Moving Beyond Past Shame; Starting Anew
**A portion of this blog post is adapted from one of the 52 unique devotions in the Worthy! Devotional Coloring Book**
“Fear not; you will no longer live in shame. Don’t be afraid; there is no more disgrace for you. You will no longer remember the shame of your youth and the sorrows of widowhood.”
– Isaiah 54:4, NLT
Shame, humiliation, and disgrace are three feelings that often work in tandem to break a soul. Isaiah, the author of today’s verse, identifies with all these same painful emotions rooted in experiences that often keep us bound. The prophet’s words from thousands of years ago still serve as a great reminder to us today, that God’s redemptive work can and will turn around the negative effects of our past to help others. My friend Shelly has such a story.
Shelly spent her formative years being raised by her grandmother, who had stepped up to fill in for Shelly’s parents. Her parents had abandoned her due to their battle with alcoholism and Shelly was often left unsupervised, which led to her being sexually molested at a young age. Several years of promiscuity followed and Shelly wallowed in humiliation and shame and did not bare her hurting soul to anyone for decades. The shame also followed her into a marriage that eventually ended in divorce.
Although Shelly’s painful experiences sought to steal her voice and quiet her dreams, her story does not end there! As she journeyed on, Shelly surrendered her life to God and allowed God’s healing power to penetrate all the painful areas of her past. After overcoming the shame of her youth with God’s help, Shelly now encourages women with her story and the redemptive power of the loving God she encountered. Shelly’s story demonstrates to us that in God, there is an impactful life on the other side of shame.
Where does my friend’s story meet you today? Are you still suffering in the midst of indescribable emotional or physical pain? Or is it the memories from the past that overshadow your today? Wherever you find yourself in the shame spectrum, you can make a step, however little, in the direction of healing today. For Shelly, that meant first and foremost receiving God’s unconditional love. Will you start there also?
Making this declaration below might be your bold first step. Ready? Go:
I am not what I went through.
My experience does not represent who God says I am.
Starting today, I am no longer captive to the shame of yesterday.
In Jesus’ name,
I embrace God’s healing process.
Much love to you as you journey on courageously.