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…”

New This Month: Links, Quotes, Books & More

whatsnew Thank you to all who take the time to read my blog, whether or not you comment. I earnestly desire to inspire hope in the midst of despair, healing to the broken, and freedom to those chained down by burdens. I may not know you, but God knows you in every painful detail of your life, and I plead to Him to take you under His wings and care for you in all your needs and to give you hope, healing, and freedom in Jesus Christ!





This video inspires hope that anything is possible with God. An elderly man born with severe cerebral palsy creates incredible art key by key with his typewriter. What keeps him going day by day? His faith in God and his finger.

Jesus looked at them intently and said,
“Humanly speaking, it is impossible.
But with God everything is possible.”
~ Matthew 19:26




 On the Threshold of Hope (AACC Counseling Library)
      by Diane Mandt Langberg

Threshold of Hope“On the Threshold of Hope offers hope and healing to men and women who have been traumatized by sexual abuse. Dr. Langberg’s insights and the quotations from many survivors assure readers that they are not alone and that Christ, the Redeemer, can heal their deep wounds. Through stories, Scripture, questions, and encouragement, Dr. Langberg walks with survivors on the road to healing through Christ’s love and power.” (Amazon Review)

I have not yet read this book, but it has spurred my interest when a leader in one of (In)courage‘s abuse support groups cited it: “In Diane Langberg’s book “On the Threshold of Hope” she writes, Healing will come through the power of the Redeemer. And it will come through giving voice to your emotions. Healing will come through replacing lies with truth and it will come through reconnecting with your body and learning to think about it differently. It will come as you are set free from your fears and enabled to move out in love. And it will come through learning the character of God as it is revealed in Christ Jesus.” (Langberg 139, 149, 159, 167, 177).

 Not Marked: Finding Hope and Healing after Sexual Abuse
by Mary DeMuth

Not MarkedThere are so many books on my wish list, so this is another book I haven’t read yet, but I’ve heard good things about it. I know I really identified with her memoir – Thin Places.

“Are you suffering the effects of sexual abuse? There is a way out. In Not Marked: Finding Hope and Healing after Sexual Abuse, Mary DeMuth illuminates the way to go from shame-filled to joy-filled, from traumatized to finding enduring peace. This isn’t theory. Mary has lived it. She’s traveled this path and offers a uniquely qualified, insider’s view of the healing process.

Then Mary goes deeper-because often you’re not the only one who has suffered. Her husband Patrick comes alongside her and offers insights into how spouses can love a sexual abuse victim toward wholeness, and how this will bring your relationship a whole new level of strength.” (Amazon Review)


Hope Harbor

❀  GoodTherapy.Org: Helping People Find Therapists & Advocating for Ethical Therapy – “Ranked as one of the top therapist directories on the Internet, GoodTherapy.org is an association of mental health professionals from more than 25 countries worldwide who support efforts to reduce harm in therapy. GoodTherapy.org was founded by Noah Rubinstein, a licensed marriage and family therapist, in an effort to address and prevent therapists from misusing their power, getting their own needs met at the expense of their clients, violating boundaries, and treating clients in punitive and condescending ways. As an advocate for healthy psychotherapy, GoodTherapy.org educates the public about the differences between healthy and unhealthy psychotherapy practices and promotes collaborative and nonpathologically based approaches within the professional community.”

They also have some helpful articles. Here is one I found:

From Victim to Survivor to Thriver

From Victim to Survivor to Thriver by Barbara Whitfield – In columns, Barbara lists characteristics of each one in progression.

 20 Encouraging Bible Verses for the Brokenhearted – Bible verses and quotes for hurting souls

Nature Retreat

Did you know that “more than half of our North American birds are at risk from global warming, with many of them threatened with extinction?”

One Audubon member wrote: “Every morning, I watch the hummingbirds canoodle the trumpet vine, and I am in awe of such tiny miracles. Each of us needs to do our part to preserve the world with which we are blessed. I’m in this to protect my children-but all creatures deserve our compassion and our care.”

Audubon Report Inspires Action on Global Warming

Top Ten Things You Can Do to Reduce Global Warming

“Nature’s beauty opens us up to God’s holy Presence.”
~ Author Unknown

 ➺ Nature’s Best Photography – Amazing collections of incredible nature photographs

 ➺ Nature Photography Adventures – “Diane Kelsay and Bob Harvey lead photography adventures to special natural and cultural destinations around the planet. They have a long history, as professional photographers and as planners of sustainable tourism, in creating dramatic light images of natural and cultural destinations and using those images to help in the protection of fragile resources and the development and marketing of destination-sensitive tourism.”

 ➺ 35 Amazing Photos of Thunderstorms – Thunderstorm photos that show just how breathtaking nature can be



❤︎ “Your Savior knows your breaking point. The bruising and crushing and melting process is designed to reshape you, not ruin you. Your value is increasing the longer He lingers over you.” ~ Charles R. Swindoll

❤︎ “Fear cuts deeper than swords.” ~ George R. R. Martin

❤︎ “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” ~ Nelson Mandela


“May the Lord bless you
 and protect you.
May the Lord smile on you
 and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you His favor
 and give you His peace.”
Numbers 6:24-26