I think it was Monday afternoon when one of the leaders mentioned that we'd be dealing with areas of shame in our lives the next day. Immediately an incident came to my mind, something that I felt very shameful about and my instant words, my protective words to the LORD were, "You're not touching that, no way, You'll just shame me in it all over again."
Fear and panic filled my heart because even though I had said to the LORD, You're not touching that; I knew I needed to let Him touch it so I could be free of it.
Shame becomes a prison, it became my prison for some of this heart of mine.
That night my husband and I were walking on the beach and he asked me what was up. Of course I said "nothing" but as we walked I slowly told him that this shameful incident had come to mind and I knew the LORD wanted me to deal with it. As hard as I tried to spit out the story of what was so shameful I just couldn't. The thing is he knew what it was because I had shared it with him before and yet I still couldn't talk about it because the shame was so deep. And so I told him I'd talk about it in bed that night, in the dark. That may sound so crazy but shame makes you want to hide and not be seen, because feeling shame, being shamed is so painful.
When one is shamed, whether intentionally or unintentionally it penetrates the very essence of who you are. Often shame comes when one is least expecting it and there's no time to put up your defences. And the only way to self preserve is to retreat within one's self...to hide.
So that night as I lay in bed with my husband in the dark, I quietly spit out the story that he already knew and the deep fear of having to share this story in a group. It's one thing to share a story from your mind but when God has laid his finger on the depth of your heart it becomes a totally different story because you are no longer detached from it, you're in it all over again. Something I had run from I could no longer run from.
I have a husband who knows me well and is so patient with me and cares tenderly for my heart and I am so grateful. Even though he knew earlier what I was going to share, he didn't push me, he waited.
Tuesday morning I was reading through Lamentations and some verses really spoke to my heart in regards to shame and how the enemy uses it so powerfully in our lives. Lamentations is a book of poems on the destruction of Jerusalem. They are funeral songs and prayers that describe both the horrors of the extended siege and the destruction of Jerusalem.
We have an enemy who wants our total destruction. My body, my being is a living temple of the LORD, Christ dwells in me and this enemy wants to destroy this temple by any means possible.
What can he do to keep me locked up within myself so I become ineffective.
Lamentations 1:1 "How deserted lies the city, once so full of people!" Shame isolates parts of your heart, it causes you to hide and squash the life inside for fear of being shamed again.
Lamentations 1:10 "The enemy laid hands on all her treasures;" The enemy uses shame and the fear of being shamed so that we hide our treasures. These gifts within us, placed by the LORD. We become fearful to step into them and so shame has the potential to paralyze us. Our gifts...treasures are shared with no one and the Body of Christ suffers.
And then I came across Lamentations 2:19 "Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord. Lift up your hands to him for the lives of your children, who faint from hunger at every street corner." This shame in my heart would never go away unless it was poured out of this heart of mine. And I knew I would have to share it in small group and live through those shame feelings.
We had small group ministry time in the afternoon and after our facilitator had prayed I shared what was going on in my heart. It took time to get it out, the feelings of shame were so deep. I was sitting in group of 7 and I was so fearful that they would think I was stupid, that they would look differently at me after hearing my story, they would think I was such an idiot, that they would laugh at me, etc. These feelings were so strong, I was so fearful. Eventually I spit out the story and I survived. No one laughed at me, no one ridiculed me. And in the group I shared with my Father in heaven my feelings of shame, I cried, I let it all out, all that I felt in that incident and I forgave.
After our ministry time and for the next couple days I felt the enemy tormenting me. Though I had felt freedom in sharing, the enemy was horrified that I had shared this and prayed through it in our small group. It was like he could not believe that I, Tina had released this area of shame, a place where he had kept me captive for 35 years, he was stunned. There was such a strong feeling of him being totally stunned that I had done this. He thought he had me for life. And so he kept coming at me wanting me to pick it up again. The picture that came to my mind was a scene from Lord of the Rings where Frodo is walking down the stone pathway to throw the ring into the burning lava and Gollum is running after him horrified in the fact that his precious ring is soon to be thrown in the fire. It's exactly how I saw the enemy, running and picking at me for the next couple days.
