We have freedom now, because Christ made us free. So stand strong. Do not change and go back into the slavery of the law.
(Galatians 5:1 NCV)

Have you ever accomplished something good and felt embarrassed about it, even though others around you thought you did great and congratulated you? That’s what recently happened to me.

My pastor, Jim Holt, invited me to talk with him about my book, Songs of Joy in the Valley of Tears. He planned on 30 minutes of sharing, but I was so excited I went far over the time limit. Secondly, what was designed to be a dialogue became more of a monologue. Neither of those things was huge problems for Jim. The Hope Chat would be edited before it went online. Jim said to me, “You did great!” (Here it is) Yet, the next day I woke up feeling terrible. So embarrassed.

“Jesus,” I prayed, “What is the problem? Why do I feel so terrible?” As I listened quietly for some insight, the above Scripture verse popped up in my mind. I recognized the terrible feeling as a “shame attack”. I had tuned in to my old way of unhealthy thinking in which perfectionism and denial of certain emotions were rules for successful living.
So my not-completely-transformed conscience, still functioning under law instead of grace, punished me.

According to my old rules (laws) of living it was not okay to admit to feelings of grief, loneliness, or anger. Especially anger. I talk about all of these emotions in my book on grief and mentioned them in my chat with Jim. According to my old rules of living, I broke a “don’t talk about this” rule, so I must be punished. (Shaming ourselves is a form of self-punishment.)

Thankfully, after my conversation with Jesus, the shame feeling left. Unhealthy ways of thinking cannot hang around long when confronted by the truth-seeing eyes and grace-filled, loving arms of Jesus.

If you have been taught to believe you must hide your feelings of loneliness, anger, and grief, it may be hard to believe otherwise. Spend some talking to Jesus about them. He can free you from the heavy load of shame . . . the need to look good, be perfect, and hide your grief.

6 Responses

  1. You have a knack for deftly addressing the issues that we all face.. Then you give us Godly ways of dealing with our issues.
    Thank you

    1. Thank you, Debbie! I am always encouraged by your succinct and sincere words of affirmation.

      It is God who gives me the insights and wisdom to address issues with confidence and clarity. I am thankful and feel honored.

  2. Thank you for your honesty Jane and the gentle reminder to be genuine in our relationships, especially with God!
    This reminded me of Jesus’ warning to the teachers about being white washed tombs. Worldly perfection in the eyes of men is not something we want to aspire to. God sees our hearts and intentions. May we all seek His pure will in our hearts! He helps to bless us with freedom, all we need to do is ask ❤️

    1. Thank you for your comment, Courtney! Jesus’s warning to the teachers of his day is certainly appropriate for today. There’s such an emphasis on looking good to others and on being liked.
      It is indeed freeing to know that Jesus sees and will purify our hearts when we come to him in honesty and humility.

  3. Your book is very comforting. Yesterday I learned that my sister’s metastatic cancer has shown up in her brain. Dying is one thing but suffering is something else…

    1. Judy, I’m thankful to know you are finding my book suffering comforting, and so very sorry that your sister’s cancer has metastasized. I am sad for her and for you. Yes, suffering that goes on and on is very hard

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.