Years ago when I was in my early teens I stole a ring from a relative. I enjoyed it for about a min and then spent the next 20+ years thinking of ways that I could get it back to her without anyone knowing. I was so shameful of my actions that it completely hindered my ability to make things right. I would hardly pray about it because it would admit to my self what I had done. God already knew but I wasn't ready to talk with him about it. Finally I got to a place where it was do or die. I knew I had to confess and live with the consequences. I told my husband and he was so loving and understanding. That was only half the battle. I still held onto the ring for another couple of years. I then told my sister and sent my aunt and her daughter a Facebook msg. I told them I had something to tell them and it needed to be in private and face to face.
We set up a time to meet when I went back home to Alabama. I first met with my mom and dad and had one to one time with them and confessed. I was so embarrassed of my sin. I was so ashamed of what others might think of me. See the thing is, I had been free of stealing for so many years. I had giving my life to Jesus and when I got re-baptized with the understand that I was a new creation all temptation to steal was gone. I had not stolen in over 10 years but I was still carrying around this burden, this shame. I did not want people to see me as someone they could not trust. It was not at all who I was now. But remember it was do or die. I HAD to make amends. I had to make it right. I had to confess.
I went to my aunt's house and in a back bedroom I poured out my heart. I cried from the years of heart ache. I cried at the thought that maybe my cousin had gotten in trouble for "losing" this special ring. I cried at the thought of ruining one of my favorite family relationships. But I had to tell.
The most amazing thing happen. They laughed. They forgave. They thanked me. They said I probably kept the ring safe for them all these years because she probably would have lost it her self.
It was the biggest showing of God's love that I had ever seen. I was finally free. Now I can tell my story with power and excitement. I tell it with joy and freedom.
I know what it is like to be stuck. I know what it is like to be free. Freedom trumps being stuck any day.
Today I turned on the tv and it was on channel 45. TLC. I never watch this channel anymore so I am sure my oldest was watching "Say yes to the dress"
Anyway I kept it here because some of the Duggars were on there (19 kids and counting). This was a new episode and they talked some about how the birth of this new baby was a good distraction from the season they were in.
I finished watching the show and later on in my room I was praying and thinking about this whole family. I though about how sad it was that shame had so covered their son Josh to where he "lost his voice. He got to a point where he quit fighting. The first line of a poem came into my head (as poems usually do for me) and I had to write it down. I prayed about how to finish it and came up with this poem.
Here it is.
My name is Shame
Shame has claws bigger then any monster under the bed.
It yells "BE QUIET, YOU ARE ALONE", and it is exposer that you dread.
Shame is the hot lava that flows from the sin.
It tapes your mouth shut making you feel this battle you will not win.
There is a tug at your heart to tell someone you love,
But shame punches you in your gut and knocks you over with a slight shove.
Shame is deceiving, it makes you feel like you are friends,
All the while it is shredding apart relationships and bringing them to an end.
Shame wants to block out the voice that says " There is still hope"
You hear it whisper " You can have victory and not just get by and cope".
Shame wants you to feel hopeless like you have no tools with which to heal.
But your mouth is your biggest weapon if you speak to someone and your past you do not conceal.
There is someone who can help you remove the tangled net of shame.
They will walk with you, pray with you and never cast blame.
God already knows you inside and out.
He sees your heart and hears it crying out.
Open your mouth and find words and use it to fight.
Speak out for the WIN, It is your only life.
You are already loved by God
But shame tries to make your forget.
But stand up and take ground and change your mindset.
Tell yourself you ARE worth the fight, you ARE loved, and this battle you WILL win.
At first you may feel like a failure but lift up your weary chin.
Whisper if you must but do not give in to the temptation to quit.
Speak life over yourself until both your heart and mouth can admit.
That you are set free from shame that is the monster, that is attached to sin and tries to steal your ability to conquer.
You have got this my friend, you will come through the battle with some scars to show.
Shame no longer makes the decisions, it has no place here and must pack up and go.
Shame will try to come back and look for empty space, so you must fill your heart with God's word and slam the door in Shame's face.
-Charlene T. December 27,2015
I know what it is like to live with shame and I know what it is like to be free of shame. I can honestly say it is never better to stay on the side of living with shame. The freedom is like no other.
If you are walking with the weight of shame then find someone ASAP that you can talk to. Find some one who can pray with you. You can even msg me. I can walk in agreement with you and your fight for your life. Do not let shame win its place in YOUR life.
*the ring was returned in January 2011.