There are times in my life where pain of past regret and joy of new life in Christ collide like the waves on the Outer Banks. Like those big waves that start from each side and curl in until they crash together in the middle, smacking together so hard they make a sound. Meanwhile, I’m caught up in the middle being pulled under and flipped around and then released barely long enough to gasp for air before the next forceful tug from below. (Am I the only one that has almost been murdered by waves?)
At times, that is exactly how the weight of my shame has felt. Like it would never release its grip on my foot; like it would drown me. It pulls me down into deep sorrow and I can stay there for weeks. Confused by all the lies and half truths, I fear I’ll never emerge from the murky waters. Something tells me I’m not the only one.
True Christians have never claimed to be perfect. My past is full of vain pursuits after various types of pleasure. Whether it be lusting after attention from men or things much worse (being vague here for the sake of the younger audience that may read this), the point is I have proved myself to be a sinner with a very dark past. I chased affection, affirmation, attention and love from anyone but God. I looked for my worth and identity in the men I dated and how they made me feel. This path led to nothing but destruction and deep heart ache.
As a girl who spent 21 years of my life chasing empty things, I have a lot to be shameful for but I’m reminded that Christ says to bring our burdens and lay them down before him. So just like the day I almost died (Okay, maybe I’m being a little dramatic) where I ran to the shore in between each crashing wave, I run hard toward the throne of grace where mercy is found. It’s true that I have much to be shameful for but praise the Lord, Jesus took all of my shame upon himself! Christian, this is true of you too!
A Prayer for the Battle
Oh gracious Father,
We have followed after vain and worthless idols. We have restlessly chased the things you hate and cursed your name with our lives. You have every reason to make us bear the shame we created for ourselves and yet you sent your Son to save us from those empty endeavors. Forgive us for our hearts that are bent toward serving self. Grant us the grace to forsake all our vain pursuits and seek you alone. Make us into a humble people that know the weight of our sin that Christ gladly took upon himself.
Thank you that you love us enough to open our eyes to the death that our sin leads to. And for not leaving us to perish in our sin(Luke 19:10).
Thank you for drawing us out of the pit of destruction and setting us on solid ground(Psalm 40).
Thank you that you continue to lead us in the path of life and teach us your ways(Psalm 23:3, Psalm 25:9).
Thank you that you give us your powerful word to keep our way pure (Psalm 119:9) and thank you for your power to overcome any sin we are faced with(Romans 6:6).
Thank you that your throne is indeed a throne of amazing, never ending grace that we always have access to (Hebrews 4:16,Romans 5:1-2).
Thank you that you’ll never cast us out or turn us away (John 6:37).
Thank you that because of Jesus there is no wrath left for us but only love and acceptance through his blood (1 Peter 2:24). There is no more condemnation (Romans 8:1), therefore shame is out of place.
Remind us of this truth when we feel the burden of guilt from our past creep in. Remind us that we are new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17). We are not who we were! Help us to walk in that identity. But let us never forget where we came from (1 Corinthians 6:11). Let us never forget that you saved us from the worthless things we used to chase. And let that cause us to be forever grateful for your grace and kindness toward us, your Children. How marvelous is your steadfast love!