Recent comments by presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann have stirred up the discussion about gay marriage once again. While speaking to a group of high school…
Earlier this year, I divulged to my husband, and a few people in my life, that I’m absolutely terrified of delving deep into the writing of my first book; one that involves much digging deep within me. Putting the images in black and white for so many to see in their own minds and hearts for themselves learning about the emotional turmoil I experienced growing up, and the healing I’ve been experiencing this past year through addressing this turmoil.
It’s not easy to dig deep and expose all of my heart. Blogging sure offers a great avenue for keeping my heart exposed “just enough” – but God is calling me to expose every portion of my heart.
All of it.
All the dark spots that still remain.
All the scars from the many battles that have been waged on it by so many people in my life (men and women alike).
All the tender spots that are ever so slowly healing.
All along with the healthy and strong parts.
In a closed, confined space with people I have developed a deep trust with over the past handful of years – such as in counseling sessions, over coffee with a dear friend, or even in a Celebrate Recovery group, this is easy – but to expose every part of my heart to everyone out there? Now this is painfully frightening; and the fear is not of all of you. The fear is of the potential shame this book may bring to others in my life that I love deeply and dearly. It has me absolutely petrified and stuck in my own skin.
Yet, when I read what God is calling out of me through a post Ann Voskamp put out many months ago, I must admit – I heard God loud and clear, “Marni, start now!”
I immediately cried out, “Oh my gosh!”, took my glasses off and rubbed my face to help the tears stay back inside my eyes – but it did no good, they came, and I let them pour.
My husband looked at me and said, “What’s wrong?”
I told him in a hesitant-breathed voice, “I know what I have to do, and this is going to be hard.”
So here, I’ve been for many months – little by little –pouring my heart out.
For so long, my heart has been encased in a very hard shell of shame due to the unspoken messages of disappointment I received from my own parents growing up. Though we are all in a healing stage of our relationship lately, I still have memories cropping up reminding me of the tones of voice, the anger, the frustration, the distancing themselves from me they would exude whenever I chose to do something that didn’t seem to measure up to what they agreed with in their lives (for my life). All these things have screamed volumes to me that I who I truly am, is not worth much – though I doubt this was their intention and motive.
My parents have always been very careful with their word choices – as they never spoke a demeaning word to me, ever – but the unsaid things spoke volumes more than any of the words that were uttered. And thankfully, they have begun to address that this is something that has been passed down throughout the generations…and it needs to stop (primarily my mother).
Concerning my growing through the pain of the past, let me clear, my parents weren’t the only ones who ever did this in my life – many more people have as well – but this is the root of my shame unfortunately. However, God is transforming it into quite the fortunate thing – because I’ve started the journey of healing in the steps toward change as I look on Him despite the fear and pain I’ve been experiencing deep in my belly for quite some time now.
He’s also transforming it through the reconnection of my parents and myself working through our relationship together in a healthy manner.
Now, let me very, very clear – I don’t blame my parents for one thing that I’ve chosen to do in response to them in the past. I absolutely harbor no resentment toward them. What has been done has been done. What I have embraced for so long, I have embraced. This is my responsibility, and in turn I take full responsibility for fully choosing to release it – because the shame is too painful to hold onto.
However, through all this shame, God has revealed a drive – a passion – that I’ve never been lead to before. To help other women out there realize they are absolutely beautiful creations in Him, and that God didn’t call the woman’s heart to live in shame – He called it to live in freedom.
A woman’s pains can be used as the very medium to reveal His magnificent masterpiece in within them; in turn, He’ll shine so brightly, that it’ll happen [almost by default] that they’ll help other women experience the same thing.
Healing is possible for any woman who has experienced any level, and avenue, of shame in their lives. In order to experience this though, a woman must embrace the shame, recognize it for what it is, take responsibility for the choices one has made to do with it, and then unabashedly hand it over to God without reservation.
Ladies, don’t go one more day living in shame. Let your healing begin today, breaking the bonds of shame in Christ’s beautiful, and precious name.