Struggling wtih Shame

You know those messages you hear constantly when there is something so heavy going on with you? I’ve been hearing it EVERYwhere I go. It stalks me when I listen to music, go to counseling, retreat, go to church, talk with friends and, of course, when I open The Word.

It’s a message of shame.

The other day I was talking to Chris about how tired I am of the cycle.

You know the one. The up and down cycle of my faith. The one that has seasons of intense intimacy with the Lord and obsession to know and live for Him. And with little notice that all changes and I move into this time (of days, of weeks, and sometimes of months) where I can’t bring myself before the Lord. I can’t even fake it if I wanted to.

For some people it is based in guilt or conviction of a sin that has been abundant.

For me it is rooted in shame. Shame that I’m not enough. That I must be such a let down to all He created me to be. That I couldn’t possibly come before Him after ignoring Him for a day... a week... or even just a moment.

I know it’s a lie. I know it, but I can’t bring myself to believe it.

I became a Christian when I was sixteen. My story would shock many if I shared the details. I’m not going to because it doesn’t matter. And it’s not about that. My shame doesn’t come from my past. It’s my past.

My shame comes in my ridiculousness of feeling like I was behind when I became a Christian.

I confessed to Chris that I still, twelve years later, feel like I’m playing catch up. I look around at others, women who I admire so much, and want to scream: "Wait for me! I'm coming." I fear that at any moment I will be called out. That someone, even God, might realize I don't belong.

I know how ridiculous that sounds and I know what a lie it is. But it’s what I struggle with feeling.

Don't get me wrong. I love the Lord and genuinely relate with Him, but this is my struggle.

My counselor pointed out last month to me how I have to let go of this achievement, perfection oriented approach to my faith. Her whole message to me has been: “He just wants a relationship with you. He isn’t out to catch you or point out where you went wrong. He wants you. Fully you, just as you are.”

What a relief this was to hear. Something I felt like my head knew, but my heart has never really believed. How’s that for honesty?

I hesitated to share this here. This journey is still fresh to me and it is incredibly personal. But I’ve shared it with a few good friends lately and it brought them encouragement and I felt like today maybe it would bring one more person encouragement too.

As always I have a soundtrack that goes along with my life and this song by Kari Jobe has been on repeat on my iPod... and in my head. I hope you can know AND believe the message of the words:

Here are the lyrics to her song: “You Are For Me”
So faithful, so constant. So loving and so true, so powerful in all you do. You fill me, You see me. You know my every move. You love for me to sing to you. I know that you are for me I know that you are for me. I know that you will never, forsake me in my weakness. I know that you have come now. Even if to write upon my heart. To remind me who you are. So patient, so gracious. So merciful and true, so wonderful in all you do. You fill me, You see me. You know my every move You love for me to sing to you.

Also, you can go to THIS LINK and watch her new music video to this song.