It was Friday morning, each day we started out with sharing some testimonies and that morning I knew that the LORD wanted me to share about this area of shame, it would be another level of release. It's not like I really wanted to get up and share, I was being obedient and as I walked up there I also knew I needed to share what had happened, where this deep shame had come from and that freaked me out. I was scared, I thought I'd already done pretty good in sharing it in my small group of 7 but now He was wanting me to share it up front in a group of 30, microphone in hand. It took a bit but through my tears I spit it out and I conquered some more of the hold that shame had on me. And from that moment forward I didn't sense the enemy tormenting me anymore, he knew he had lost.
You know how I had feared that the LORD was going to shame me in this all over again, well, what I realized is that my Father in heaven knows my heart. He prepared me the day before by showing me what we, Him and me, were going to deal with. He didn't blindside me with it in small group but let me know the day before. He was gentle with my heart because He knew the depth of my shame and He wanted my freedom and in that I felt so loved and known by Him.
He desires that freedom for all of us, He doesn't want shame to keep anyone captive. It's in the stepping out and the stepping through that we gain our freedom. So if you're someone who deals with deep shame, take the risk to expose your heart, those hidden areas of your heart. You have ONE who is for you and He is much greater then the one who is against you.
Things to be thankful for...
2322. Lupin filled roadside
2323. Arrived in Saint John to bring Jocelyne home
2324. Aliyah's excitement at seeing Jocelyne
2325. Warm sunshine through the window
2326. Walk with Jocelyne in Rockwood Park
2327. My husband's father heart for his kids
2328. Day spent with Jocelyne and Dan
2329. Pictures of Lily on Facebook
2330. Beauty of God's creation
2331. Arrived in PEI
2332. My husband's care of my heart
2333. Saw a bald eagle - Isaiah 40:28-31
2334. A visit and lunch with our Pastor's sister and brother-in-law
2335. I serve a Father in heaven who sees and knows me so I need not fear, He knows my heart
2336. Jocelyne made it out okay getting her wisdom teeth out
2337. Hay arrived, thankful for Charissa stacking it in the shed
2338. Chat with Charissa
2339. God at work
2340. Our Sovereign God
2341. Words of blessing
2342. Drive with my husband
2343. So many lupins
2344. God speaks to me
2345. Prayer with Gillian
2346. Watching the sunset over the Atlantic Ocean with my husband
2347. God at work, preparing my heart
2348. God's gentleness
2349. Chat with Matt and Charissa
2350. Pictures of Lily, thankful for technology
2351. Walk on the beach with my husband
2352. God revealing things
2353. Hug from Gillian
2355. Songs around the campfire
2356. Leading with my husband
2357. Words of encouragement
2358. The Body of Christ
2359. Healthy grandchild born to Gillian
2360. Lobster dinner
2361. Beautiful christian fellowship
2362. Words of blessing to one another
2363. The blessing of my husband
2364. Jacqueline's stories while driving back to the cottage - laugher
2365. Lunch with Dan and Jocelyne
2366. Visit with Colin, Vicki and Keira and Lauren
2367. Drive and walk on the beach with Jocelyne
2368. Lifted in prayer by our brothers and sisters in Christ
2369. Christian love, comfort, compassion
2370. Peaceful, relaxing walk on the beach with Jocelyne
2371. Barefoot in the sand, water lapping our feet
2372. Beautiful words
2373. Dinner with new friends
2374. My husband's words of love and wisdom to Dan & Jocelyne
2376. Beautiful drive to Thunder Cove
2377. Beautiful red rock formations
2378. The ocean
2379. Divine appointments - time of prayer ministry with another couple
2380. Back home
2381. My own bed
2382. Skype call with Will, Amy and Lily