My new book is available on Amazon.com Below is an excerpt taken from chapter 5.
“You took away my worth!”
The headlines screamed at me and caused me to slow down and do a double take. I am sure most of us have heard or read about the story of the sexual assault of the unconscious young lady by a male Stanford student. The story has caused outrage and division among people as to what is fair and right punishment. What I find so disturbing from this entire event is the fact that the young lady who was assaulted now believes she has no worth….no value…no voice.
The demeaning assault made against her has formed a dark shroud of shame over her. “Emily Doe” has now become intimately acquainted with dishonor, humiliation and mortification. By her own words, she emphatically states, “the damage is done, and no one can undo it.”
Shame is the belief that one is uniquely and fatally flawed. Most people do not understand the difference between shame and guilt. Shame comes from who we are and guilt is what we feel when we do something wrong. Traumatic events, molestation, sexual defilement of all kinds, rape, and abandonment are all things which can cause shame to come upon a person. The younger the person is when experiencing shame the more devastating it can be.
In the inner dialogue from a shaming event, “Why?” is always the question.
- Why is my grandfather doing this to me?
- What is the matter with me?
- Why am I different?
- Why am I not able to obtain freedom from some of the things in my life that are wrong?
With questions like that, the answers often look like this:
- I must be uniquely and fatally flawed.
- I must be the only person like this.
- No one understands me.
- I am powerless
- There is no hope for change
To believe one is fatally flawed means “there is nothing I can do about it.” “I am so bad or so wounded that even God cannot help me.” This belief system can spiral downwards quickly and cause people to isolate themselves from the very people who can help them heal from their hidden wounds.
I believe shame is a tool forged by the hand of our greatest adversary, Satan. With it, he wields blows against our self-worth and knocks us down to levels that are near impossible to rise up again. Shame then becomes a barrier that has the power to prevent us from experiencing the love and destiny that God has designed for us as individuals.
Shameful events can and do happen to all of us – some are mild like bullying or name-calling, but others are deeply distressing and crippling. They can come into our lives uninvited or shame can come as a result of some very poor choices. It is what we do with the events, themselves, that determines if and how we can overcome them. The good news is there is someone who can “undo shame.” The harrowing and painful deeds of the past CAN be remedied.
I have counseled and ministered to many young girls and women who have been sexually abused, hurt and molested. All of them come away with a sense that their inward self is fatally flawed and that something is intrinsically wrong with them. All the modern therapy of the day will not be able to permeate the layers of shame and heal their core identity if they don’t turn to the One who created them.
True restoration results from being molded by the Word within, rather than the world without. It starts with believing God’s truths and knowing He is the One who has the power to bring lasting deliverance and healing.
Those events that happened in your life can be turned around and then used to make you into a stronger and better person. When we start looking at our past through the lens of God’s perspective, we begin to realize that even though He did not desire or plan for the hurtful things to happen to us, He has given us His power and grace which will enable us to walk through with our head held high and our focus on Him. It is in these times that we are given the opportunity to allow His character and nature to be molded within us.
In Ephesians 2:10 the apostle Paul states that we are God’s workmanship created, shaped and formed into the likeness of Christ. Our journey with the Lord is just that…a journey. Along the way, He shapes us each day more into the image beautiful of His Son.
The word workmanship in the Greek is the word poiema, which is where we get the English word poem. The idea is that God is the master artist and we are His canvas, His work of art. This is how He sees us.
Mankind is the pinnacle of God’s creation – above all. When God created man and woman, He stepped back and said “this is good.” When we choose to see ourselves the way our heavenly Father sees us, we can then have the confidence to be successful in whatever we put our hand to.
As humans, we were not created to endure pain. Our Creator had a specific purpose for mankind to enjoy an existence of intense joy and fellowship with Him. He placed Adam and Eve into a beautiful garden of sublime existence where there was no pain or sorrow. It was only when rebellion and disobedience entered the garden through Adam and Eve’s choices, did a profound separation occur. Sadly, this led them to place where they were vulnerable to unseen forces that wanted to steal their true identity.
Bad experiences or painful pasts can negatively affect our present. There are forces of darkness that want us to believe that we are the only ones who suffer with these issues and that it is unchangeable. This is simply not true. Too often our sin and emotional baggage gets linked to what we believe about ourselves. In other words, our personality and identity becomes associated with the things we struggle with.
The strategy of the enemy is for us to believe that we actually “are” how we feel or behave, which is not true at all. Satan wants you to believe things like: you “are” depressed, unhappy, worthless, unable to change, stupid, a failure…the list could go on and on. It is important to realize that our feelings and behavior are situational and we can change them. The truth is feelings and behavior are not who we really are. They might be things that we struggle with, but they are not our identity, or who we are in Christ.
This includes the things that you may think about yourself at a deep level. You might not consciously believe them, but you find yourself thinking them or saying them about yourself on a regular basis. Most people don’t see that there is a direct connection between the way they view themselves and their destiny.
God can and will use destructive circumstances that have happened to work out for our good. When we give God the pieces of our brokenness and allow Him to hold them in His hand, He will shape them into a beautiful piece of art.
God promises that for every ounce of shame you have encountered, He has a double portion of honor to bestow upon you. Grab ahold of this promise today and make it a part of your daily declaration as you walk your journey of healing.
“Instead of your shame you shall have double honor and instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double; Everlasting joy shall be theirs.” Isaiah 61:7 (NKJV)
*** if the above portion of narrative has resonated with you, reading the entire book will bless you. It is designed to be interactive in that you can journal and answer questions along the way. If you are serious about breaking up with shame, once and for all, this book will help you get started.
You can go to amazon.com or our website at http://www.powerofhislove.com to order your copy today! Make an investment in discovering the true YOU!