Shame is not what defines me, shame is a reminder of the past but breeds no hope for the future. If we are not careful the very thing we dress in daily can keep us from moving ahead.
I feel like the light came on inside my heart as God illuminated some areas I have been allowing shame to reside. The last several months I have been on an intense weight loss journey and have dropped 80 pounds with a lot of hard work and God’s help. I have found myself totally transformed in so many ways not only in my physical appearance but my inward appearance too…..however, there is one area that I keep getting stuck on and have been for months. It feels like every time someone shines the light on it I retreat back to the corner and feel the pain of my shame all over again. God never intended for me to stay there but somehow I seemed to be stuck and not want to let go. Instead of rejoicing and the future and being grateful for how far I have come, I have found myself looking backward going; I wish I hadn’t… I wished I would have…
This morning as I was reading a devotional by Mark Batterson from “Chase the Lion” on my Bible app. I felt God speak truth to my heart and open my eyes. In Batterson’s devotional, he says; “God is working His good, pleasing and perfect plan for your life a thousand ways you aren’t even aware of. Everything in your past is preparation for your future. God wastes nothing. Even when you have a setback, God has already prepared your comeback. The God who works all things together for good, will leverage every experience, every skill, every mistake and every bit of knowledge you have acquired.”
This went to straight to my heart. I have been living with such regret of the past. Frustrated with myself that I hadn’t done this sooner or that I lived in such disobedience for so long. Mad at myself for not being the person I knew God wanted me to be. Ashamed that I allowed this weight to define me for too many years and affect the way I treated people, especially those closest to me. Recently when people compliment me it often comes with a comment like this, You look so beautiful…..well I am not saying you were not beautiful but you look great now. This should make me feel great that I am being called beautiful, but instead, it hurt to the core because I was still living in shame. All I could hear is that they tried to justify why I am so beautiful now compared to then.
God knew that I would take this long to get my self in gear. God knew that I would struggle. He knew I would have many setbacks along the way and many tears and disappointment but He also knew my greatest comeback was around the corner. We can get stuck in the past or we can look ahead to the future and know that God has the most amazing plan ahead for us. The past is the past and you can’t go back and change it however God can use everything for His good.
I know that all those years of deep frustration and disappointment will be used to bring glory to Him and even though I have been hesitant to show my before and after because It hurt to look at the old me, I realize its time to look ahead and stand strong in the new me which releases life and hope for others to see. So even though my nerves are off the charts….here’s the moment we stop, pause and thank God for all He has done and look to all He is going to do. You can’t go forward if you keep looking in the review mirror.
Are there areas you have let shame, regret or disappointment keep you from always looking in the review mirror? Don’t let it keep you in the past. God’s plan will bring you right where He needs you! In Jeremiah 1:5 it says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations”
SCRIPTURES TO STUDY
- Jeremiah 29:11
- John 3:16
- Romans 8:37-39
- Ephesians 2:4-5
- Romans 5:8
- Zephaniah 3:17