurted out her story—why she touched him and how at that same moment she was healed.

Jesus said, “Daughter, you took a risk trusting me, and now you’re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed!” (Luke 8:43-48)

Imagine this women’s desperation. For twelve years she’d lived on the fringe of society as an outcast. The communities societal pollutant. Demoralized and destitute, the woman hid in the midst of the crowd–gathering courage.

Despite the possibility of ridicule or rejection, the woman pressed through her fear as trembling fingers feathered lightly against rough fabric. And in the moment she trusted the Healer, her shame was destroyed.

If shame is part of your struggle, God’s heart is for you to discover freedom from its lies that you, too, might “live well, live blessed.” But, how?

Let’s consider the example of the healed woman who tried to hide from Christ. She pushed beyond her pain, pressed into Jesus, and proclaimed the truth of her situation. These were the stepping-stones of faith that led to healing and wholeness. Relief and restoration.

These were the stepping stones of faith that led to healing and wholeness.Relief and restoration.#nomoreshame#speaktruth#soulhealing Click To Tweet

Oh, friend, this woman’s experience can be mine. Her experience can be yours!

Will you consider taking on a challenge? Starting today, I encourage you to stand up against shame by engaging in the following three activities until you begin to notice a heart change:

  • Push beyond your pain. Write an honest, raw letter or prayer to Jesus about the pain of your shame. What has shame told you? What words or actions have other people taken that have caused you to feel ashamed?
    Step out from hiding and reveal your heart to Him.He will never forsake you. Click To Tweet

    Step out from hiding and reveal your heart to Him. He will never forsake you.

  • Press into Jesus. Reach for the hem of his garment by seeking Him in scripture. Saturate your mind with the Word and replace words of shame with the Living Word that assures you of your identity and worth.
  • Proclaim the truth. Record God’s words of love and place them where you’ll frequently see them. Read them aloud, turn them into prayers, and claim them for yourself because God’s promises are for those who put their faith in Him. Consider inviting a friend, counselor or mentor into the places you need healing from shame. Or, message me and I’ll pray for you.

May you, too, “live well, live blessed.”

Peace and grace,

Tammy

I often link up with the following: Porch StoriesTea and Word Tuesday, Literary Musing MondaysTea and Word TuesdaysWorth Beyond Rubies Wednesday, Let’s Have Coffee, Soaring With HimPurposeful Faith, Encouraging Word WednesdaySitting Among FriendsImparting GraceDestination InspirationTune in ThursdayHeart EncouragementFaith and FriendsFaith on Fire, anitaojeda, Dance with Jesus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The primary way to overcome Satan is on our knees..png

November’s dim morning light shrouds the room in a blanket of calm as I greet the Father. “Lord, what work do you have for me today? How can I be like Jesus in someone’s life?” The words hang in the hush of a home not yet interrupted by the rush of bodies hurrying toward busy and I pause, wondering what the day might bring.

I can’t know that by the time the sun sits low on the horizon like a burnished orange dangling heavy on a tree, my heart will quake–grieving for a nine-year old child and wondering what her hours between school and bedtime might entail.

While writing is my passion, teaching is my profession and I love the children whose little bodies fill my classroom. Years ago, I chose to teach because I longed to be the person who might make a difference in a hurting child’s life. I wanted to be that child’s rescuer. Her hope giver. His I-believe-in-you and there-is-more-than-this-joy-bringer.

I wanted to be that child's rescuer.Her hope giver.His I-believe-in-you and there-is-more-than-this-joy-bringer. Click To Tweet

But, naive optimism sometimes collides with reality.

Today, my heart flutters rapidly when a small one says weakly, “I’m afraid to go home. I don’t know what he’ll do to me.” Her eyes seem to plead with me as she leans into my body and I wrap gentle arms around her fragile frame–just as I wish someone had done for another little girl years ago.

I do everything as expected. I make the calls to the State. Complete the required paperwork. And I ask, “Will anyone be able to visit the home before this child goes home?”

The woman on the other end of the line sighs. “Not unless you notice bruising or you were informed of sexual abuse.”

This child--every child--should feel safe.Protected.Loved. Click To Tweet

I thank the woman for her time, drop the call, and feel tears gathering at the back of my throat and drowning my heart. This child–every child– should feel safe. Protected. Loved.

Now, my thoughts and prayers hover over a brown-eyed child and I pray. I ask Jesus to be the one I am incapable of being in this little one’s life and He reminds me.

I Am the Savior who wept tears over a people in need of rescue. I Am the divine planner who lovingly leads a wandering, needy people to eternal hope. I Am the One in whom all things are possible.

I. Am. Able.

Still unsettled, I’m reminded of heaven’s King who exchanged Heaven’s glory for an inglorious manger. The fountain of peace for a world awash in sin. The throne of worship for the disgrace of a cross.

My assignment today was to love a hurting child, but the Father’s mission?                          To be the great I Am.

His power overcome that which is wicked.His purposes will prevail when life is unjust.His presence will guard the weak until the lamb is revealed as a Lion. Click To Tweet

His power will overcome that which is wicked. His purposes will prevail even when life is unjust. And His presence will guard the weak until the Lamb is revealed as a Lion.

 

I would love to know how God has shown himself faithful in your assignments this week. Leave a comment and encourage others with your testimony or let me know how I can pray for you.

Peace and grace,

Tammy

 

Linking up often with the following:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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