stepping out of shame.

Hi loves,

Gosh I missed you all.  I missed writing; the pouring out of my heart out on a screen, telling you what the Lord teaches me in the depths of my soul.  It’s been quite awhile since I’ve posted on my blog, or been on twitter…or Facebook…or anything really.  It’s only recently that I started to be more involved again.  I never intentionally made the decision to go into a social media “hole” or become that person who simply just stops communicating.

The Lord has been doing some downright incredible things in the past year.  I shared the latest part of my journey last September, but that has only been a small piece of what He has been doing.  I’m in awe of how good He is, how alive He is, and how He just simply loves to pour love out on His children.

But to be honest, in this area of my life: blogging, writing, connecting, inspiring, encouraging…I was shut down.  I went into a {selfish} hole where I was MIA to the world.  I stopped writing, stopped going on inspiring coffee dates, stopped posting on twitter.  I cut off and hid away.

Recently I started to feel the prompting from the Lord to start writing again, to be involved on social media, and to use my voice to be a catalyst of God’s grace and love to this world.

As I processed through this “coming back,” to social media, blogging {including the possibility of attempting to write a book for the thousandth time…} I really struggled. Like really struggled.  But I couldn’t figure out why. I begged Jesus, “why do I have this paralyzing fear when it comes to putting my words out there?? I have never had a problem before! Why now do I clench up when I think about pouring out my heart to the world??  Where did my voice go??”

My voice.   I lost my voice! 

Actually, no. My voice was stolen.  

Jesus showed me the one paralyzing shackle, the selfish thief:  shame

I realized how over time I let shame sneak into my heart; stealing the confidence I had to be purely me, and ripping away my voice to a generation that the Lord called me to.  

I think that we all have secret shame that we carry around.  I think that we hold onto people’s negative words spoken over us.  We store up our failures, mistakes and sins in our minds.  We constantly live in a position of waiting to have guilt poured over us; and so we carry our own guilt bucket, ready and willing to pour the shame on ourselves to save others their time.  In result, we build ourselves a little hole of disgrace. We dig a pit of guilt, with barriers around our lives and hearts, placing our own noses in our shame, so that other people won’t be able to do so.

To be honest, I think we are living in a culture of shame.  We are ashamed of who we are, what we do, what we believe, and it goes on and on.  When I step back to reflect on my own journey with shame I realize that I battled with it, at one point or another, in almost every area of my life.  Shame isn’t just us saying, “oh I feel bad that I sinned,” or “yeah I feel guilty for not obeying.” Shame is actually the bondage of our mind, heart and soul where we honestly feel like we aren’t good enough, unlovable and unworthy.  It disconnects us from the world as we hide away because we truly believe that we are not enough; our talents aren’t enough, our personalities aren’t enough, our opinions are not worthy, our bodies are unlovable, and the list goes on.  

There is culture of shame being created because of this cyclical pattern where we place shame on others because we ourselves are still battling with it! We wonder why our generation is hiding away from their gifts and God-given purpose. We wonder why they are running away into their self-destructive patterns of living.  And we wonder why people aren’t walking in the true freedom and abundant life that Jesus has given freely to us.

I’ve learned a few things about shame;

shame is when we allow a lie to speak louder than the truth.

shame is when we place sin above grace.

shame will steal our voice. our joy. our purpose. {if we let it.}

shame will make us believe that we have no worth and we don’t belong. 

shame will knock us down and and isolate us.

shame will cause us to curl up plagued with guilt, filled with fear, and apologetically living in the disgrace of who we think we are.  and in that moment, it will rip out our hope and crush our dreams.

shame is a prison and a pit. 

In this process of me talking to my heavenly Papa about this battle of shame, I realized how I let other people tell me my worth.  I let the lies of Satan speak louder than my God given purposes and dreams. And I let shame become my master, rather than my Savior.  I let shame steal my very voice that Jesus Christ invested time in to refine, mature and grow! I let shame rip away my confidence to be bold in words for the Kingdom, and in turn, I then shamed myself into a hole, away from the very things that God Himself called me to.

Please don’t misunderstand me, I am not saying that we should not take ownership of our sin.  I do believe in the specific conviction from Jesus Christ that shows us where in our lives we need to repent and move forward in grace.  But what I am specifically addressing here is the shame that deeply implants itself in our souls that paralyzes us from walking in our divine destiny.  We cannot allow our sin {no matter how “big” or “small”} to define us, rather than God’s grace.  When we begin to find our identity in shame, we are essentially are saying that our sin, our mistakes, the words of people or lies from Satan, are more powerful that the King of Heaven paying the price to wipe them clean.

photo-27When I began praying about the pattern of shame in my life the Lord showed me a specific picture about how I was carrying around shame in my back pocket at all times.  The guilt I battled with, the self-rejection I kept living in, the fear of people’s approval or disapproval, the mistakes I made in the past, the hurtful words that cut to my core and slashed my heart to pieces, were all stuffed in my pocket.  They weighed me down from being free; they were my shackle that kept my heart blocked in and my voice silenced. 

But shame is no longer my master.  I realized that I had the power to clear out my pockets, and walk free! I did not have to carry it around any more! I emptied my pockets from the shame of past mistakes, of negative words that were spoken to me that resounded in my heart, of every lie that Satan whispered to me that has loomed over me.

Scripture declares, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)  Therefore, we must take everything that causes shame; every voice, experience, sin, lie, and bring it to trial before Jesus.  When we bring those moments and words to Jesus we see who the real Authority is! We watch our Savior as He casts down every fear, every lie and every mistake with His victorious right hand.

I watched a fantastic message from Kris Vallotton where he talked about this very topic of shame. In referencing another message, he listed five things about the characteristics of people who have broken free from shame, three of which just hit right home with me. People who have stepped out of shame are: vulnerable, courageous and authentic.  Vulnerability breaks the power of shame in our lives as we accept who we truly are, and know that every part of us, from our past mistakes to our present personalities, are completely known and unconditionally loved!  We don’t have to perform, we don’t have to be perfect; we can be completely us and be completely loved.

He then went on to say that the root of the word courage in Latin is Cor, translated as “heart.”  Therefore the word courage actually means, “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” Wow, just wow.  To tell all of ourselves to the world around us, accepting our flaws and imperfections and still joyfully proclaiming and loving each part of our story and heart…now that is beautiful.  That speaks to a culture that is shifting out of shame and into to grace and love. We are made to embrace our story and selves, to be used uniquely by the One who crafts them!

Authentic; “the ability to let go of who you think you should be so you can be who you really are.” {Kris Vallotton} Need I say more?

I would love for us as a generation to step into vulnerability, courage and authenticity.  To claim freedom from shame, and to know how deeply loved and accepted we are.  We are enough. We are loved. We belong. We are forgiven. We are accepted.  We are chosen. YOU ARE LOVED BY JESUS. 

May we step out of our shame prisons.  May we claim our voices back. May we empty our pockets of the secret pieces of shame that have weighed us down.  May we claim back our purposes and dreams.  May we begin to pour life over others with our words and actions.  May we begin to shift out of a culture of shame and into a culture of Jesus’ love and grace.  And may we together step forward into freedom.

So as you can see, I claimed back my voice.  And I claimed empty pockets, ready to be filled with courage and love.  And I claimed the truths that I am enough. I am loved. I am me, and Jesus loves all of it.  


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