Shame hides in the locker room, on the sports field, in elementary school … when we don’t feel qualified, or as good as another or as popular. It can hide in other places … even within our homes and closest relationships.
When I first picked up Christine Caine’s book, Unashamed: Drop the Baggage, Pick up Your Freedom, Fulfill Your Destiny, I didn’t realize just how much it would speak to me. Shame hides in a lot of different places holding us back from all God wants for us. In processing through the reading, I realized my own experience with shame came mostly from the bullying and jeers of my peers early in life. I believed what they said, and adopted a “less than” perspective as a result which kept me always trying to be good, do better, and to hold myself at a distance from deep friendship out of fear I would never measure up.
In Unashamed, Christine shares her personal journey in overcoming shame in such an authentic, vulnerable way, you can’t help but be encouraged to allow your own heart to open. But, more than helping us uncover the truth about shaming in our own lives, she helps us discover the depths of God’s love for us and his power to transform our lives … leaving shame behind and both experiencing, for ourselves and offering to others, true freedom.
Because shame hides, it’s important to face our shame, acknowledge the wounds that come from being shamed, and let God’s light shine into the broken corners of our hearts. God gives us the power to choose, and we don’t have to allow shame to hold us back, but fear often prevents us from taking the first step. I found Christine’s chapter on “You Get to Choose” valuable as she described the choices a group of lepers (outcast from their community and shamed) made in 2 Kings, chapter 7, and how God moved on their behalf when they took the first step past fear. Christine shares, “Each time I have overcome my fear, overcome my shame, overcome my inertia, and made a move through the gate – even if I was so weak and in pain that I limped all the way – I have found that God has already been moving on my behalf.”
There is tremendous freedom in dropping the baggage … even though it is an ongoing process. I am discovering you are never too old to experience full freedom and the joy that comes in being unapologetically yourself, and fully alive to all God has made you to be! – Judi Brandow, Communications Specialist