Even after almost 2-1/2 years since my fall, it still takes courage to go to the grocery store in my small town. Some days are easier than others but today wasn’t one of them. I’ve been walking through the valley of sanctification these last couple of weeks and I’m just not as strong as I’d like to be right now but I’m clinging to Jesus with all my might and He will never leave me nor forsake me. He is the lifter of my chin…
Sometimes I just don’t let Him.
As I pulled away from the grocery store today, I sobbed.
I sobbed for me…and then I sobbed even more for others like me.
It is a struggle to deal with my own shame of what I have done and I’m better about it. But the attacks from the enemy are more than I can bear some days. Like today.
Going to the grocery store in our town used to be so much fun…I never left there without giving almost everyone I saw hugs and love before I left. Sometimes, you could have a good ole family reunion with your Christian brothers and sisters in a Food Lion. It would sometimes be so contagious that you would see others we didn’t even know…catching them smiling and you could see their hearts wanting to be a part.
I used to be one of the ones that would make sure they were a part.
Because I love people.
It’s the Jesus in me that is the Author of that love as I know there is no good thing in me apart from Him.
But now, the grocery store is a scary place sometimes. You don’t know who you will run into that knows what you have done and there are many different scenerios of what might go down.
You have the people who see you and pretend like they don’t. You have the people who start to come down your aisle and see you and all of a sudden…they must go in a different direction. You have the people that try to slink past you without saying anything. You have the people who look at you with disgust and make it known that we are simply not speaking anymore. If I lock eyes with someone slinking past me, I say hello because I genuinely want to. I want the awkwardness to go away. I want to love you and be loved by you. I want to hug again. I never stopped loving you when I fell. I want to say I’m sorry I hurt you because I genuinely am.
Now don’t get me wrong…there are some precious people in my life who have forgiven me and still think I’m a real person. When I run into you in the grocery store…It is a gift from God and I am sure I’ve nearly bowled you over with my love and hugs because I’ve been holding my breath for so long…scared of who is around the next corner.
But today, my heart sank and the shame simply overtook me. I’m a real person just like you. I have feelings and a heart just like you. Apart from Jesus, I’m lost and a sinner just like you.
Shame can be suffocating. We can sit and suffocate in it all by ourselves but shame takes on a whole different weight, a crushing heaviness when it is heaped on by other people.
What makes you do it? Are you fooled into thinking you are better than me because you didn’t fall in the way I did? Do you think that I no longer deserve to be loved because I need to be punished? Do you think the LORD’s discipline was not enough for me? Do you think God needs your help?
Especially in the first six months after my fall, I simply wanted to die. If it wasn’t for Jesus Christ and my husband and children and the gift of a Jesus-lovin’ counselor and some true Christian friends…I’m not sure I would be here today. It was just that bad. The shame is crushing.
Some say, well you should have thought about all that before you did what you did. You made your bed, so lay in it.
We, Christians, are the hands and feet of Jesus. Jesus wouldn’t do that to me…why should you, Christian? Better yet, why would you do that?
I sobbed today for the ones that couldn’t overcome the shame. The ones that found it easier to just go home and blow their brains out. I used to think that was so ridiculous but I get it now.
If you suffer with shame…I’m so sorry. I already love you. Jesus most definitely loves you…you just don’t know it yet.
For the ones who help heap the shame, I weep for you too because you don’t know how much Jesus loves you either.
God is so much bigger than any sin we can commit. God is so much bigger than any shame we can feel. God is the Creator of the Universe. He knit you together and knew you before He spoke the world into existence. You were not made for shame. You were made in His image. Sometimes (okay…A LOT of times) we don’t act like we were made in His image…so He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to save us…not to condemn us.
For the shamed…it gets better…I promise. But only with Jesus. Let Him lift your sweet head. You are loved.
In broken surrender,
Daughter of the King