I subscribe to Encouragement for Today from Proverbs 31 Ministries. It's a good jump off point for daily Bible reading, and a nice pic me up during the day. A lot of the devotions have something to do with marriage (I'm no longer married...), but today's really hit me. It was titled "Imprisoned by Shame." I can't tell you the amount of self-worthlessness I've struggled with for most of my life. I also can't tell you that I don't struggle with it now...I can't tell how ashamed of myself I have been or for how long. Whether it be nervous to step out into public or feeling guilty for falling into behaviors I knew were wrong, my life has not been without this dejected feeling. I would encourage you to read this devotion for yourself. You can do that here. Really made my day, I had to talk about it!
God reminds us that we can still hold our heads high. It's not within ourselves that we can find this comfort...it's in Jesus. He talks about it all over the Bible!
Deuteronomy 31:6 New King James Version (NKJV)
6 Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”
Galatians 5:1 New King James Version (NKJV)
5 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
John 3:16 New King James Version (NKJV)
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
These are just some of the wonders of seeing yourself how God sees you. I have to remind myself that no matter how I bad I think I am (and I'm sure I can be pretty bad...don't comment on that!), God still wants to be close to me and works with me to overcome all. Man! I can't tell you how fired up I get, thinking about that!
I have this blog because I'm in a place I don't really want to be (and I know I'm not alone). I'm poor. I live in public housing and have relied on the government for medical care and food for my family. I'm doing everything that I can to budget, save, get out of debt, and get off of assistance (and not feel like a total loser). I realize that I won't be here forever, but I also realize that we are all publicly assisted (whether we want to admit it or not).
This life was meant to be lived with others. Giving and sharing, as well as needing and receiving. I can be prideful and I don't like tell people when I need help. I don't like to ask. It gets so bad that I don't always go to God and ask for help. I'll keep others in my heart, prayers, and on my mind, but I can handle myself, right?!
The answer is NO! What a fooling thing, thinking I have the power to fix myself! If you struggle with shame, please know that you're not alone. Know that there are people around you that want to be let in to live your life with you. If nothing else, I care about you and God cares. You can always contact me if you don't have anyone to talk to you. Better than me, you've got God who is not only walking beside you in your struggle, He's available to talk to (24-7), and He is the author of your life, after all.
Matthew West's "Hello, My Name Is" is a song that really just tears me up. It's a great reminder!
You might not be able to watch it here on my page, but click the link to see not only the story behind the song, but to see the video on YouTube. ^_^