When Shame Condemns Us

“What is wrong with me? Nothing I think, feel, say, or write is right. I am a mistake. I’m such a bad person.”

Do you ever feel this way? Deeply rooted shame from abuse (whether sexual, physical, verbal, mental, or spiritual) can consciously or subconsciously debilitate us and sink us into self-destructive behavior and/or self-condemnation.

Traumatic attacks on our minds, hearts, and bodies gouge a gaping wound within us, and it takes time to process the deep pain and root out the resulting shame. It can be a life-long process to acknowledge our pain, grieve what we lost, and work through all the deep emotions. 

God hasn’t created us to struggle alone. We need others, even if it’s one person, to listen to our stories, to believe us, and to support us. To listen and encourage without judgment or condescension. To remind us it’s not our fault. To tell us it’s ok to feel the way we do and to talk about it.  

Non-supportive and judgmental words, actions, and attitudes or the lack of supportive ones can hinder our healing, make us feel victimized all over again, and cause us to retreat into our own pain and throw up thicker walls around our hearts and lives.

Maybe you’ve heard some people dismiss or minimize abuse or assault? Maybe even blame the victim, ourselves included, instead of the abuser? Or mock and condemn the victim when he or she finally gained the courage to tell? It hurts deep within our souls, doesn’t it?

Has anyone ever told you,”You must not have enough faith or you would be healed by now.”? Or “Let it go. The past is past. Move on with your life.”? Or “You shouldn’t bring these things up. You’re supposed to forgive and forget.”? It’s like they’re saying “SHAME ON YOU!” while at the same time shooting an arrow into your heart.

My only hope to get through these times
is to pour out my heart to Jesus.
He cares and understands,
and He never shames or condemns us.

Perhaps you have been told it’s wrong to go to a therapist or to take anti-depressants? That it’s a sin because you’re trusting people rather than God to help you?

God created our entire beings, not just our bodies. He created our emotions, too. Just as we may need doctors and medicines as means blessed by God to heal us or to better cope with chronic illness, we may need a learned therapist and/or depression or anxiety medications to guide us through the healing of our emotional health.

I have come a long way through years of these means, because God blessed them. Other supportive people have also been used to strengthen and encourage me through this continuing, difficult journey, including many of you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

I have learned to better process my emotions, but I still avoid certain people or situations that I know hinder further healing, and I still get triggered from condemning remarks or attitudes thrown at victims of abuse. Then shame rears its ugly head again, and I am thrown back to painful memories. All the negative voices and insecurities flood my soul again.

I have to desperately cry out to Jesus
to rescue me and other victims.
I could never have gotten
to this point without Him.

We  have a Savior who has suffered the depths of shame to make it possible for us to heal from it. With open arms, He invites us to open our hearts to His comfort and healing grace. He desires for us to pour out all our hurts and needs to Him, even if they’re only wordless cries and sighs. And He never condemns us. He cries with us and helps us to grieve, to function, and to heal ever deeper.

Jesus says,
“The thief approaches with malicious intent,
looking to steal, slaughter, and destroy;
I came to give life with joy and abundance.”
John 10:10 The Voice

“You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted;
you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
so that mere earthly mortals
will never again strike terror.”
Psalm 10:17-18

“He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.”
Psalm 147:3

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation
for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Romans 8:1

“Even If”
by Mercy Me

“I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone
I know the sorrow, I know the hurt
Would all go away if You’d just say the word
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone…”

October Roundup: Links, Quotes, Books & More


On My Side
by Kim Walker Smith

“In the front lines, You fight for me
Oh, Your kindness is my shield
When the armies rise and I am scared
My heart You will defend
You are on my side
You go before me
You stand behind
You tell my fear to run
Always and forever
I am loved
You are on my side…”

ABCs of Jesus’ Love

Visit this page anytime and let me know if you’d like to add to the words describing Jesus’ love along with a verse supporting it. Remember, there is also a print-out of the original list.

 This month I have added another “N” word for Jesus’ Love.

❤  No Greater Love 
“There is no greater love than to
lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

John 15:13 NLT

Books

I am not always able to keep up with the abundance of books that promote hope, healing, and freedom, so I haven’t always read every one I post here and on the Books Page. Though many are on my long wish list. 🙂  Many will be from recommendations of online friends. If you ever know of a book that is not listed and that supports this website’s mission, please let me know. 🙂

It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way: Finding Unexpected Strength When Disappointments Leave You Shattered by Lysa TerKeurst

(Lysa’s book will release on November 13, 2018.)

