One Thing You Can’t Ignore When Overcoming Shame
No one ever dreams of failure. Or of betrayal. And no one ever dreams of shame that glues itself to the insides of our souls leaving us a broken shell of what we were meant to be. An identity reflecting the darkness of shame.
[bctt tweet=”Shame glues itself inside our souls leaving us as a broken shell of what we were meant to be #hope #overcomingshame @alisa_nicaud” username=”lori_schumaker”]
I was the typical little girl. Visions of the white dress, the handsome groom, and the happily ever after filled my mind. I dreamed of a lifetime of unconditional love and a forever marriage.
Were you ever that little girl? The one with the dreams? The hopes? The happily ever after?
With the dream so big and the need so powerful, you were swept away? Forgetting logic and truth? Ignoring red flags? And stepping heart first into the quicksand of shame?
If you were, I understand … because it is my story, too.
My story of failure and betrayal.
And my story of shame.
“All it takes is a tradition of demeaning, critical words from the right person. … or nothing from the right person. No interest in you, no words spoken to you, no love. If you are treated as if you do not exist, you will feel shame.” –Edward T. Welch in “Shame Interrupted”
My first marriage didn’t last a lifetime. The unconditional love I’d dreamed of was not my reality. I’d listened to hate-filled words, allowing them deep access into my heart and mind. Each one seemed to edge deeper until I felt the last of my wholeness shattering into a million pieces. My worth was nonexistent. Only shame remained.
You see, at that point in my life, I didn’t know truth. I didn’t know the God I prayed to daily also called me His. That He called me wonderful.
I didn’t grasp the depth of His love nor the fact that He had paid a high price for my freedom[bctt tweet=”Where is your identity rooted? In Christ or in the shame? #overcomingshame #hope @alisa_nicaud ” username=”lori_schumaker”] because He considered me priceless. And because I didn’t grasp those life-changing truths, my identity was not rooted in Him. It was rooted in the needing.
Success and usefulness determined my worth. Being chosen gave my existence value. That mixed-up identity held me captive. I ignored the red flags and chose the man anyway, eagerly stepping down the path of abuse and eventual divorce.
Forever had been promised. Love was professed. But, he would tell me, “You are the problem.”
And I believed it.
I allowed the offender to heap shame upon my soul. And then, as the divorce became a reality, I in turn, heaped the same kind of shame upon myself.
Two layers of shame that would remain in place for a very long time wreaking havoc on my life. Because, my friends, shame is a weapon the enemy loves to employ.
I don’t know your particular story of shame. But I know words have the power to harm. From whom they come is irrelevant. The potential for pain is always there. They have the power to inflict deeply rooted wounds lined with none other than shame.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. –Proverbs 18:21 ESV
Today I am honored to share my story over at Alisa Nicaud’s Flourishing Today. She is hosting a powerful series titles Overcome. Follow me over there to read the rest of my story and what it took to finally unglue the shame that had didn’t want to let go. As I share not only my one most important strategy, but all of the steps I walked through to heal, I pray you are encouraged and empowered to know that you, too, can overcome whatever the enemy throws your way!
I regularly link up with these encouraging sites.
I can relate to this on so many levels, Lori. I don’t know if you’ve read the “My Story” section on the new about page on my site (www.laurengaskillinspires.com/about/), but if you have, you know for the longest time I thought I was a positively horrible person. I looked in the mirror and saw an unfixable problem. Thank goodness for God’s grace and love, which pulled me out of that shameful, lie-filled pit! Love you sweet friend. Thanks for sharing your story too!
Oh, Lori, my heart hurts for what you have gone through. Rejection words can be so powerful and break down who God really made us to be. I wrote about something of my story this week at my blog. We have to keep replacing the lies with the truth, right? I read this here and at Alisa’s with tears in my eyes. #6 really moves me. Yes, that is when the chains are unlocked by Jesus. Yes, He has given us a key that we have to use again and again. You understand so well that there are layers of healing. Thank you for that.
I think you have a birthday this week? I don’t know which day, but HAPPY BIRTHDAY! May God bless you with His gifts of love, joy, and peace! Hugs!
Your words bring such healing and peace. It’s amazing how we can be deceived by lies and start believing them, heaping loads of shame upon ourselves. I love how God brought you out of the abuse and spoke the truth of who you are and gave you such courage to follow Him and Him alone. And now just look how you are passing that message along, bringing forth those words of truth into the lives of so many women. I pray that your testimony would reach the heart of women stuck in abusive marriages and believing the lie that they are the problem and that they are worthless. Thank you for your ministry.
Lori- thank you for sharing your story! It’s powerful and has great hope for us all! I’m so glad you are a fighter and didn’t let the enemy take you down. God is using you to give hope and encouragement to us.
Blessings to you friend!
Loved this Lori and I relate with a family member who still uses their tongue to condemn and shame me. It is very difficult when you can’t distance yourself from the offender to heal, instead having to heal even with fresh words coming. Words truly do hold the power of life and death. I am so grateful to God that the generational tendency has stopped with me. Although I still suffer the effects, it is not being passed down to the generation of my children. To His glory and grace!
Thanks for sharing your story of hope. We overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony!
Sharing your story is going to bring hope to so many…me. Thank you!
I am praising God for His sweet goodness! Thank you, Alecia, for your kind words!
I know so many people who are still living under the shadow of words spoken about and to them in their teens. There is a point where we as believers MUST learn to value and believe the words of our Perfect Heavenly Father MORE than those destructive voices from our pasts. Thanks for this encouragement.
Amen, Karen! It’s not easy, but yes, it is exactly what we must do!
“I don’t know your particular story of shame. But I know words have the power to harm. From whom they come is irrelevant. The potential for pain is always there. They have the power to inflict deeply rooted wounds lined with none other than shame.”
This is one of my favs of yours Lori! I’m your neighbor today so I am pleased to read this again:) Powerful words that I can relate to, even recently. God is teaching me to identify this emotion quicker so I can handle it better. Definitely agreed with your point about how the enemy uses it with precision. So grateful God teaches us about ourselves so we can walk in freedom.
Amen, Gretchen! I’m praying for a very teachable heart and God’s discernment in the face of those feelings of shame. May your senses be tuned in to recognize it the second it begins to creep in. I’m so thankful the words encouraged you today. And am honored by your kind words.