I Am Not Ashamed...Anymore!
Instead of your [former] shame you will have a double portion; And instead of humiliation your people will shout for joy over their portion. Therefore in their land they will possess double [what they had forfeited]; Everlasting joy will be theirs.
-Isaiah 61:7-9 (AMP)
I am not ashamed.
I am not ashamed that John and I had lots of struggles when we first got married. I am not ashamed that we had financial issues. I am not ashamed that we had a repossession. I don't carry shame from the infidelity, and I don't carry the shame that I wasn't a good wife - I didn't prioritize him. I withheld sex often. I was manipulative and controlling. I didn't keep the house like I should have, and I didn't take care of home first. I am not ashamed.
Well...I am not ashamed anymore.
I used to be. I carried shame and guilt around like Linus (from the Peanuts cartoon) carried his blanket. I hid it behind my intellectual abilities. I hid it behind my ability to speak and encourage others. I hid it as much as I could, but it was always there...and it made me afraid...afraid that people would find out what my life was really like...the pain I really had...I think I was most afraid that people would see that I was imperfect. I was afraid they would see that John and I didn't have it together.
I wore the mask because I was a leader, and I had an image that I thought I should uphold. I hid my shame because telling my stuff was also telling someone else's stuff. But I reached a point that hiding it was no longer an option. I realized that shame was destroying me, and I found someone that I could share with. I found accountability, and I wasn't looking for it at the time, but I found an amazing amount of acceptance with God and people.
God redeemed me. He freed me and John from so much - including the things that I carried shame for above. He showed me that I am not what I did or what was done to me. For all that shame that I carried for all those years, He has given me double, and, oh, He has given me so much joy.
I'm writing this today so that you know two things: 1) you are not alone and 2) you can overcome. Shame is a tool the enemy uses to keep you from healing (and more detrimental to him) helping someone else to heal. That's my goal - to help someone else. I've learned over the years, and it was driven home to me even the more this weekend, that God uses our lives to help others. All those painful things that I went through were not wasted, and every time I share my story (and my victory) some wife can find hope and healing.
So, I now scream those things that I was afraid to even whisper about back then. I shout to those who will listen all those painful things that I once held secret. I'll tell it over and over again, if it means that just one person find their freedom, their voice, and the desire to help someone else.
Dear Sister, find a friend, a counselor, or a trusted adviser, and release the weight of shame - whatever form of it is trying to make you hide - abuse, infidelity, molestation, financial issues, depression. If you don't have anybody that you can trust, I'm here. Send me a message. Respond to this post. The goal is that you find the freedom that God so sincerely wants you to have. You don't have to hide. Shame and guilt don't belong to you. Let it go. Start slowly if you have to, but please start today.
If this resonated with you, leave a comment that my help another sister or a prayer request. We are stronger together!