Seeds of shame

I’ve been thinking a lot as of late about the seeds that are planted in our hearts and minds. There are good and bad seeds. The enemy will continually try and plant little seeds in our lives. Those seeds will either get washed away with the word of God or they will quickly turn into a weed within our hearts.

The enemy doesn’t come in with fiery torches threatening to burn your house down. He instead gives you the match and invites you to come into agreement with lies to light it up yourself.

The enemy takes our shortcomings and convinces us that we need to hide our less than perfect behaviors. As we begin hiding them they’ve now become secrets. When he can do that he’s able to turn the secrets into shame. When we feel shame we begin disqualifying ourselves from Gods love and everyone elses, including our own. 

It is there in that place of feeling dirty, shameful, and far from God that so many give up and give into sin. The beautiful thing is God can still, and in fact loves to reach down and blow on the embers of our heart to remind us of His love for us. It wasn’t God that drew back. It was our belief system that changed the way we think.

A little seed can quickly grow into something great or a tangled web that begins to choke out anything thats life giving so that it can live. Today I want to encourage you to not ‘water’ any seeds of doubt, insecurity, fear, shame. Instead choose to dig out those seeds and allow God to speak His truth over you. You are not those lies. You are blameless in His sight. Not because of anything you have done, but because of what He sacrificed to redeem and restore you to a place of wholeness.

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Real talk: Shame

Sometimes I wake up around 2-3am from a dream and find myself with some kind of insight into my life or someones life around me. This morning was no different. I woke up at 2am with something heavy on my heart. I thought about just going back to sleep and journaling and blogging about it later but I knew I needed to get up and write this out. So here I am.

This morning I want to talk about shame.

Every person responds to shame differently. Some run and hide. Some run to things, substances, porn. When I felt shame I would stuff my face with food. I would try and match what I was hearing in my head with my reality. Shame is a cunning and deceiving little thought that tries to seep into the bloodstream that is our thought life. 

Now as an almost 30 year old wife and soon to be mother I refuse to give into shame. Shame does not define me, nor will it ever. I also refuse to allow others shame to define me. This is a powerful place to live. Being able to let the ammunition of lies that may try and tell me otherwise to just bounce off and not affect me. It’s taken years to get to this place but I can honestly say I stand strong in my identity. 

10 years ago I allowed shame to infiltrate my life for one to many years. I allowed consuming thoughts of not being enough physically to haunt and drive my every move. I gave into those thoughts by embracing an eating disorder and running from guy to guy trying to find worth somewhere in the midst of shame. Yet these behaviors led to more and more shame. Shame for bad choices, shame for making myself eat more than I wanted. I became obsessed with covering my shame, and yet at the same time giving into it when others weren’t looking. 

Shame teaches us we are the problem. It can become a cycle of self loathing. Shame can drown us in feelings of worthlessness, it’s a vicious cycle of calling us out on whatever we have just chosen to do that is shame driven and then drives us to do it again and again because we don’t know any better. It really is a cycle.

It’s a death trap. Physically, mentally, spiritually. 
I actually came to giving my life to christ over 5 years ago because I could not handle the shame, the self-hatred that I had been giving myself to. I knew there had to be more.

“Come unto me, and ye shall find rest unto your souls” Matthew 11:28-29 

was the invitation that I could not resist. When I choose to lay down those thoughts of shame and trade them in for the truth about me I found myself re-energized to live life. I found that I had allowed myself to believe lies about myself that were never true.

After that night I got saved 5+ years ago I never once starved myself and there was an inner knowing within me that I was meant for better, I was meant for more. Relationally I would go through a season of testing that truth and I wish I could say I never once gave into the lies shame feed me but it was actually some of the hardest times. The silver lining in that season of life was that when I finally stepped back and looked at the relationships I had been choosing I realized I had been settling for way less than Gods best for me. It was the wakeup call I needed at that time. (I will also say I wish I never went through what I went through in that season of life. However I did and because of it I know what it feels like to experience things I never thought I would have)

I also want to clarify when I say a season of testing that truth I do not mean that I felt like God was testing me. I honestly don’t know how much I believe in God testing us. What I do believe in is lies, shame, and fears hating when they lose. They will try to get back what was once theirs. 

