Hello everyone! God is so good! I am so excited today to write this blog! I had the best epiphany about shame last night and I have a wonderful author– Jenelle Keith and Jesus to thank for it! Janelle wrote the book Grace for Your Waste: Living a Lifestyle Fitted With His Grace, her journey to finding freedom in who she is in Jesus and winning her battle with weight loss along the way. I highly recommend it! You can find it on Amazon!
Now to tell you about said epiphany – this will change your world, how you think and how you see yourself. You can truly be free just like me!
Shame and rejection are very strange bedfellows. Yet you can’t have one without the other. I’ll give you some background on my history so you will understand what I mean. I was rejected as a young girl for sports teams, even though I tried my hardest. Later on, as a young teenager, I felt rejected by most boys my age because I was intelligent and wanted conversation over the other things that most teenage boys are into at the time. Rejection in both those stages of my life was followed by shame and the idea that I was somehow flawed because I was intelligent or could not play sports. I believe now this played into the idea that I was not good enough as well. This of course was a lie but I latched onto it without realizing it I think. With shame and rejection settling into my heart – I entered adulthood.
In the deep places of the heart, many a hurtful thing can hide and fester and influence our thoughts, feelings and emotions more than we ever thought possible. The shame and rejection I carried from childhood influenced my choices in men and I am certain now, played into my own weight loss successes and failures. Shame and rejection led me to be a people pleaser as I grew into a young adult. I thought if I pleased others, there would be no rejection so there could be no more shame. If I could please everyone, I could finally be good enough! Sometimes I even practiced false humility (as Ms. Keith points out), I did what others wanted regardless of what was right. People, I can tell you that only leads to more shame. You also can’t always please everyone so here comes more rejection and more shame. I still did not feel good enough, after all that work! What a vicious cycle and a mess! I have dated men I had no business with because of these heart hurts. I married a man who was looking for someone who did not feel good enough and who would people-please for him. He was filled with his own shame and rejection. Shame and rejection coming together with shame and rejection - what a disaster! Neither one of us at the time did the deep soul searching we needed to do. In fact for me, I’m not even sure shame or rejection were on my radar – a condition Satan wanted me blind to. I’ll never know about my late husband. He is with Jesus and all shame and rejection ended for him when he walked into the presence of Jesus. We won’t be discussing that when I see him again and for that I am thankful.
Don’t despair, keep reading! I want to quote a few things from Ms. Keith’s book, it speaks for itself. These words come from Chapter 9 of her book, Purge Ill-Fitting Outfits of Shame, Blame and Guilt:
“Shame is the feeling of rejection.” Me!
“Shame is feeling excluded, not belonging or fitting in.” Me!
“You believe the sum of your past is all your fault….you apologize for everything.” Me!
Her words leapt off the page! Epiphany! Why? I had never seen myself in this mirror before – I had acknowledged my rejection but never its root!! Shame is the root of rejection and can disguise itself as such! Wow, wow, wow! I kept reading and the light kept shining!
Jenelle writes next, “When you name your shame, you identify painful belief (or beliefs) about yourself, without letting it define you. Approach each feeling as something Jesus has already given the death blow to.”
Right there on my comfy couch and in tears, I named my shame from all those years before – shame I had carried too long – not getting picked for softball and volleyball teams, being passed over for dates to the prom or dates in general most all of my teenage years, not feeling good enough for a man who was addicted to porn, feeling unloved because I had picked men who could not love me – I laid it all out to Jesus. And in that moment, something released itself from me – the last pieces of the roots of shame and rejection. The deepest corners of my heart had been exposed to the light and there was no turning back! For you see, in that moment He showed me I had never been flawed and I had always been good enough in Him! Rejection by others or even perceived rejection was more about them than it ever was about me! I was made exactly the way He wanted me to be! I don’t walk in shame or rejection – He dealt a death blow (Jenelle's words) to these things over 2000 years ago! I walk in righteousness and how beautiful it is! I have always been accepted and I always will be accepted! I am his beautiful daughter, a child of the King of Kings and I always will be! He did not make me to play sports, He made me to write so others could be free! He made me to be a nurse so I could help Him heal others. He made me unique, I don’t have to be like other women. I can also guarantee you He will bring me a whole man; a spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically sound man, who will appreciate who I am – intellect and all! I want to finish with a final quote from Chapter 9 of Ms. Keith’s book because I could not have said this better myself:
“Don’t forget when Christ said “It is finished,” that included shame, too! You CANNOT forget that you are worthy because Christ in you has made you worthy!”
“Jesus gave the shame of the world the FINAL DEATH BLOW! That’s why Jesus took your place…to take the unworthiness, guilt, and shame to the grave. Jesus didn’t die for nothing. He died for ALL of your sin, ALL of your deceptions, ALL of your guilt, ALL of your shame, ALL of your humiliations, ALL of your embarrassing situations, and ALL of your bad choices!”
It is truly finished!!
Thank you Jesus and thank you Janelle Keith!
Love, Elizabeth *All quotations taken from Grace for Your Waste: Living a Lifestyle Fitted With His Grace, by Jenelle Keith.