Shame is a silent killer. It Is a form of bondage that can go undetected. There is great fear in sharing with others something that has caused pain, regret, or even disappointment. As women, there are so many different forms of shame. Shame that comes from relationships, friendships, health conditions, childhood traumas, and more. Often, the choice to keep it quiet is not a goal of protection of others but of oneself. However, the pain is internalized as you attempt to keep silent about a part of your life that needs healing.
The shame that I have experienced in my life are many, and I believe everyone has experienced shame before. It is important that you overcome shame because it leads to the ability to help set others free. As women in leadership, the fear of exposure of the things that seem shameful will stop you from to a freedom you have never experienced before.
Problems with living in shame:
1. Your silence to others can cause a negligence in surrender of the matter in prayer to God. What you learn to keep quiet, you will often fail to speak to God about it. I call this the let's just sweep that under the rug mentality: There is nothing really wrong and say things like I am pretty okay when you are not.
2. You fail to experience a life of wholeness. I found out from watching someone who was truly whole, how broken I still was. The truth is eventually there is a overwhelming feeling that takes place that is hard to bare alone. Then, the experience that does not go dealt with causes a development of a personality that is thought to be needed to function in life apart from certain experiences that seem shameful.
Growing up in the church, there were things you were not supposed to do because they did not honor God, and there were things you did not speak on because it did not make you look as holy as you needed to look to be accepted. See, shame causes a desire to present the version of you that you feel will be validated because the other version of you that has experienced pain, regret, or disappointment seems too hard to be accepted, loved, and admired. Therefore, You learn to put on the beautiful mask and hope that no one notices the shame!
However, the truth is shame is an attempt to silence the voice inside of you. The devil uses shame to cause you to never tap into the strength, the power, and the love that is available to us when we walk in freedom. My first step out of shame came from my church community. Willing to seek deliverance and willing to open up to others, allowed me to step out of a the partial version of me to deal with the version of me that was full of anger, resentment, hurt, confusion, and disappointment, which allowed me to step into freedom, wholeness, and peace. Over the last almost two years, one of the best things I have ever heard is that it's okay to not be okay.
I'll share something with you today that I had to share with others for God to bring healing to my heart.
I have been married for 7 almost 8 years now. I always dreamed of being a beautiful bride and eventually a mother of 2-3 kids. As a woman growing up in the church, you look forward to the day you say "I do" and the day you say "I'm pregnant," which is often the highlight of being a woman. Well, I do not have children yet, which most of you know if you know me.
People have asked or said to me since I have been married: "When do you all plan to have kids?," "Do you want kids?," or "Don't rush, take your time!" All I have ever done was smiled and say things like "whenever God decides" or "yes, eventually I want some." However, what I really wanted to say was "please don't ask me that because if it was in my control I would have some by now", but the truth is, it's not in my control or my husbands.
Yeah, that SHAME. The shame of being a woman and not being able to have a child is BIG. It's the thing you tell the people closest to you, but it's also the thing that no one ever talks about because the truth is after years of lookIng and waiting, it does not seem possible. Then, what do you say? When I run into situations where I don't know what to say, I just pray.
I prayed and prayed like Hannah. I was hurt and broken like Rachel. I found out I was mad at God. I wondered why when there were women who did not want their children or even abused their children why I could not have my own to love, hold, and cherish. See, it's tough to see everyone around you get married after you and start to have babies. You are excited for them, but the pain and disappointment eats you alive. Do you feel like a woman? Will your husband love you? What becomes of a wife who can't seem to have children?
Now, the way my faith is set up, I still believe any day and at any moment things could change. I always imagined myself doing a Facebook video with the flash cards telling this sad story with this happy ending announcing the news or giving my husband a box with the test that said positive inside. However, that has not happened YET. Nevertheless, in the past year, I let the shame go and people beyond my family found out more of my story. I write this because the last few months God has been telling me to share my story. There is much more to it then this, but this is the one I felt led to release now.
I have been diagnosed with a condition called POI (Premature Ovarian Insufficiency) or Premature Ovarian Failure. Due to a hormonal imbalance, my body does not produce eggs as it should. 1% of women get disagnosed with this, and The first time I felt that I should share it with others was one Sunday, I felt led to pray for women who have experienced a miscarriage or could not have children on a Mother's Day. The truth is this topic is one of those taboo things because what do you really say to a woman like me or someone else who desires to give birth, but it's just not working.
My heart breaks for women who live with this shame Silently and instead Of Sharing and starting to walk in freedom and peace. There are days that are easier than others. You think about adoption, but the truth is you have not given up hope on what God can do within. Therefore, the thought of adoption even stings.
Tonight, I want to speak to a woman who is like me, and I want to tell you dont settle for a version of you because the real you seems toI hard to face. Come out of shame and step into God. When negative thoughts come into my mind about my worth and fear burdens me about my future, I look to God.
Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer.
From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe.
I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings. Selah
God gave me Psalm 61 in 2016 when I faced with other battles, and I consider this verse quite often when dealing with things that can overwhelm Me.
I am not sure what type of shame you have experienced in you life, but God will be a refuge in your time of trouble if you allow him to be. The shame could have come from health conditions, molestation, compromise, and relationship betrayal like me or something else that led you to be who you thought you needed to be to escape some difficult realities. However, what I have come to learn is that I am so much more than my experiences. God does not care if I'm not perfect because he does not expect me to be. God only cares that I am healed and whole.
Ladies, the only reason I can write this blog today is because of the wholeness and healing God is allowing me to walk into everyday. I am not sure who will be blessed or Begin to look to God from my story, but my desire is to give God glory.
You are a woman who does not have to give people part of who you are or the version that is easier to live with. God will use you for his glory regardless! Even when it is hard to understand, know God loves you and he does care. He does want what’s best for us. He is a good Father!
I Encourage you to pray and let go of all forms of shame and still expect God to be God in your life! The one who never fails and is always there! I sure am!