Accepting Freedom Without Shame
Recently someone questioned my worth because I’m single; no husband, no children and thirty years old. The horror.
The trajectory of my life is based on a decision I made five years ago to take my foot off the accelerator and allow Jesus to write my love story. Along the way I’ve heard lots of opinions from Christians and non-believers alike disagreeing with my life choice.
Their words ripped open wounds and dumped salt into them. Suddenly I’m questioning myself, God, my purpose and calling. Until I realized I was being directly attacked by the enemy. He knows the exact latitude and longitude of our deepest wounds and desires. I reeled in my destructive thoughts and focused on Jesus. He laid his life down for us to live a life of freedom without condemnation and shame.
Society will scream at you to conform to her standards. If you haven’t accomplished xyz by age abc, you’re a failure. You must be working 25/8, hashtag team no sleep. As women we’re bombarded constantly with all the ways we could be better and do better because we’re either not enough or too much in our current state. Too independent, too head strong, too much attitude and you’ll never submit to a man, calm down and don’t be so passionate.
Jess Connolly writes in her book with Hayley Morgan Wild and Free, “The world may tell us we’re too much and never enough. But we can walk wildly in who God created us to be and rest freely in the work Jesus did for us. We do not have to be confined or conformed by cultural expectations. We are unchained from our past and unafraid of our future.”
We will never live up to people’s expectations and praise Jesus we do not have to!
As a follower of Christ I want to grab hold of that freedom, tie it around my neck like a cape and allow the child-like faith with abandon to exude through me. We achieve this by opening up to Jesus as often as possible, letting Him in on the fears, desires, guilt and shame from past experiences. Only then can you form a trusting relationship with Him.
Brene Brown says it best in her book Daring Greatly, “Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.”
Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable with God is the gateway to freedom. Once you confront the shame and name it, shame can no longer dangle its decayed carrot over your head.
Satan wants to distract us from our calling and purpose and he does this with our thoughts. If he can get us to believe we aren’t worthy, maybe Jesus can’t really redeem our past or God really is angry with us - he wins.
People will say hurtful things that singe our skin; they’ll remind us of who we used to be or who we aren’t quite yet. We mustn’t let our thoughts run rampant.
“We can demolish every deceptive fantasy that opposes God and break through every arrogant attitude that is raised up in defiance of the true knowledge of God. We capture, like prisoners of war, every thought and insist that it bow in obedience to the Anointed One.” (2 Corinthians 10:5, The Passion Translation)
I love how aggressive Paul’s language is, as the battle of the mind has to be taken seriously. We are winners through Jesus Christ!
A few truths I meditate on when struggling with negative thoughts:
· All things are working together for my good; amidst confusion, hurt, pain…ALL things (Romans 8:28).
· God calls me righteous and anointed.
· Jesus loves me, think about how much your parent loves you… Jesus loves you infinitely more.
· Jesus knows me intimately, there’s nothing I can say or do to push him away. I can keep it 100 with him, always.
· He will NEVER leave me or forsake me (Joshua 1:5).
We know that condemnation and shame do not come from Jesus. You have everything it takes to overcome all the doubt in your mind and the damaging experiences in the past. You are valuable, loved and called. When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable with Christ, all his mercy and grace will pour into us, enabling us to fully run our race for His glory.
“So if the Son sets you free from sin, then become a true son and be unquestionably free!” (John 8:36, TPT)
Brown, Brene. (2012). Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. New York, New York: Penguin Life.
Connolly, Jess and Morgan, Hayley. (2016). Wild and Free: A Hope-Filled Anthem for the Woman Who Feels She is Both Too Much and Never Enough. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan.
The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017 by BroadStreet Publishing® Group, LLC.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.