At the end of the day, your story is your story. You can run from it or you can embrace it. You can choose to share it or you can choose to hide it – maybe you can even try to hide from it yourself.
Let me save you some trouble and share this little tid bit of knowledge with you: Secrets are the seeds that grow immense, unbearable shame.
Shame is the one feeling which I, personally, find to be the most unbearable. When you hold shame about who you are – down to the core of your soul, when you’ve been taught that no one can know the real you because it can’t possibly be good enough for the world, when everything around you is screaming madness in your ear and you can’t turn your head away – all of that, every last bit of it encompasses just a small portion of what shame truly is. I’ve been there. I’ve felt that. And there are so many people in this world who experience it day in and day out.
The real truth? God can see the real you, whether the world can or not – no matter how hard you try to conceal it, there is always One who knows. God can see, feel, hear, and experience everything you do every single day. When everyone and everything around you is saying that you aren’t good enough for this world…well, it’s true. You aren’t good enough for this world because this world is temporary. If this were our permanent home, then we would be sinless and this would be heaven – you were made for SO MUCH more. This temporary home called Earth – this is just where you are placed to share your gift and knowledge of Christ. This is temporary and that’s why, as Christians, it’s impossible to please this world – it’s standards and expectations are always shifting and we can’t keep up – no one can. Those voices screaming at you in your head? Those are lies. Lies from the world, lies from Satan who is trying to rip you away from the ONLY true thing that matters – the ONLY thing you have to cling on to while residing in this temporary place – your relationship with God.
This world is madness – there is pain, sickness, death, cruelty, injustice, and the list could go on and on endlessly. But just because it surround you, doesn’t mean it has to consume you. I’ve found that walking as a young Christian woman on a (very) liberal college campus hasn’t been the easiest stroll through the park. Every day there are temptations to do the wrong thing, behave inappropriately, and act in ways which go against my personal values and beliefs. But if no one can see me, who cares? It’s only wrong if you get caught, right?!
Wrong. God sees everything we do, hears what we think, and most importantly of all – He is collecting each and every tear that falls from our eyes, in a jar and those will be returned to us as blessings.
Yesterday I was on the phone with my mom. Seriously, God bless her. I was having some really negative thoughts and struggling with some serious internal things…being vulnerable with her was hard. I had to admit that I’m scared, that it’s not always easy, that not every day is rainbows and butterflies. I wasn’t telling her anything she doesn’t already know, of course. But she let me feel those things and offered up an electronic hug (that’s the best we can do with 12 hours between us!) and it made me feel better. But what was the MOST comforting thing, was being reminded that God’s got this. God’s got the tears that are shed when I feel like I weigh 500 lbs. He sees me when I look in the mirror with disgust, he counts the tears I cry over financial situations, he collects every hair that I want to pull from my head when I’m having homework struggles…from the smallest things to the biggest things – He is always there and He always has been.
This is my story. And I could run from it – I could try to outrun the shame of my past. I could try to train and become a marathon long distance runner. I could be an Olympian and I still wouldn’t be able to outrun Shame. The good thing is that shame is an ant in comparison to our great God and when God sees shame prance into our life all he has to do is squish it with His pinky finger – but in order for Him to do that, we have to offer it up to Him.
Surrender. Take a minute right now to offer the rest of your day, your week, etc to God. Give him your shame so you can walk in freedom! Embrace your past – hey, maybe you could even have the courage to share it – you never know whose life it might change 🙂
“We do not have to be ashamed of what we are. As sentient beings we have wonderful backgrounds. These backgrounds may not be particularly enlightened or peaceful or intelligent. Nevertheless, we have soil good enough to cultivate; we can plant anything in it.”
― Chögyam Trungpa