Ever had one of those days that just turned into one of those weeks? That was pretty much my week last week…fortunately so far so good this week. 😉 It was one of those weeks that was full of migraines and bad news which consequently resulted in non-stop housecleaning, mental exhaustion, and overall weariness.
Anyways, part way through the week amidst all of those other good things I had an encounter with a good friend regarding how my behavior had affected her…around here we like to call those times KYLO moments (“Keep Your Love On”…in reference to the book by Danny Silk, which if you haven’t read it yet…I would highly recommend). Although she handled everything with complete honesty, grace, forgiveness, love and in no way was trying to cause me to feel bad, my initial reaction to this encounter was guilt and shame over my unintentional behavior that had hurt her.
Now since we had talked it out and made things right again, the guilt was a good thing as it had completed its work to bring about a change of heart and reconciliation. The shame however, that I had allowed to set in began to drag me down and remind me of all of the times that I had made mistakes and of how much of a failure I was because of those mistakes. It began to convince me that I couldn’t trust my friend because if she saw my flaws I wouldn’t be good enough for her friendship, and remember, it was because she cared about our friendship and valued it that she approached me in the first place regarding this issue that had the potential of threatening our connection.
If you’ve ever encountered shame…which I’m almost positive you have if in fact you are a human being 😉 … you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about and how it twists your perspective and the truth about everything….nothing good ever comes out of shame…it only produces fear and causes you to want to hide..whether it’s hiding from relationships, hiding from God, or denial by hiding your issues from yourself…shame can only ever produce fear and disconnection.
In my situation I found myself reacting in a way that wasn’t fearful so much of God or myself, but fearful of trusting my friend, and that began to filter into all of my other close relationships….and all this in a matter of hours! Yikes – that escalated quickly! But friends, that’s what happens when we don’t deal with shame at the moment we sense it…it grows into fear and fear keeps everyone else at a distance…after all…what if they see the “bad”parts of me…will they still accept me?
Now thankfully for me, the light’s came on and I was able to see what shame was doing to me and the lie’s it was convincing me to believe before I acted on those fear’s. However, it made my heart so so sad to think of the countless people who live this way on a daily basis; being dictated by the fear that comes with shame, living without real authentic connection; finding coping mechanisms to ignore and push down shame, rather than allowing the guilt to bring about responsibility and a change of heart. And I know that if it makes my heart this sad, it hurts the heart of our Heavenly Father even more so.
Guys, we were never created to live without connection; we were never created to “just get by”, and we certainly were never created to feel like walking bags of poo that are too messed up to have any relationship with God. That’s the entire reason we needed a Savior in fact…because we do make mistakes…because God never wanted shame over our shortcomings to have the last word…because He loves us way too much to leave us living a fearful shell of a life. God never wanted shame over your shortcomings to have the last word. Click To Tweet We were made for so much more, we were made to be fully alive, living deeply in connection with God and one another, and grow into whole, healed people both inward and outward as we bring our issues to Him.
The moral of my story was that very thing…one of growth. Living in deep connection with others is yes, risky indeed, but it also keeps us growing. After I had my little eye-opener of what shame was doing to me, I was able to ask why I had behaved in that way towards my friend in the first place…and the amazing thing was that I had another eye-opener as God revealed the answer to me, which actually had nothing to do with her! I was able to grow because of this encounter, both as a person, and in trust towards my friend and God, who knew of my issues long before me and who still invited me to come and talk with Him despite it. Friends, God is not angry at you, and He’s not ashamed of you, so you need not be ashamed of yourself. When you find yourself battling shame don’t let it convince you to disconnect; instead, do the opposite – reach out to Truth, to Love, to Christ and open up your heart to those closest to you…God will always show you the way out and He loves to fix broken things.
PS: I’ve had this song on repeat lately…check it out…so good! Simple Gospel – United Pursuit
Thank you to Angie Makes at angiemakes.com for the pretty Free Watercolor Swash shown above! Be sure to check out her lovely site.