When you ask a child, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” There are no limits to what they might say – it could be anything from an astronaut to a cardiologist.
As we grow and face disappointments, as we discover how the world works with its constraints on time, money and the sacrifice it takes to achieve – we can find ourselves settling.
We settle and quit in the face of failure.
There are times we settle or compromise for the greater good….yes. But what happens when we settle and miss out on the grand promises God has scheduled for our lives? It seems like a tragedy, right?
Yet, many times we sell ourselves short on God’s promises, because we believe the old stories of hurt shame, past disappointments and pain that limit and block our potential.
Well, friends. The truth is – God says we can. In fact, He not only SAYS we can, He has provided us with the wisdom, power and resources.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Shame is one of those things that may hinder us from believing and fully pushing to accomplish our dreams! Let’s unpack shame and how we can gain VICTORY OVER SHAME.
WHAT IS SHAME?
Shame is that underlying sense of not being enough. It is the pain of hiding your beauty in fear. It is overthinking, second guessing, discounting and discrediting your brilliance. Shame.
It is accepting less than God’s best for you because you don’t believe more is possible for you.
Shame is staying small, masking the power that God has placed within you, so greatness will never put you at risk of being seen, of being noticed for all your beauty and your flaws.
What if there was more for you than your current existence? What if the cycle you are in right now is about to expire and you have no choice but to either change or be left behind?
Insecurity compounded brings about shame.
For me, it was my thirst for belonging from childhood. I would do, what seemed like anything to fit in, to be admired and accepted.
In my mind, I wasn’t as smart, as pretty or as cool as the other girls. I couldn’t see my own beauty or celebrate my own gifts.
The list of compromises I made to my self-respect grew longer with time, as shame planted its roots deeper in my psyche.
Shame became a cycle in my life.
I sought out pleasure and relief from the pain that shame brought into my life. The humiliation from the compounded self-deprecation brought more shame.
Deep down, I knew I deserved better than the substances I used to forget and haze over my self-neglect. I knew that I deserved the care and the intimate affection that would cause me to blossom into the intellectual and empathetic writer and artist God made me to be. HAVE YOU BEEN THERE?
How many times have we turned to pleasure, habits, addictions, neglect or zoning out – to avoid dealing with the real issues in our lives?
I got high to avoid facing the possibilities of falling short. I withdrew in isolation to avoid the hard conversations that would propel change in my heart and in my mind.
Shame keeps you small. It tells you that you can’t.
God wants you to know you that YOU CAN.
There is more to you than your past mistakes and failures. It is time to rewrite the stories that shame once told.
There was a time in my life where I became overwhelmed with my shame. The guilt from my own self-abuse clouded my mind. I was trapped in a cycle. But through the process of years of soul work, I am reclaiming my identity. I had to make a choice. I had to decide to reclaim every blessing, every promise and every TERRITORY that God had assigned to my life. The good news is – it doesn’t have to take YEARS.
It is time to reclaim your identity in Jesus Christ.
When God designed this world, He designed it with you in mind. He created everything you need in this world – oxygen, nourishment, the sun for warmth, water to drink and bathe, trees for shelter and companionship.
In our Grand Creator’s intentional design, He mapped a pathway for us to live as beautiful lights reflecting his glory.
Our fallen nature, a nature in which we choose immediate pleasures over eternal power and glory in intimacy and truth with Him, draws us further away from our true design.
Jesus Christ was born to re-introduce us to our holy nature, the nature that bears the image of our Creator, a higher way of being, living, thinking.
We are called to live holy, pure, righteous and free of the pain, habits and distractions that dim our lights. I’m talking about the fear, shame, doubt, guilt, lust and dissatisfaction that keep us experiencing the fullness of life. Jesus called it the “abundant life”.
We are able to live out this abundant life when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior and ask His Holy Spirit to come and live within us.
Your new identity begins by accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior and asking his Holy Spirit to live in your heart.
Note: This is a daily process. It is a mindset to continually surrender to God’s plan for your life. It is being determined to let nothing or no one stop you – not even YOU!
When you receive Jesus in your heart, you are making a spiritual exchange. You are releasing all of your shame, your sins and failures – for the righteousness, love and power of God.
Remember – you are designed by God. He has a strategy for your success – and I’m not just talking about superficial success. This means PEACE. Authentic JOY. And a level of love that only Jesus himself could demonstrate.
This is a daily process – and it won’t happen overnight..,but as you surrender daily, you will see God working in your life, helping you with your decisions, leading your emotions and healing you from shame.
It’s time to rewrite the stories that shame once told.
Shame has played out in your mind over the years, throughout your childhood, affecting your career, influencing your relationships and even how you see yourself.
However, as we retell those stories, we can learn from this quote:
“Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”Lao Tzu
There is a compound effect on your tiniest thoughts, decisions, words and actions. What you allow to live in your mind will stay, will thrive and will expand.
You will need to be vigilant about your transformation. You will need to watch your thoughts, words and actions. The moment you pinpoint shame should be the moment you cancel out that negative thought and focus on God’s love.
Isaiah 54:10 “For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but My steadfast love shall not depart from you, and My covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.”
Isaiah 61:7 Instead of your shame you shall have double honor.
Grow confident in God’s love for YOU.
I struggled with anxiety for a long time. My mind became at ease the more I began to accept God’s love for me. Here are the facts:
- God loves you more than anyone else.
- God knows what is best.
Meditate on these two truths whenever you feel anxious or fearful.
There are many factors that you are unable to control. Yet, God controls all. Can you rest in this truth?
You don’t have to do it all on your own – your goals, your dreams, your health, your family, your career – everything is in His hands.
Yes, you will make mistakes and yes, we’ve all messed up – but:
2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
God’s strength is made perfect in your weakness. Continue with me in this series as we walk through a few practical challenges to activate this lesson in our lives.
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