Leaving the Lies of Shame Behind
I want to introduce to you an amazing lady I had the pleasure of meeting not so long ago. Her story of stepping away from shame after growing up in a home riddled with domestic abuse, will give you hope. Friends, there is nothing, that with Christ, we cannot step away from. He has a Something Better for each of us. Let’s reach for Him and He will help us reach for that Something Better!
Take it away, Terri! ?
I grew up in the terror of domestic violence. Survival became a fortress. It helped me endure as a child, but it also became a prison.
Later I settled in relationships, conversations and circumstances that were not life giving.
A person doesn’t settle for crumbs unless she is starving, scared or ashamed.
Eating “beneath the table” seemed safe, like a fort my brothers and I built as children. Instead of tattered quilts and sheets pulled off from beds, shame and fear draped the sides. Lies clamped the self-protective blankets and held them in place.
Jesus squatted beside me and reached out his hand. He didn’t provide me with bigger crumbs because crumbs fail to feed our God given hunger.
Christ didn’t shame me. He knows why we are where we are. He reached out his hand to grab hold of me. Like the woman at the well, he called me to a place of honesty. For me, an important part of my healing has been naming the lies and replacing them with the truth.
Maybe you feel stuck settling for crumbs because the lies are shouting louder than truth. Honestly, isn’t it easier to believe the lies at times? Often they come faster than any other thing we hear.
You don’t deserve anything else.
You have nothing to say.
You’ll never get out.
No one really wants you.
You’re never going to get it right.
I don’t know what you have endured or what choices you’ve made but I know these are lies. They are not just mine. These are lies to everyone. They always have been. The enemy is persistent but not very creative.
Believing lies, though, is often comfortable. It’s like wearing a soft, worn shirt you have had for years.
Here is part of the problem. They are too comfortable.[bctt tweet=”Believing lies can become too comfortable. #stepaway #getunstuck #somethingbetterseries @Fullerton51T” username=”lori_schumaker”]
When I was in counseling I heard a story about the covered wagons as they headed west. There were no streets. As the horses pulled heavy cargo on the wagons, their wheels sank in thawing spring paths and summer mud. The weight pressed deep narrow ruts, which hardened. It created deep grooves of least resistance. However, getting out of them required an immense amount of effort. It made for a treacherous journey for wheels broke and wagons tipped over trying to get out of the grooves.
It reminds me of what it’s like when we believe lies. They have become deep patterns that are hard to change. They may feel like the path of least resistance but this, too, is deceptive.
But there is hope, my friend.
Our God longs for us to walk on smooth roads paved with truth and love. He doesn’t want us stuck in trenches of man-made lies.
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them. –Isaiah 42:16
God’s heart really is for us. I believe it whole-heartedly now but I didn’t connect with God’s love initially.
I questioned His love, His will, and His plan for my life and the lives of those I love. He was on trial in the courtroom of my own heart as I told Him why I didn’t believe He loved me. I blamed Him for the choicesothers made that were so painful. (I know, right? This is a bit prideful.) At the same time, I didn’t want Him to leave. I didn’t want to turn away. I wrestled, which has its own kind of intimacy or closeness.
As I processed my story with trustworthy people, a little bit at a time, my words were met with tenderness and empathy. Brene Brown states that shame cannot exist when stories are told and met with empathy. It’s the thing that allows you to lift your head and look in the eyes of the person in front of you.
We must allow God to do the work he needs to do in and through us with respect to demolishing the stronghold of shame. It’s like the food in a petri dish that makes bacteria multiply.
This is why it is important to replace the lies with truth.
Say them out loud, even if they don’t feel true. Since I believed lies for so long, I needed help at times naming the lies. Your closest friends will be able to help you as well. Find godly women who you will pray with you and for you.
Friends, I urge you to hold on to the truth of who you are created to be. This will ripple hope into the lives of those around you. Memorize the Scriptures that you need to replace lies. Write them out. The most successful way for me was writing them down in an index spiral. I learn a section every other week by saying it multiple times a day. It renews our minds.
When we ask God to help us learn the truth and replace the lies, he is so faithful. He wants us to walk in freedom and not be stuck in the grooves made from old lies.
Terri is a wife, empty nest mom and mentor who writes about faith, family, hiking, and mental health. She loves stories of redemption and things that are funny and longs to encourage others to find hope and freedom. Currently, she is working on her first book. She is a contributing writer at The Glorious Table You can read more of her writing on her blog at Conversations at the Table
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The Something Better Series
For a total of 6 weeks, we are exploring the stepping up and stepping out toward our something better in life. Come back next week when Laura Polk of The Christian Single Mom shares her story. This is one of the bravest, strongest Mamas I know. She is stepping further into her Something Better every day and she will encourage you to do the same!
1 – What is Your Something Better?
2 – Getting Unstuck with Grace and Patience
3 – Leaving the Lies of Shame Behind
4 – When Your Something Better Is the Thing You Fear the Most
5 – Choosing Joy When Everything Falls Apart
6 – When Forgiving Yourself Isn’t Easy
By the way, don’t forget to come back Monday for #MomentsofHope! My heart skips a little beat each time I open that page and see the hope of Jesus splattered everywhere! ?
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Thank you, Terri for such a heartfelt post. The word “beautiful” is used so often, yet seems so fitting for you and for this post. I believe the best is yet to come for you Terri..as you are led to share your story with others! Thank you Lori for using this sweet lady to bless others on your blog today!
Shannon, thank you! You inspire me in so many ways
She really is pretty sweet, isn’t she? ♥
Terri, this is stunning truth, and such a testimony to the power of God — and at the same time His intimate and tender care for our deepest needs. So encouraged by these words today.