Thing is, I was made for so much more than what I had allowed shame to tell me. When I would listen to the lies that shame would feed me there was always something deep within me that knew this wasn’t really what life was about. It was as though I had blinders that kept me focused only on what was directly was in front of me. So if something better was in front of me I wouldn’t have seen it. I was so focused on the lies I was being fed, and feeding them. When I came out of hiding so to speak from my shameful habits for me it was binge eating in my room and then running from guy to guy trying to soothe the pain. The lies I believed led me to believe I wasn’t enough and I should just eat all the food in the world. This left me feeling out of control and like crap so I would go looking for men willing to take me so that I felt some sort of control, some sort of worth. Then the shame would start all over again as I looked at the situations I put myself in with these men.

I feel like for us women shame can come in so many forms, it is usually tied to feeling like enough. Physically, as a mom or wife or girlfriend, and sexually. For men it is usually sexually in the form of porn.

If this is you, I just want to take a moment and say you are worth so much more than whatever shame is telling you. Shame is a liar. I’ve walked this path and I can tell you there is something so much better for you out there. Choosing to live outside of shame, opening up and allowing people to love you for you is better than you can imagine. You have to step out from the shadows though, step out from your hiding place and let go. 

{Default Button}

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Our default button: the mindset/paradigm we have towards ourselves (especially in weakness)

A desire of Gods heart is that we would know His feelings toward us and stand firm in them rooted as tree {Psalm 1:3} no matter our life circumstances. There’s a little something I like to call our human default button, this is were our thoughts go to instantly after something happens in our lives especially in times of weakness and sin. Many times after we find ourselves compromising we flash to an image of an angry God, to feelings of shame, guilt, condemnation, denial, pride, the list could go on and on.
God however desires that our default button would be shaped not by circumstances but by how He see’s us. So how does He see us? Well Songs 4:9 paints a picture of our beloved (Jesus) declaring that we “have ravished His heart”. Later in Songs 6:5 he says “Turn your eyes away from me, For they have overcome me.”
Stop.
Dwell on that for a minute.
Whatever you have done today. Or maybe you haven’t done anything today, this is for YOU!
God is so overwhelmed in love for you, that with one look at Him He is undone. It sounds like something out of a fairytale, but this is better than a fairytale. THIS IS OUR REALITY. God has a Holy jealous love for us, He wants so badly for you and Him to be united in love as He had originally intended when He created Adam and Eve that He sent Jesus to bridge the gap. This is how we can stand in confidence that He see’s us as righteous. Jesus’ blood covers us. WE CANNOT DO A STINKING THING TO CHANGE HIS LOVE FOR US. Jesus did it all. He has reedemed those of us who have accepted this free gift called salvation.

His love is not and cannot be swayed by anything we do, meaning striving will get you no were but drained of energy and bitter. His love is not based on our performance. When I wake up; He is staring at me {whether I remember to say good morning to Him or not}, when I walk to class He is still staring at me waiting to see what I will do next, whenever I remember to say Hi to Him He gets so excited! And when I engage in conversation with Him, and worship Him it puts him over the moon so to speak. Think of it this way, imagine yourself standing on a busy street corner when you see a friend walking towards you, you expectantly begin waiting for them to see you, for that moment when there eyes to lock with yours. It does something in us when someone acknowledges our presence, it makes us feel desired/accepted/loved whether we admit it or not. Our eyes light up, a smile appears on our face, and somekind of physical touch/interaction is usually exchanged whether it be a high five, a hug, or a kiss.
Now replay that situation but imagine the person walking toward you is reading a book not paying attention to who is nearby and doesn’t see you. We can get kinda bummed that the person didn’t acknowledge us.
Here’s the crazy, amazing, beautiful news God doesn’t react like we do. He just keeps staring. He waits patiently until we remember to look up, whether it takes a minute, an hour, a month, a year, or a decade. He is there leaning over the balcony of heaven in love staring back at His creation waiting. To often a picture of an angry God just waiting for us to ‘mess up’ is all our imagination can comprehend. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. In order to truly encounter God we must engage in long & loving meditation with a settled heart and mind. Reading the bible however is not merely something to fill us with knowledge, while that is the starting point it cannot and will not fill us. Mike Bickle say it a little something like this in regards to the Song of Songs “No one would go to a famous restraunt to merely study the menu. The menu is there to help them obtain a good meal. It is not enough to be a connoisseur of the Song of Songs, we must allow this book to fill our heart”. We are to fill ourselves with the truth of what Gods says, through that we will find our identity in Him and discover how He sees us, feels towards us is unshakeable.

Do you believe His heart is ravished by you?

Is LOVE your default button or is shame and self-preservation?

L.O.V.E.

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