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…”

April Roundup: Links, Quotes, Books & More


“Safe”
by Victory Worship

“I found my fortress, in You
And my soul is anchored, with You
My resting place, is in Your name
Forever safe”


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

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 an “S” Word:

❤  Shepherding Love 
He tends His flock like a shepherd:
    He gathers the lambs in His arms
and carries them close to His heart;
    He gently leads those that have young.

Isaiah 40:11

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. 🙂

Dear Jesus: Seeking His Light in Your Life by Sarah Young

“From your heart’s deepest cry to life’s joyful praises, nothing is off limits to Jesus.
Knowing Jesus on a deeper, more personal level means sharing all aspects of your life with Him…every day. In Dear Jesus, Sarah Young exemplifies what it means to do this-to dialogue with the Savior. She begins each of the 120 devotionals by sharing intimate struggles and longings that weigh on the heart-being preoccupied with problems; being dissatisfied with oneself, and other spiritual issues. Jesus then responds in His loving way by giving guidance and encouragement, using Scripture as the foundation from which His words flow. Readers will be drawn into the presence of God through these spiritual letters of grace.” (Amazon Review)

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Hope Harbor

💞  Links That Inspire Hope and Healing 💞

💞 You Don’t Have to Understand God – “When we don’t understand something about God, some people are tempted to discredit him completely. My friend Andy Stanley said, ‘You don’t have to understand everything to believe in something.’ In John 9, Jesus met a man who was born blind and forced to beg just to get by. Jesus’ disciples wanted to know whose fault it was that the man was blind: Was it his fault? Or his parents?…”

💞 Hurt, Hope, and Making It Through Life’s Hard Times – Holley Gerth reminds us that hurt and hope are a part of every hard experience. Hurt and hope both need to be felt, not ignored.

💞 Hope Verses – Hope verses Bill from “Unshakable Hope” has put together. Suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease, Bill has learned that hope is one of the things that cannot be shaken.

Nature Retreat

“In every walk with nature
one receives far more than he seeks.”
~ John Muir

More photos from my brother in Arizona. 🙂 John took a two-hour hike along a river in search of the elegant trogon he was told was in the area. He was finally rewarded. Isn’t this bird beautiful?! The other photos are of a leaf-footed cactus bug, a rattlesnake, and a wolf spider.


🐾 Kevin Barry Photography – Galleries of splendid nature photos of landscapes, insects, mammals, reptiles, birds, alligators, and more.

🐾 Kinnara Bosworth Portfolio – This photographer travels to see and photograph natural wonders from all parts of the globe to share with the rest of the world. There are fantastic photos from different countries.

🐾 HD Nature Photos: Stunning Royalty-Free Landscape Images – Breath-taking photos of landscapes and wildlife including serene pictures of trees, lakes, plants, flowers, outdoor animals, seascapes and more.

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Quotes

New quotes this month are about Faith.

❤ “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” – Corrie ten Boom

 “Faith is not the belief that God will do what you want. It is the belief that God will do what is right.” – Max Lucado

 “Faith is the bird that sings when the dawn is still dark.” ~Rabindranath Tagore

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New This Month: Links, Quotes, Books & More

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“God Of All My Days”
by Casting Crowns

“In my worry, God You are my stillness
In my searching, God You are my answers
In my blindness, God You are my vision
In my bondage, God You are my freedom
In my weakness, God You are my power
You’re the reason that I sing
‘Cause You’re the God of all my days”


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

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 an “S” Word:

❤︎  Saving Love ❤︎
“For God did not send His Son into the world
that He might condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through Him.

John 3:17
bearreadingbook

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. 🙂

Hope When It Hurts by Kristen Wetherell & Sarah Walton

This has been on my wish list for some time, and I finally ordered it. I have only read the first chapter, but I am already loving it.

“Life hurts. We’re no strangers to this fact. It’s why we wrote this book. And not simply because life hurts, but because there’s hope even when it does.

Sarah and I have walked through, and are walking in, difficult times. So these thirty biblical reflections are full of realism about the hurts of life—yet overwhelmingly full of hope about the God who gives life.

We wrote this book for you, to point you to hope, because there’s more to our suffering than meets the eye. This book is about the God who offers hope, even joy, in suffering. It’s a journey through 2 Corinthians 4 and 5, where we see that God wants to give us hope not just beyond our hurts but in our hurts; that he wants us to see how he is able to work in and through suffering and ultimately give us himself.

With a foreword by Nancy Guthrie, Hope When It Hurts contains a biblical reflection for each chapter, along with questions, prayers, and a space for journaling.

We pray this book greatly helps you, as you cling to the God of all hope.”

– Kristen & Sarah

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Hope Harbor

💞  Links That Inspire Hope and Healing 💞

💞 They Ask How You Are And You Say Fine But Are You? – “Even though depression affects millions of people throughout the U.S. alone, it’s still difficult for people with depression to talk about it. Sometimes, your friends and family mean well when they ask how you are and you say fine, but are you? Individuals with depression tend to write off their depression, both to other people and to themselves. So, we’d like to explore why that is and why it’s okay to say you’re not fine.” (BetterHelp)

💞 What To Do When Childhood Trauma Holds You Back – “Once you experience childhood trauma, your life is forever changed. Children who are abused or neglected or suffer a major loss may continue to have serious psychological problems even after they are adults. If you find you have difficulty having healthy relationships or being successful at work, it may be childhood trauma that’s holding you back from having the life you want, even if you don’t recognize the signs that you were abused, neglected, or suffered some other kind of trauma. The good news is that you can identify and heal from childhood trauma. When you do, you can move past the trauma and create the life you want most.” (BetterHelp)

💞 You Can’t Rush Grief by Kimberly Key – “‘I’m trying to get to acceptance as soon as I can.’ That was a brush-off line that someone told me one day after their father died. They didn’t want to expound on the feelings they had just shared and said they didn’t want to talk because they were trying to get to acceptance as SOON as they could. I understand it and do the same thing. I don’t want to feel pain or linger in any sadness for too long. I don’t want to feel out of control and am probably afflicted by that same universal fear that lies deep within all of us…what happens if I feel the pain and I can’t come out of it? So my reflex is to take control and move through it. FAST.”

Nature Retreat

“If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures
from the shelter of compassion and pity,
you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.”
~ Francis of Assisi

I don’t take many new nature photos during the winter, so I’m always delighted to see and share what my brother, John, from Arizona captures. These are some of his more recent photos: a Chihauhaun Raven, a Crested Caracara, a Great Horned Owl, and a hummingbird in her nest.

🐾 NANPA’s Showcase Gallery 2018 – A variety of breath-taking photos of North American Nature Photography Association’s top 250 showcase images

🐾 3649 God’s Creatures Great and Small – Explore Toni Mayben’s pinterest collection of amazing photos of God’s creatures great and small

🐾 Butterfly Photos  Over 3 million beautiful butterfly photos on Flickr

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Quotes

New quotes this month are about Truth.

❤︎ “Where I found truth, there found I my God, who is the truth itself. – Augustine

❤︎ “The only way to speak the truth is to speak lovingly. – Henry David Thoreau

❤︎ “You were only meant, created, commanded to be who you are.– Shauna Niequist

 

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