“I feel so much shame and guilt over that night…”
“God doesn’t want to hear from me…”
I feel like I have sinned too much for God to forgive me anymore…”
Have you ever had any of these thoughts run through your mind?
If you have, you are definitely not alone.
These three thoughts have played in my mind like a broken record at one time in my life.
But what God revealed to me is these were not just thoughts, but lies the enemy was planting there.
He was trying to make me not run back to Jesus and keep me away from Him.
He was playing on my shame and it kept growing and growing until it started swallowing up all the truths that Jesus is.
I want to talk about that one word I know almost everybody has dealt with at some point in their lives:
I feel like sometimes our past actions, sins, or words spoken to us from toxic relationships, can breed so much shame in us and that can just lead to more negative thoughts about ourselves and that can ultimately lead you to a path of destruction.
I know personally, shame has been one of the most debilitating emotions I have ever dealt with.
The worst thing you can do is believe these lies about yourself. And that is exactly what I did.
The enemy is sly and subtle. He plays on your insecurities and past regrets like its his job, because it is. He wants to draw the godly truths you believe in out of you and ruin your thoughts with poison.
I remember one night my shame had turned into a conversation in my head, not realizing in the moment it was from the enemy.
“He will never forgive you after last night. You know what you have done and so does God. He has others that never screw up and that is all you seem to do. He will never forgive you for what you did.”
My shame ran deep ..
There are moments in my faith journey that are hard to admit, but like any relationship you have here during your lifetime, you will have ups and downs, and the same goes for your relationship with Jesus.
I was very confused at one point in my life with a relationship I was in and I knew deep down that this person was not a good person to be with but I continually ignored that prompting and just stayed in a relationship that was anything but good. It was very toxic and everyday it seemed to get worse.
I wanted to have a relationship that lasted so badly that I held onto even a sliver of good they did and enhanced it in my mind and convinced myself that he was amazing when I knew very well the relationship was hurting me…badly. It was especially hurting my relationship with God because he was an atheist.
I was afraid to pray to God in those times about the relationship because I knew God did not want me with him. So when I did pray one day in desperation to help the relationship, the next day the relationship ended and I blamed God for it (how messed up is that whole situation). Just shows how lost I was.
This is a very personal part of my faith walk and have never shared it with anyone, but I felt the urge to share this because I know God can bring good out of ANYTHING and God used this time in my life to teach me so many valuable lessons and without going through this, I believe my relationship with Jesus would not be as strong and I would not learn who our Father truly is and how He views me.
It became even more significant to me who Jesus truly is because of going through this.
When this happened, I sat in my car, turned my worship music off and through tears said, “I’m done God..”
It makes me tear up now because Jesus means so much to me and I am just thankful that I have a heavenly father that didn’t say the same thing to me in that moment of hurt.
God wasn’t done with me and He will never be done with me, because even though I rejected Him in that moment of pain, I know He was sitting there even then with open arms, still loving me even though I was acting that way.
And that rejection didn’t last too long because I realized how empty my life and heart felt without Jesus in it, and how that was not me to live without Him and I went sprinting back into His loving arms and repented.
God has taught me A LOT through that moment in my life:
That God’s plans for me are far, far better than the ones I have for myself, so always TRUST Him through everything, even rejection.
That God loves me/us with a love that is the purest, most unconditional love ever.
And the most beautiful part about that time of rejection, is God wouldn’t leave me alone.
God doesn’t just love us. He pursues us.
On top of that love, He pursues our hearts and shows up in the details of your life.
He wants to bless us and loves us more than any love we can ever imagine.
Besides from turning from God during this time in my life, I also hid from God in the midst of my shame, resulting from the ways in which I’ve sinned. I felt like I sinned “too much” and God would not forgive me anymore.
I believed this lie wholeheartedly and I felt like my actions put myself in a terrible spot in life and that put more shame and guilt onto my heart. I felt I was drowning in a never-ending sea of emotions and shame.
I hid from Him because I felt like I disappointed God and He did not want to hear from me.
But this is The. Biggest. Lie. Ever.
I cannot stress that enough, if you are struggling with this right now or ever have.
Let this TRUTH sink deep in your soul right now:
God will never look at you and NEVER NOT want your heart.
You have not sinned too much.
Your past actions DO NOT define you
His love never runs out for you!
When I let this truth seep deep down in my heart and let it cover over the lies, they began to wash away.
Here is the thing and this is coming from a person that is incredibly hard on herself:
Everyone makes mistakes and we are all human who sin and fall short of the glory of God.
But, that is what Jesus did for us on the cross.
He took all our sin and faced death, so we could have an intimate relationship with Him and so we do not have to face death, and we can live with Him forever.
That is the very love that covers your mistakes and sin. Jesus does not want you to live in shame forever.
When you fully understand and learn who Jesus is and what He has done for you, all because He loves you, then that shame can begin to melt away and you can live abundantly through Him, like He promises you.
The enemy wants nothing more than for you to believe those lies. But when we embrace what Jesus truly did for us, we can realize that that lie is just that. A lie. The amazing truth is Jesus died for us all, but if you were the only person ever to live, just you, He would’ve still died just for you on the cross and bore your sin because THAT is how much He loves you, friend.
Stop wearing your shame and wear His love and light instead.
I feel like that time in my life mirrors the Parable of the Lost Son in the bible.
The parable of the lost son is about a man who has two sons.
The father gave half of his property and wealth to his younger son and then not too long after that, his son left and used all his wealth he was given in sinful living.
He realized he did not have anything left and realized what he had done and how he sinned against heaven and his father. So he decided to go back to his father and tell him what he had done and ask for forgiveness.
His father saw his son coming from down the road and ran up to him and hugged and kissed him.
The son knew he was not worthy of his love but the father said to his servant to go and find the best robe for him, sandals, and a calf to have a celebration.
When the older brother saw this he was very angry because he had been loyal and hard working for his father for years. But this is how the father responded:
“My son, the father said, you are always with me and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and now he is found.” -Luke 15:31-32 (NIV)
This is one of my favorite parables and passages in the bible.
This portrays exactly how our Heavenly Father loves us.
I turned from God, lived in sinful ways, but the moment I fell to my knees and repented and realized what I had done, He was quick to forgive me, smiled upon me, and welcomed me back home.
The love that Jesus displays to us is POWERFUL!!
The father in the story had immense compassion for his son that left and was thrilled when he saw that he was coming home.
I feel that is how Jesus feels when we turn from our sin and come running home to him.
He rejoices and feels so much joy in those moments with us.
What an amazing message this parable exhibits that we have a God that doesn’t care what we have done, He just loves us simply because we are His.
The pressure is off to be perfect, and to feel the shame that the enemy bears down on our shoulders.
If you have felt shame and lived in it, I want to tell you that you do not have to let it control you anymore.
Because your past actions do not define you. God’s love does and your identity in His very name and presence.
Meditate on that powerful truth and let that lead your life instead of your shame surrounding past hurts, sins, or actions.
I genuinely feel for anyone and everyone that is feeling their shame so strong and living in those lies I mentioned above, because I was there and I know what it feels like to carry that around. I want to speak this truth into others about this and point them toward a relationship with Jesus because,
Jesus. Changed. Everything. For. me.
And I do not say that lightly.
He will meet you right where you are and love you for who you are in this very moment, no matter what you are going through.
You do not need to have it all together or be a certain way for Him to love you and help you.
He has His arms wide open, ready to listen and loves you.
My prayer is that this encourages your heart!
All for Jesus,
“Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” -Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)