I woke up one morning and before the sun had even hit the trees.
It was as if all I could see were their words covering the walls.
“Her pain is manipulative.”
“Her kindness is fake.”
“She burns through people.”
“I’m counting down to when she’s gone.”
All of a sudden, I was standing as a villain in a story I didn’t write. It echoed and it swirled around me, and I found myself surrounded by a shame that was seeping it’s way into the innermost parts of my soul.
But then there in the quiet I realized:
I think in every single one of us there’s a bit of a people pleaser, a perfectionist, or even just a person striving to be something, to achieve something. It’s in all of us. It’s in the moments as you’re running out the door, half questioning what you put on that morning. Or pausing before pressing ‘post’ and mentally listing what they’ll say when they see it. Or it’s that picture you have that you thought ‘now’ would like, and then all of a sudden you find yourself staring at the words on the wall of everything they’ve said about you--wondering how on earth you ended up here.
It had to be something you did right? It had to be that one mistake? Or that season of slip up after slip up? Or it has be to that maybe what they’re saying is true?
Your picture probably didn’t have you walking into this year with struggles and a bruised heart. And it probably didn’t have the bruises on your knees from working long days matching the bruises on your heart from hurting and broken relationships? From succeeding and failing and succeeding and failing and failing.
But let’s stop for a moment and know that we are all in this space. Thinking it’d look one way when really it’s shaped itself out to be something radically different. We are all covered and cowering under heavy, heavy blankets of shame. We have them wrapped around our shoulders boldly embroidered with our mistakes, doubts, deepest fears, and everything anyone has ever said about us.
In the book of Joel it says:
“And praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame. And that I am the lord your God and there is none else. And my people shall never again be put to shame.”
Oh man, when He says something twice, how closely we should listen.
We have all made mistakes. We all have fallen so deep into sin we can’t see our way out. We all have had something said about us. We all nailed Him to the cross. But He declares, “and my people shall never again be put to shame”.
Did you hear that? ‘And my people shall never again be put to shame.’
When Jesus died on the cross we were called by name out of our shame to never again return. When the veil was torn in two we were adopted and engulfed in victorious light. Which means we don’t just get to wipe the words off the walls surrounding us but to knock down the walls of shame..
The walls of shame of anxiety.
...of an eating disorder.
...of who we were last year.
...of a past relationship.
...of a standard we don’t think we’ve met.
...of a friendship that didn’t work out.
...of what they have said about you.
Tonight we are able to embrace the mistakes, embrace the uncertainty, and cast off your capture and covering blanket of shame. Celebrate and declare that life won’t ever look like how you view in your mind. It will be better because you didn’t control it-- He did. And we can walk forward in the freedom we are called to.
One more time for those in the back:
I will never again be put to shame but will walk in victorious light