I've been meaning to start this blog for a long time. The title for this blog "Never Blush for Shame" comes directly from scripture.
"They looked to Him and were radiant; their faces shall never blush for shame or be confused."
Throughout the course my life, shame, ashamed, embarrassed, and fear of embarrassment have shadowed my existence. As a child, I was always so afraid of everything - but I think mostly afraid of failing, of feeling stupid, and of failing short of impossible, unattainable goal. Who set this goal anyway was never me or even my parents - it was a corrupt version of excellence disguised a "Straight-A" student.
I spent the better part of my childhood and adolescence craving attention and yet hiding behind layers of insecurities. I think back now and I must have spent a lot of time looking at my shoes, as I was too afraid and ashamed to walk with my head held up.
There were breaks in the clouds now and then, when a little bit of wonder and confidence would creep out of me and, in some small way, I would start to believe I could really do anything, that I really could change the world. But then, that old lie from the oldest liar (Satan) would weasel its way back into my mind and duck my head in shame.
I graduated with high honors in both high school and college and yet, where was the fulfillment? I thought that would come when I would someday finally find someone to love me.
But through a series of divine appointments, I found myself in a place, a church to be exact, where my life suddenly took a turn into a completely new direction. I was in a new place where no one knew me - no one had any expectations of me, and I had no expectations of myself. I just knew that the way I had lived, er existed, for the previous 23 years was not how I wanted to continue my life.
Suddenly I was surrounded by people who looked at my hurting, shame-tucked face and told me that the Creator of the Universe, that God Himself actually wanted to have a relationship with me. Now I had grown up in a lovely church where I truly heard God's word (for which I am truly grateful), but somehow along the way I had missed that God wanted to know me. What? Why would He want me? I was no where near the perfect vessel that I thought He expected of me nor was I anywhere close to the unattainable goal I had set for myself.
The epiphany moment for me was more of a series of events - mostly time spent trying to connect and get to know this God who truly wanted me. It was in the silent, weeping moments at the altar of God where I came to the realization that this Jesus who I had heard about and known about and read about was truly the most beautiful friend I would ever know. It was through the development of this friendship with Jesus that I was delivered (freed) from the burden of shame. Merriam Webster describes pain as "a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety." We, as humans, have all experienced this emotion as a result of the fall of mankind. When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, they reacted to their guilt and clothed themselves in shame. Shame is a result of sin, but just a sin should never be our lifestyle, shame should not shroud our lives. Shame binds your mind and contorts your perception.
Cloaked in shame, I never realized the beautiful plans and gifts that God had for me and has in store for me. God's perfect will for His creation, His people, is to walk in a continual relationship with us, just as He did with Adam and Eve in the garden before the fall. When sin comes (which we all have sinned and missed the mark of perfection), shame sneaks in. By the Blood of Jesus' sacrifice and His grace, we are forgiven of our sins (when we offer true repentance), but we must be cautious of the lingering shame that can shackle us if it is allowed to run-a-muck in our lives.
So all this being said, this scripture is one of my absolute favorites because it indicates two very important principles of walking out my salvation (through Jesus Christ). The first point is for us to look to Him. We are not created to walk alone and should not expect this of ourselves. The whole point of the sacrifice of Jesus was so that we could once again be connected with God. The sacrifice made a way to clean the sin that separated us from our Creator. The second point is that when we do look to Him, when we speak to Him, even when we mess up and have to repent, we don't have to carry the shame with us. The residual shame can also be washed away too. We will never blush for shame (again) or be confused. We look to Him, we won't be put to shame or lose our way.
What a beautiful path the Lord has provided for us, if we simply don't trip over our own feet.