My old friend, Shame

Recently, I spent some time thinking about my past.

The season after I met Jesus was a lot of unlearning for me. I had spent so much time stuck in Shame I didn’t know how to live free. I had incredible mentors who helped me learn the Truth of how God sees me, how He loves me, and how He has always loved me.

I still battle Shame sometimes, when I feel like I’ve messed up or fallen short. But, I have this hope: I know the Voice of Jesus. I can trust that voice.

If you are in a season in which Shame is the only voice you hear, I wrote this for you.
If you are not sure God could love you after the things you have done, I wrote this for you.
If you are right on the edge of stepping into the light and letting God love all the hidden parts of you, I wrote this for you.

Shame is a liar.
Jesus is your rescuer.
The safest place you can be is in the arms of your Redeemer.

I wrote for you what I wish someone would have written for me when I was 17. The following is how Jesus led me out of my shame all those years ago:

I have a friend named Shame. At least, I think we are friends. I’m not sure most of the time, though because I never really feel better once we’ve spent time together.

I feel sad, or angry, or tired . . .

Shame is close to me. Too close.

Shame sees everything. Remembers everything.

Fake. That’s who Shame says I am. And I know it’s true.
Alone. That’s what Shame says I am. I feel so alone.

Dirty. Can I ever get clean? How do I wash off this
Mess made by dark moments and quiet submissions
and I can’t talk about this right now.

I can’t talk about this ever. Not with anyone.

No one would understand. I would be labeled and forgotten, or worse . . . remembered for all the mistakes that keep me locked inside this prison with


Shame is like a mirror, but it only shows the dark places. The deepest cuts and the truest pain and the biggest mistakes.

Over and over again.

I watch the story the mirror tells. I have it memorized. I know it so well that I’m sure every time I talk with someone, they can see it all over my face.

Like they are watching it too.
Like they are watching me fall.
It’s not safe.

It’s not safe, Shame says. I hear his voice reminding me I deserve to be alone. Letting others in will create only damage. Only rejection. I would only be forgotten. Only remembered for the darkest of truths within my story.

Better I stay here, with Shame. He’s the only one who really knows me.

But still . . . There is that other Voice – it’s quiet, but strong. I don’t remember when it started, or how it got in here, but it’s here now. It doesn’t try to talk over Shame, but waits patiently, almost as if Shame is not a threat, but an unwanted pest. Then I hear words in a slow cadence in the quiet spaces.

Loved. Rescued. Forgiven.
Loved. Rescued. Forgiven.

That can’t be right. Shame made me give those things up a long time ago.

But I hear it again, louder now that I’m listening.

Loved. Rescued. Forgiven.
Loved. Rescued. Forgiven.

Shame cuts in to remind me of all the reasons those words belong to someone else.
To show me the mirror again. No one can know. No one can see. It’s not safe.

STOP IT! I yell.

I’ve never stood up to Shame before.
But, I want to hear this. The other Voice.

And as I turn toward it,
the Voice says

Loved. I have loved you with an everlasting love. I know everything. I see everything. And I still choose you.

Louder now. Rescued. I didn’t come into the world to condemn it, but to save it – I came to save you – from yourself. From Sin. And from Shame.

And then, as if speaking directly to my wounded places. Forgiven. You can be made new. Cleansed of everything you believe is keeping you stuck in this place.

You are Loved.
You have been Rescued.
You stand Forgiven.

Over and over again, the Voice is repeating words I have longed to hear since I first made friends with Shame.

And as I listen. And as I trust. And as I believe. The walls of my prison are breaking. The mirror shatters and the light I have been hiding from beams in from every crack until every bit of me is illuminated by the love and light of my Redeemer.

I am Loved.
I have been Rescued.
I stand Forgiven.

I don’t have to stay here with Shame – I have been found by the one who gave everything to chase me down, to set me free, and lead me out.

Today is where my life begins. This story is New.

2 thoughts on “My old friend, Shame

  1. Your words make sense of a crazy thought process that most or all of us battle everyday. The real life relationship with Him is what we need and what He wants not to hide in shame. You are the best missy!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s