Single Life Workshop, Part 4

 

Every session of the Single Life Workshop gets better and better. Session four was all about shame. Shame is not a fun, feel-good topic. But it is one of those topics that, if left unaddressed, can devastate a relationship.

Shame makes intimacy scary. Can I get an “amen”?

Shame builds walls and creates false narratives in our minds. Shame often convinces us that God and others couldn’t possibly love us if they knew the “real” us — if they knew all our past sins. That couldn’t be further from the truth, but it’s the lie we believe so much of the time. And the enemy loves it when we do; he can then keep us isolated, hopeless, and full of despair.

I love the story of the Samaritan woman. After Jesus lovingly calls out her sin, He leads her to forgiveness and grace. She then runs into town and says to everyone, “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” She looked into the face of Christ and felt love like she had never known before. She didn’t feel condemnation or judgment, shame or fear. She felt understood and forgiven.

God is the same with us today. He views us with nothing short of love and acceptance. We cannot earn God’s love; He loves us for who we are.

Shame tries to keep us from being ourselves. When we are caught up in shame, we act out of who we think we are in our sin. We act unworthy, unlovable and hopeless. We don’t tap into any of our gifts or potential.

Trust what God has put inside of you. We were made in the very image of the triune God. We were created to be living testimonies of His kindness, rescue, salvation, love and redemption.

To read the rest, join me over at Boundless!

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The Truth About Confession

After hearing an amazing message by Kasey Van Norman about the Samaritan woman, I have been processing the difference between being transparent and being vulnerable — and how they both play out in my life.

To boil it down, transparency is telling the facts, while vulnerability is digging deep beneath the surface of those facts to the roots. There is a bit of distance that we keep when only being transparent with God or others. Vulnerability invites God and others into the heart of our situation. There is a chance for rejection when we are vulnerable. We run the risk of people seeing the real us and possibly unfriending us. And y’all, that is downright scary!

Growing up, I was more of a loner. I kept to myself a great deal. I had a few friends, but I only allowed them into my life at arm’s length. Now, I have seen and experienced both the beauty and pain of community. Often my instinct is to go back to doing life alone, but I know that I can’t. I know that is not what is best for me. I know that is not God’s design.

Over the last couple of months, there has been this war in my mind. You’re probably familiar with it. It’s the one where old memories and wounds and trauma and sins flood your every thought. At moments, this war has physically felt like a weight on my chest. I honestly don’t know that I have ever felt this type of attack from the enemy before. But, here I am, in the middle of it. I’ve been trying to fight this battle on my own. I can be really prideful at times. I’m too self-sufficient for my own good. Jesus and I are working on that.

The Lord, in all of His love and kindness, won’t let me get away with this solo game plan. He has gone behind my back and laid me on several of my friends’ hearts. They, in turn, were obedient to pray for me and reach out to tell me they were praying for me. Then, I was intentional about sharing my struggles.

There is so much of our relationship with the Father that is worked in the secret place with Him, but there is just as much work that happens within life-on-life relationships.

 

To read the rest, join me over at Incourage!

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