There will be a day when our lives will make perfect sense to us. There is a great ending to our story. Yes, there is conflict, there is pain, there is heartbreak for now. But there is beauty and magic also. We all wish we had a DeLorean (the car in the movie Back to The Future) to take us into eternity and assure us that 'all is going to be ok" at the end. As Christians we have that guarantee. Easter! Yes, the story of Jesus' resurrection is the promise that what awaits for us in the future is glorious.
Not only that, but the fact that when Jesus resurrected he didn't rush to eternity but spent days with his friends restoring and encouraging them tells us that : right here on earth our stories will be a 'happy ending' because he is with us.
Easter, our vehicle to the future is unbreakable, is shiny, is timeless.
It's not in the grave, not in the dark, nor in the hopeless places that our ending lies. We are going somewhere friend, and there, someone is waiting for us with open arms. But while we travel to our destination let us remember that because He is risen, we can be too. Jesus showed up on the resurrection morning with holes in his hands, scar on his chest and marks on his head to tell His story from the other side. Easter is an opportunity for us to do just that. To tell our stories while wearing our marks. Our scars and wounds can refine us, but don't define us. We walk now wearing the tears of time, but not for long. The dawn of Easter stamps with ‘it's well' inscription all over our lives.
Arise, He is risen!
Read John 21
Shame is that ugly pointing finger that says:
You are not enough
Remember that secret you keep? If people knew about that you wouldn't be so confident.
Your father left you
Your husband cheated on you
You can't help others; your own children don't respect you.
You don't deserve good breaks; they are for good people and you are not good.
You need to work hard to be excepted.
Who do you think you are?
Shame does not tell us what we have done wrong. Guilt does that perfectly. Shame tells us that we are wrong, that there is no hope for us and that with our heads down we should hide from the world and living altogether.
Shame likes to record our failings. Then time after time unloads the whole ammunition leaving us defeated. It's right there that we are very prone to sink into long self pity periods, depression, overeating, starving, anger, loneliness, isolation and the biggest of all- feeling worthless, that one, sticks like clay and paralyses us.
How do we fight shame then?
Well, shame loves to be isolated. It grows in the dark and its well protected by fake smiles and many trying to be 'better' acts. Shame hates to be exposed! And that we must do in order to fight it right at the core. Expose it! Share with a trusted friend, spouse, family member your shame talk, all those shame thoughts. Start sharing with God first if you are not ready to open your heart to anyone just yet.
I can tell you in full assurance that when I do that I find that the magic word 'me too' from my friends consoles me in such a way that tons of weight fall off my shoulders and a freer heart rejoices inside my chest.
Dear brave friend, shame will not listen to our 'sorry', no even one of our pleas. Shame does not have any 'mercy' for us. Shame will not just leave us alone if we ignore it long enough. No, shame doesn't care about our sorrys, but it does run away all the time we uncover it. So let's start today, let's start now to expose shame. Lets do it little by little until we know that the people we are sharing with are handling our hearts in love and trust.
How is shame effecting your life? Who is someone you can share with your 'worthless' thoughts and talk you have about/with yourself?
How it's going sister friend? How is shame changing you?
How is this kind of talk:
You spoke too much again
You forgot about your friends birthday
Your children never wrote those 'Thank You" cards
You ignored your spouse......again
You ate too much ....... again
You wasted another day on doing nothing
Shame on you, when you are going to get hold of yourself?
Yes friend, how is this method getting you to where you hope you should be?
I didn't think so either. So, what do we do? How on earth can we change? How can we be the 'real' us? How can we start to move in the right direction?
Well, firstly by recognising that "shame is never a changing agent."
Yes, we have used shame for far too long to understand by now that isn't working, but we continue using it hoping that by magic one day we will strike the right cord by speaking the appropriate shaming sentence .
Secondly, by pairing with the best agent for change. Love.
Yes, the simple and profound - love.
Knowing that we are loved by God who made us, family who stick with us and friends who do life with us is the best way to start and replace those shame thoughts with. I know it's not that easy, I know that it's not that straight forward, but today I just want to convince you and me that : Shame will never change you to the person you are longing to become! Shame is never a Change Agent!
For years I didn't wanted a dog! Its not that I don't like animals, but only lately I have found out the true reason why. Not, it's not the hours of exercise and caring that I had to get use to-although that was a concern, a more deeper reason bothered me. I found out that the fear of one day loosing our beloved pet was the real motive of resisting that thought. The heartache and pain that that event would cause to our family made me resist that idea.
We do the exact same thing with our friendships. We are afraid of building deep friendships for fear of getting hurt by friends or they leaving us. We refuse to love because love can be crushing. We forsake our dreams our deepest desires because hope has been deferred, disappointment is a bitter pill to swallow? So, we 'take control' of our lives by suffocating our hearts. By limiting our opportunities and reducing them to more 'manageable' ones.
We buy a goldfish, we love partially, we dream small........ Then we wonder why with each passing day we extinguish a little. Why the spark of life gets dimmer and dimmer.
"The desires of good people lead straight to the best," says the proverb. That's how we know if our hearts are open, if they are awake: by the nature of our desires. Do our desires lead us to the 'good enough' options for our lives? To they lead us to 'acceptable' ones? Or do they guide us to the best choices we can make for our lives?
If we sense our lives shrinking, closing in- would it be that we have reduced our desires, what we really long for to manageable sizes? Have we perhaps build a dam to contain them and keep them checked, safe?
If the answer is yes, can you feel the walls beginning to crack lately? Don't be afraid! Let the dam burst. Let the excitement and life bubbling desires run through our hearts again and let us sprint wild with them. "Ask and I will give you the nation" is what welcomes us to the other side. Desire expands our lives, despair shrinks them!
Proverbs 11:23 MSG
I know how much rejection hurts and the fear of being vulnerable again is real, still show up in life and live. The agony of living a safe, protected and pain free life is more deadly than the pain caused by living in the midst of people who might and for certainly disappoint again.
I know relationships are hard work, love doesn't feel welcoming every day. Still fight for love. I don't know any other more worthy cause than the 'love fight.' The battle to exist in someone else's heart and mind fulfils our soul deepest longing and it's worth any sacrifice.
I know you already feel like all your effort to be a good person are wasted. Still, keep waking up and trying. For that's what being good is — showing up and putting oneself fully out there. After all we are not called to be perfect mums, wives, business women ... individuals, just devoted ones; who wake up every morning with the cry 'help me Jesus' then smearing lipstick on the lips go on doing their best.
I know you are disappointed with God. He has been unfair, mysterious and absent. Still, keep believing— who else is out there that breaths life, sheds truth and colours the world with beauty? A lot of us know that He can be trusted. He is not tamed, but he is so kind.
I know some days you feel like a failure. Keep showing up. Do what makes your heart sing. Press forward, even if the process is slow. We aren't meant to dance to other people's tunes. We were created to write our own story, sing our own melody, paint our own picture. Be brave. Show up daily, fully, intentionally!