It is such a powerful feeling that will paralyze you and weigh you down more than a 100lb weight lying on your back.
It grips you in fear and puts shackles around your soul. It tells you to hide because if people really know what you are dealing with and who you are, they will run the other way.
Shame whispers different things to different people. For me, shame whispered the word failure.
Even though it was a whisper, it was the loudest voice in my head during a dark and hard season in my life. I could not hear anything else above this whisper of shame.
Maybe you have found yourself there and you feel that same paralyzing weight. It could be whispering words over you: dirty, unworthy, shattered, broken, hopeless, failure, forgotten, messy, and the list could go on.
Shame is a liar and it has been lying to us since the beginning of man's existence. Take Adam and Eve for example in Genesis chapter 3. They sowed garments and tried to hide from God because they realized what they had done. Shame had convinced them that they could really hide from God. The truth is, God knew where they were all along. He didn't want them to hide FROM Him. He wanted them to hide IN Him. He came looking for them, knowing exactly where they are and still loving them just the same.
He is calling out to you too knowing exactly where you are. He is calling out to you, because He wants you to know the very same thing....that His love for you has not changed one bit.
Shame is also trying to misinterpret the Word of God. That is what the enemy will do to try and confuse us. He takes God's Word and manipulates it to try and beat us down and make us think we are failing Him. This is why knowing what the Word says gives us power over the enemy.
This is just a snippet of what God's Word tells us about hiding IN Him.
You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance. Psalm 32:7
You are my hiding place and my shield; I wait for Your word. Psalm 119:114
Keep me as the apple of your eye; Hide me in the shadow of Your wings. Psalm 17:8
For you have been a refuge for me. A tower of strength against the enemy. Psalm 61:3
For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock.
So how do we break out of the shackles of shame?
First, we confess and repent. In 2 Samuel, chapter 11 and 12, we see how David made some bad choices. He committed adultery and had a man murdered. Nathan confronted him, and David stopped hiding in his sin and confessed to the Lord. Once we allow God's light to shine on our shame, it can longer hide us in darkness.
Second, we seek God's Word and believe what it says. I will just be honest with you. There were times when I was hiding in shame, that I just couldn't believe what God's Word said about me. Shame would whisper, "How can that be true for you when you are laying here depressed and afraid? There is no way that part of God's Word is true for you."
Again, that is a lie. God's Word tells us in 2 Corinthians 12:9 that His grace is sufficient for YOU and His power is made perfect in YOUR weakness and His power rests on YOU. That "you" really does mean YOU my friend. His grace is greater than all our sin so don't resist His grace any longer.
Finally, we put on a garment of praise in place of heaviness. This was a hard one for me and it may be a hard one for you. I love to worship and praise God, but I just felt so unworthy in His presence. In Isaiah 61:3, He tells us that He will provide a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. He knew that we would need something in place of our shame and despair, and I love that it is called a garment of praise. That means we have to put it on. We have to take some action to do that. The song that I remember singing over and over through my tears and brokenness was simply,
"Jesus loves me this I know. For the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong, they are weak, but He is strong. Yes Jesus loves me. Yes Jesus loves me. Yes Jesus loves ME, the Bible tells me so."
Doing all of these things helped me to come out of those shackles of shame and I believe it will help you too. I am sharing a song below that has really spoken to my heart. When I sing this song, it is a constant reminder to me of just how deep the Father's love is for us. This is Clean by Natalie Grant. It is a beautiful picture of how our Heavenly Father sees us, and what the blood of Jesus has done for us! He washed us in His sacrifice and purified our dirty rags.
He made us clean and what He has done for you, shame can never undo!