What she was saying was that there was no shame, and those thoughts of fear have been paid for by Jesus. But, He also wants not just forgiveness for our hearts and minds but freedom by turning and walking in a new direction. His desire for us is peace and abundant life.
Fear is a big deal in my life. Being fully known by God, my wife, and others terrifies me. What if they see all my darkness and reject me? But over the last three years of walking in ongoing light through confession with the Lord, my wife, and others, I have learned that I can experience true fellowship and deeper understanding. When I am real with Jesus, He reminds me that His blood, not my goodness, has covered me. He loves me, not some future better version of me.
The sin of my past was loud. It wasn’t subtle or private, it was out in the open and obvious. I still feel like I can hear it when I walk down the street. So much of my identity today seems to be wrapped up in my past, who I once was and what I once did.
Guilt and shame seem to reign in my life more than grace and forgiveness. I see myself so clearly in my shortcomings that it distorts my whole perspective for who I truly am.
At an early age, I became captivated by measuring up. I was mesmerized by achieving and striving. I remember in grade school, getting my first straight-A report card. And after that, anything less was unacceptable. Not that anyone told me so – my parents certainly didn’t pressure me, nor did my teachers. But in my mind, well heaven forbid I got a B (gag, I know!).
I was also the swimmer in high school who wouldn’t settle for anything less than 100-percent effort. I wasn’t a star athlete, but I knew I could ruthlessly compete with myself.
At nineteen years of age, I decided to come to terms with a dark past that had kept me burdened for almost 10 years. While I was ready to begin the healing process of the abuse that had occurred for the majority of my childhood, I wasn’t prepared for the time or the means it would take to get me there.
Once I’ve made up my mind about something, I like to get moving and patience seems to vacate the premises of my being. Like the time I decided I wanted bangs. While my husband was busy in our room preoccupied, I half-heartedly asked him his opinion about me getting them cut. He murmured something…but, let’s be honest, I wasn’t really asking him. I think it was more of a hopeful attempt for his approval. With scissors in hand, I began making the cut. He walked into the bathroom and with a shocked look on his face said, “Wow! You meant now.” Because of this little endearing quality, anytime I have a new idea, he is great about simmering me down before I dive full board into something.