The Post I Didn't Want to Write

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After a long hiatus, I’m back!  What took me so long?  Well, it’s kind of a long story, but one I will attempt to tackle in this post. Those that know me, or have been following my blog, knew that this year was full of transitions for me.  In October, I lost my brother and shortly after that I was engaged.  I transitioned churches and began making preparations to start a new ministry, etc.  Then, I dropped off the face of the earth.  Most figured out eventually that my engagement was broken off and my plans had fallen through.  What’s up with that hidden relationship status?  Where did all those pictures and posts go?  Well, what had happened was…ugh, embarrassing, emotional, heart-breaking, and hard.  Just hard.

I wanted to avoid this post.  I wanted to skirt around this subject.  But who was I kidding?  In the age of social media, you can’t really hide these sorts of things and although it may be difficult, it’s far better to be transparent anyways.  So, there you have it.

There was another reason I wanted to write this post though.  I wanted to take on a subject that I feel needs to be talked about.  SHAME.  It’s a killer guys.  It’s the reason why I backed off of writing for so long, isolated myself and hid under a rock.  After everything that had happened, my heart was broken.  I felt sad.  I felt depressed.  I felt all the things you would expect to feel.  What I didn’t expect was the shame.

For reasons I don’t fully understand myself, I felt like a failure.  I felt like a disappointment.  I felt like there must be something wrong with me.  Never have I been more aware of every insecurity, flaw and imperfection.  I told myself lies about myself, allowing the conversation of the enemy to take root, rather than standing on my God-given identity, as a daughter of the King.

And all of this caused me to hide.  I felt darkness roll over me in waves, along with the feeling that things would not get better.  I cowered down, bracing myself for the next storm.  I let the loss of my brother, my relationship and other close relationships begin to be the lens with which I viewed myself, my life and my world.  I felt ruined.  I found myself teetering on the edge of believing that God had given up on His plans for me and dangerously close to giving up on myself.  I didn’t write because I believed I had nothing of value to say or to contribute.  After all, who would want to listen to a mess like me?


That is until, I finally woke up and was able to call all of that by its true nature.  LIES.  I can’t really say what it was that finally clicked, but after several months, I finally realized that the mistakes I made didn’t define me.  The plans that fell through didn’t negate Gods plans for my life.  And that although I was broken, God would make me whole.

 

Shame is Satan’s attempt to construct for us a feeling of permanent false identity, on the basis of temporary events, actions, thoughts and feelings.  Shame’s purpose is to convince us to play a role we were never designed to play.  The truth?  Only God can define us.  And He says we are loved.  He calls us the righteousness of Christ.  His strength is perfect in our weakness.  Check out what God has to say in Isaiah 43:1:

But now, this is what the Lord says –he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”

There is no such thing as a hopeless situation in the hands of God.  There is nobody that’s too far out of His reach.  No life beyond repair.  When you feel the weight of rejection and abandonment, you can take these words to heart:

The Lord will hold you in His hand for all to see – a splendid crown in the hand of God.  Never again will you be called “The Forsaken City” or “The Desolate Land.”  Your new name will be “The City of God’s Delight” and “The Bride of God,” for the Lord delights in you and will claim you as His bride. (Isa. 62:4)

In order to set ourselves free from shame’s grip, we have some choices to make.  We must choose our thoughts.  We must choose what we will and won’t dwell on.  We must choose to adopt a view of ourselves that is in line with what God has to say about us.  We must make a firm decision that we will not allow our past to in any way define our future.

And we must choose to be kind to ourselves.  This has been huge for me.  I have had to learn what it looks like to love, accept and forgive myself through this process.  Once I began to allow God to do a deep work of healing in my heart, I began to understand how past and present experiences have conditioned me to respond and to react the way I do.  I began to understand how brokenness from my past is triggered by events in my present.  I began to get to the root of things.  With the roots exposed, God can make me whole again.

I write this post today for anyone who has ever felt such deep regret and remorse that you have felt you could not possibly take one more step forward.  I write for those who have allowed the darkness of the past to hang like a black cloud over your hope for the future.  I write for those who have chosen to throw in the towel…on themselves. 

Pick up your towel, wipe off your face and keep choosing to move forward.  Even when you don’t feel like moving, take one more step.  Never allow shame to tell you who you are or what God will do with your life.  You are a prince.  You are a princess.  Let His grace wash over you in waves and hold your head high.  You are a child of the King.

Theresa Flood