“I am broken. I am lost. I am afraid. I worry about money. I wonder if I can ever truly find my joy again. I feel unloveable, undesired. I don’t have answers. I am not enough. My sons don’t need me, and I don’t have what they need. I am a failure. I don’t deserve success. My past will always haunt me. If I share these thoughts honestly, others will despise me.”
These are the lies that spin in my mind when I yield to shame and let anxiety take hold. Then I remain trapped, because it’s embarrassing to admit. I know that God set me free, but insecurity sends me straight back to that old familiar swamp. It happened this morning when I thought about writing my next blog. It asked me, “Who do you think you are?” It reminded my what a hypocrite I am. It was the thief breaking into my spiritual home, steal my joy.
This was a good morning in that I could see it, call it out, and go directly to the Father with it. It did not get a grip on me for very long. This is not always the case. There are times it is a much more clever thief and creeps insidiously under the shadow of my conviction that I’ve got my act together and think I’m in control. Then it spins out of control, and I am overwhelmed. My jaw aches, my heart feels depleted, and sleep eludes me.
When I’m exhausted and have nowhere else to go, I finally yield. I dread having to get to this point to let go, but what a sweet release, a death to self and all that is not working. It’s a letting go of all the things that aren’t true and truly don’t matter. It’s a wonder that I have to hit the wall this long and hard to get it, that I have to be this exhausted to let go of control. When all my reasoning, blaming, deflecting, avoiding, and explaining away don’t cut it anymore and I have to stop pretending, I look to my Father and crawl into his arms and breathe out the shame.
God is my shepherd, guiding me through a storm like I have never known, the storm of grief and widowhood, and all the baggage that comes with it. I am learning to let go and trust Him. He died to free me from guilt and shame, but freedom will come only when I confess my shame. Shame rears it’s ugly head and I swat it down, afraid others will see it and know it. So it binds me and weaves itself into everything I do and every relationship I have. Let this be my confession. In the quiet hours, just me and God and my laptop, my soul will be naked. May this bind the evil that shame is and set me free to heal and move on.