Shadow of Shame

I was terrified. The weatherman continued to foster the terror in my heart. What was coming was unprecedented for this area. We cleared out the coat closet and prepared to get in. Grady grabbed some pillows to protect our heads from falling debris and a crowbar in case we had to dig ourselves out. I was shaking. I called Mom. “I’m afraid.” I told her. The lights blinked. The power failed and returned. The wind blew.

“Don’t let yourself be controlled by fear.” she said. “Don’t let it in.”

I stepped outside to look into the sky. Nothing. I climbed into the closet and prayed. I couldn’t just stay there. I couldn’t see what was going on. I walked out of the closet. I stepped back in. I walked back out and then I walked outside. I could hear the train just to our north. The sky was a crazy color. It was gone quickly. It completely missed our neighborhood. The threat was over but my heart still pounded and my legs felt weak.

Who was I to be afraid? I couldn’t be afraid! I wrote a book about walking through fear and here I was scared-REALLY SCARED!

I know the Lord gives rest to those whom He loves, so that night I slept soundly. I didn’t stir and didn’t even hear my husband leave for work. But when I opened the back door that morning to sit on the patio, drink my coffee, and read my Bible, a tiny bird flew in.

Immediately I propped the door open, giving him an opportunity to leave. I ran through the house closing all the doors so he could go no further. He sat on my front entry table hopping from one place to the other. As I closed the last interior door he rose and flew straight out the back.

I sat outside, my journal open. “Lord, what is it you would like to show me through this?”

I know you might think it’s crazy, but God does use the smallest of things to speak to us. He wants us to broaden our ear to listen for His voice. He wants to speak to us. It is often a gentle whisper or a bird flying through the door. We just have to be ready. He tells us if we call to Him He will answer us and tell us things we don’t know. (Jeremiah 33:3)

So, I opened my heart to hear. This is what His Spirit spoke to my heart:

The little bird is like the little things that don’t belong-a small blemish or shadow in our personality. God says to close the door to those things. They may come into the outer rooms of our lives, but we must close the door to the deeper, more intimate places. Do not allow those things to have access to the whole of who you are. Visitors may enter your living room, but unless you invite them in, they don’t walk into your bedrooms. These areas are for guests who are welcome and intend to stay a while. Your personal bedroom is an intimate space that typically no one enters except the ones who own that room.

So, though fear may enter my living room every so often, uninvited, I choose to close the door to the deeper places in my life. Fear is not welcome. Anxiety is not welcome. Because I, like Paul, am working day by day to express and exhibit my new life of salvation in honor and respect to the God I serve, I trust that He who is faithful will complete the work He began in me. (Philippians 2:12-13)

When I recognize fear, anxiety, depression, or panic I will root myself in HIM. I will leave the door open for those unwelcome things to exit and close the doors to the most intimate places of my heart so they may not enter.

But, the enemy is crafty. He’s a slithery villain who will make every effort to worm his way into those deep places. If he cannot get in through fear, then he will use something else. Something like SHAME. He will say, “I thought you were stronger than that. Look at you. You caved at the first moment. You haven’t walked out of the cage at all. I still have you.”

BUT he is the father of lies!

He is the sludge upon the ground. Who is he to heap shame upon my head? Who is he to heap shame upon yours?

This is the Truth

According to Psalm 138 The name of the Lord and the word of the Lord is above all things. His word cancels all shame, fear, doubt, anxiety, unbelief, and refutes the lies of the enemy.

His word says:

The Lord Yahweh empowers me, so I am not humiliated.
For that reason, with holy determination,
 I will do his will and not be ashamed. (Isaiah 50:7 TPT)

So now the case is closed. There remains no accusing voice of condemnation against those who are joined in life-union with Jesus, the Anointed One. (Romans 8:1 TPT)

Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces. (Psalm 34:5 NLT)

So, I choose to look forward. I fasten my heart to the future. I will not live in the past. But I don’t depend on my own strength for this. I run straight toward Jesus who doesn’t look at me with shame. So, I refuse to allow the shadow of shame to darken my face. I will look to HIM and be radiant with joy.

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