Some changes have occurred lately in my life and possibly more to come, I've been resisting that wanting somehow to predict/control/lessen them. I mean who doesn't, right?
This past Sunday Sin was the topic of discussion. Exciting I know. The point that I came to focus on was this "shame is a lie that changes who we are."
There are many more statements that lead you from sin to shame(and I recommend you check them out at midtown fellowship) but that is what I heard, down deep.
My first thought, "Are you kidding? What am I ashamed of? I'm a good person. Not a saint, but good. That's not me." But pretty soon I had tears in my eyes. I had been listening to lies about myself - you aren't successful, you aren't at all worthy, you aren't lovable-and it had changed me and made me ashamed. Stronger still was my fear to admit it.
Pastor Randy asked us to come take communion and for those struggling to kneel and lay it all down(as NEEDTOBREATHE would say). If we needed help we could cross our arms across our chest and someone would just pray for us. I got up, got in line -still so hard headed- when I got to the front I knelt and put ONE arm across my chest. It was literally a fight in my head and heart and I guess it came out as a tie. Gratefully, it was Pastor Randy there in front of me and he asked, does this mean you want me to pray for you? I nodded and he said many wonderful things, but most importantly He said what I needed to hear in his first sentence-"Your father wants you to know..
You are not alone. You were created with meaning and you are a favorite child that I value with my life."
That was enough for me. Maybe you don't have to have the answer to feel better. Maybe I should ask for help more often. Maybe the ugly cry I had after that was just the beginning of more changes. What was beautiful was that even though I could only give one arm due to pride/shame/control, He still gave me what I needed to hear. I am still trying to give both arms...(which to top it off, means I love you in sign language)