And, Lori, thanks for bringing us all together here!
Awwww … thanks, Michele! I’m so honored to have Terri share her story here! AND so honored to have you join the conversation. You bless me!
This really spoke to me
Sarah, God is so faithful to bring us words when we need them. Blessings to you
Sarah, God shows up in such amazing ways. I am thankful He spoke to you through Terri! I’m praying for you, friend!
This is such an honest and touching testimony, Terri. I’m so sorry you grew up in the terror of domestic violence. I, too, find it so hard to get out of those deep grooves of lies. I’m still a work-in-progress as I try to cling to Truth and find my identity in Christ Jesus rather than in the pain of past abuse. Step by step I am opening my heart more to God’s healing love and allowing Him to demolish the stronghold of shame. Thank you for all your encouragement. Blessings and hugs to you and to Lori!
Trudy, thank you for your words of encouragement. It does get easier with practice. I am still a work in progress, too. Thank you for your note.
Very very well done, Terri! One of the books that blessed me in dealing with shame issues in my own life was Shame and Grace by Lewis Smedes. One of my favorite things about his words are when he talks about the importance of being given a gracious grace. One quote I keep tucked in my heart is this: “When grace comes to us graciously, it heals. When grace is offered ungraciously, it shames. Grace graciously given honors our worth as it overlooks our undeserving.” Blessings on your day! (Hard to believe it will soon be a year since we met in Littleton with Margaret and Jonathan!)
Pam! I love this quote and I will check out the book you referenced. I have been thinking a lot about our writing workshop. I appreciate your feedback so much.
Terri, your words are so needed for we all believe the lies sometimes and need to be reminded of the truth. God really loves us and is so loving. “When we ask God to help us learn the truth and replace the lies, he is so faithful. He wants us to walk in freedom and not be stuck in the grooves made from old lies.” AMEN Thank you for sharing! Blessings to you! I’m your neighbor at #ThoughtProvokingThursday.
Gayl, I will have to check out #thoughtprovokingthursday. You are right, we all believe lies. Truth sets us free for sure! Good to meet new writer neighbors!
Oh, Lori! So glad to be back on your site! What a beautiful testimony filled with so much truth! Thank you for sharing this! Blessings from #EspressosOfFaith via #WomenWithIntentionWednesdays!
Hi Bonnie! It is so good to have you back! ♥
Hi Bonnie! Thank you for your words. God is so faithful.
Terri, I love to see the mile-markers you are leaving as guide posts for the women who are now where you once were. That is important work in the kingdom. Thank you for thinking and writing from your heart.
I love the way you phrased that! She is definitely marking the way and giving hope to those following behind her!
Nell, thank you for your hugs and encouragement!
Thank you for sharing your story, Terri.
Love the idea of replacing the lies with the Truth!
Blessings to you,
Amen, Melanie! Thank you so much for visiting!!
Melanie, it is such an important step. Thank you for visiting!
What a great series! Looks like I found a great blogger to follow Lori! Terri, this is such truth that so many women need to hear. It’s so easy to believe lies. We need to fight lies with truth! Thank you for sharing your testimony!
Terri is pretty awesome! It was such a blessing to get to meet her and share some time together at Suzie’s retreat!
Valerie, thank you for stopping by! We all need the reminder to not just refute lies but replace them with truth.
Such an extraordinary story. Loved reading this. How God works His magic still amazes me.
He is an awesome God, isn’t he! Thanks so much for visiting today, Michelle!
Michelle, God loves redemption. God amazes me, too! Thank you for stopping by.
I’m so glad to be next to you at Let Us Grow. Your post had some points in it that hit home with me. Thank you!
Thank you, Elizabeth, for stopping by. I am so thankful these words touched your heart! Bless you!
Elizabeth, I am so humbled that God uses me to pour out words others need. Thank you for your input!
Relate. Completely. Lies are easier to believe than truth, especially when abuse happens and you live to survive. I got so used to pasting a happy face on, it’s no wonder I still struggle with that emotion. Thank for sharing. Indeed you were sharing others’ stories as well. Blessings!
My heart is with you and I must tell you I admire your courage to step into your Something Better! You have allowed God to use you and your story to help others. Your words of love that always point to Jesus is an inspiration! Thank you so much for visiting today!
Carrie, they are easier to believe and costly to our joy. It’s hard and I most certainly understand.
It’s important to allow God to do the work he needs to do in and through us with respect to demolishing the stronghold of shame. – I love this! Lori, thank you for having Terri share her story. Thank you for linking up with Thankful Thursdays.
Thanks, Lori! I feel so honored to have Terri join me and share her story. I am praying for God to work to remove those strongholds through these testimonies!
Lori, I still have to remind myself and pray to get out of God’s way. “Empty me of me so you can do what you want to do” is one of my frequent prayers. Thank you.
Terri, it’s so lovely to “meet you” through Lori. I love your wise words here — it’s incredibly important to learn to process our pain with trustworthy people. I am in the process of doing that now and am so thankful for the experience. Shame and guilt are such a tool of the enemy of our souls.
Lyli, I’m so glad you met Terri, too. She is a treasure. I will be praying about this time as you are learning to process this pain, my friend. You are right … it is so important.
Lyli, I have not always been discerning in who is trustworthy. It’s crucial for healing–to share the stories that shame tries to silence. But when we voice them with someone empathetic, gracious and loving, it is a leap into freedom. Thinking of you today!
Terri ….I started reading his and instantly realized who was speaking and our connection at WB. Beautiful, raw, and honest. God bless you on the continued journey.
I love this post , Terri! Looks like we have a common story. So brave of you to share about the story of redemption and healing .