“What do you do when God’s timing seems questionable, His lack of intervention hurtful, and His promises doubtful

Life often looks so very different than we hoped or expected. Some events may simply catch us off guard for a moment, but others shatter us completely. We feel disappointed and disillusioned, and we quietly start to wonder about the reality of God’s goodness.

Lysa TerKeurst understands this deeply. But she’s also discovered that our disappointments can be the divine appointments our souls need to radically encounter God.” (Amazon Review)

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Hope Harbor

💞  Articles/Blog Posts That Inspire Hope and Healing 💞

💞 You’ll Never Know It From Looking At Her by Alia Joy – “So many stay silent, like the woman with her Xanax prescription in the bottom of her purse. She doesn’t say a word about how a body can betray you, how a mind can be so hard to control when the chemistry goes haywire and no amount of joy or praise or prayer works to take it away.”

💞 Shattered Beyond Repair by Lisa TerKeurst – “But what about those times when things aren’t just broken but shattered beyond repair? Shattered to the point of dust. At least when things are broken there’s some hope you can glue the pieces back together.”

💞 Ten Reasons to Hope When You Are Hurting by Stephen Arterburn – Are you hurting? Here are ten reasons based on Bible verses to hang onto hope.

Nature Retreat

“Sometimes you need to unplug
and enjoy nature’s company.”
Unknown

These awesome photos are again from my brother in Arizona. Thank you, John! 🙂 (My brother kindly gives me permission to share his photos out of his desire to share the joy of nature with others, but as with all photos, I ask that you please do remember copyright laws.)

🐾 Barnstorming: Seeking Sanctuary in the Seasons of Rural Life – Emily chronicles the seasons of life at their farm in Washington. She shares beautiful photos of nature and poems/prose that relate, including her own.

🐾 Cindy Tiehen Photography – Cindy’s hope is to inspire with a glimpse of nature’s grace. She certainly does that with her breath-taking photos.

🐾 Jarred Warren Photography – Jarred’s landscape photos and time-lapse videos are awesome and inspiring.

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Quotes

New quotes this month are about Truth.

❤ “The truth is like a lion; you don’t have to defend it. Let it loose; it will defend itself.” – Augustine

❤ “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” – Charles Spurgeon

❤ “Honesty is more than not lying. It is truth telling, truth speaking, truth living, and truth loving.” – James E. Faust

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Thank You
to anyone and everyone who recommend
links, books, quotes, etc.

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What Is a True Friend?

True Friendship Quotes 

“A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.”  William Shakespeare

“A true friend is someone who sees the pain in your eyes while everyone else believes the smile on your face.” Anonymous

“Friends can help each other. A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself – and especially to feel. Or, not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That’s what real love amounts to – letting a person be what he really is.” Jim Morrison

“We all need friends with whom we can speak of our deepest concerns, and who do not fear to speak the truth in love to us.” Margaret Guenther

“When you love, you wish to do things for. You wish to sacrifice for. You wish to serve.” Ernest Hemingway

“A friend shares the good times and helps out by listening during the bad times.” Molly Oliver

“A true friend encourages us, comforts us, supports us like a big easy chair, offering us a safe refuge from the world.” H. Jackson Brown

“True relationship: Love without condition, talk without intention, listen without judging, give without reason and care without expectation.” Anonymous

“A true friend loves
regardless of the situation…”
Proverbs 17:17 VOICE

We fall short of being true friends in so many ways, don’t we?

It can hurt so deeply when those we thought were “friends” betray, slander, or reject us. But we have to guard our hearts from bitterness or from putting up walls that won’t let anyone in or let any of our love out. It’s hard, isn’t it?

Ultimate Friendship 

There will always be one Totally True Friend. Jesus always has and always will remain faithful and steadfast.  He knows our deepest secrets, and yet He will never betray us.  He loves us without condition. He doesn’t condemn us, even when we have hurt Him. He has paid the ultimate sacrifice for us, and He will never, never, never leave us or forsake us.

“There must be Someone in heaven who knows the truth about me,
in highest heaven, some Attorney who can clear my name—
My Champion, my Friend,
while I’m weeping my eyes out before God.
I appeal to the One who represents mortals before God
as a neighbor stands up for a neighbor.”
Job 16:19-21 The Message
“One who has unreliable friends
soon comes to ruin,
but there is a friend
who sticks closer than a brother.”
Proverbs 18:24
“I have told you these things so that
you will be filled with My joy.
Yes, your joy will overflow!
This is My commandment:
Love each other in the same way I have loved you.
There is no greater love than to
lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
John 15:11-13

“What a Friend”
by Matt Maher

“What A Friend We Have in Jesus”
Sung by Paul Baloche