Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The One Where I Talk About Darkness&Shame

Have you ever felt ashamed or insecure? I have and occasionally still do.   This is probably the "biggest issue" I'm currently working on in myself.  It is something that I wish no one knew, but here I am blogging about it.  It's because I know how terrible secrets can be.  Secrets can hold a power over us.  Think back on your own lives and think about a secret you have had....were there any good consequences that came from it? Now, I'm not talking about keeping a surprise party a secret or about Santa Claus.  You know which ones I'm talking about.  Life is better when we step out of that darkness and live in the light and in truth. I believe the truth can set you free from many things...especially yourself. In truth is where healing begins...
I am far from perfect.  I have made so many mistakes in my life it is embarrassing.  When I was younger, specifically in high school, I was thisclose to God.  I treasured that relationship.  I made time for Him, all the time.  I was on fire for God and I loved my life.  It was such a sweet time for me and that is why I love the verse 1 Timothy 4:12. 
Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
1 Timothy 4:12 (NIV)
Fast forward a few years and things were quite different for me.  After graduation and for the next 14 years I lived in some pretty dark moments.  Some were darker than others, but one thing was for sure, God was no longer at the center of my life.  Many decisions I made reflected that.  I did things that I never ever ever ever dreamed I would do. 
I know I am not the only one.  I know we are all human....but there are times when I get so down on myself.  I walk into rooms and feel like people are judging me or thinking about my mistakes.  It's hard for me to trust others.  It's hard for me to love myself.  It's hard for me to let go of my past.
There are times when I come across a tweet, a facebook post or a story that I want to share with others....but then I stop myself because I think - oh no what if "they" think I'm being a hypocrite or judging them or trying to pretend that my life wasn't filled with sin.  ...and then I don't share it.  The other day I was thinking about this and I thought....you know what my life is not defined by one tweet.  Just because I tweet something that does not add up to how my life used to be does not matter today because how my life used to be does not matter today.  If "they" read my tweet or post and think those things then "they" do not know me.  "They" don't know my struggle or my heart ... and while we are on the topic...who is "they" anyway? "They" are not God so I shouldn't even worry about what "they" think.  Right?!?
Most importantly, what I am learning is that despite my past I do still have value.  I matter.  I have worth.  Today, that is why I am so glad that my foundation from my youth was built on knowing God.  Finally, one day I had had enough.  Enough.  I looked at my life and thought this is not the life I wanted at all.  My whole life I wanted to be committed to God and live my life in a way that brought God glory not shame.  That day I got serious about making better life decisions.  Unfortunately, because of past decisions I am still dealing with stuff, but I know I am on the right path.  I know that I must deal with it {completely} ask for forgiveness, receive His mercy, forgive myself {that's the hard part for me} and MOVE ON....
I want to share stories because I have learned from my mistakes and I want others to learn from my mistakes.  What I want more than anything is for other's to see their worth&value also and to think twice about their decisions.  It can be so easy to let doubt, insecurity and fear slip in.  Be stronger than those things. 
I don't say these things today because I have it all figured out .... not even close.  I still struggle, but in my heart I know that I don't have to.  God doesn't want me to live in fear, doubt or insecurity.  He wants me to be free from all of those negative feelings and I am working on it. 
I am not where I want to be, but thank goodness I am not where I once was.... 

It wasn't so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin.  You let the world, which doesn't know the first thing about living tell you how to live.  You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience.  We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat.  It's a wonder God didn't lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us.  Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us.  He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ.  He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.
Ephesians 2:1-6 (The Message)
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.  All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts.  Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.  But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions - it is by grace you have been saved.  And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus
Ephesians 2:1-6 (NIV)

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