Brennan Manning wrote in his memoir All is Grace:
“As I think back on my childhood, the word shame serves as an umbrella. It is the sense of being completely insufficient as a person, the nagging feeling that for some reason you’re defective and unworthy. That’s how I felt all the time.”
That’s how I’ve felt my whole life.
The umbrella of shame has followed me everywhere I go. I may walk out from under it for a while, but still it lurks closely behind and I eventually find my way back to its dark shelter.
There were other factors involved, but when it comes right down to it, that insidious shame, coupled with my fear of disappointing people and facing their rejection, was what ultimately led to thoughts of suicide three years ago. I was nearly ready to throw my life away because I was afraid of people…fellow sinners, fellow disappointers? It seems ridiculous, but it’s true.
My masks were being yanked off, my idols were being stripped away, and who would I be without them? Who would love me if they knew the real me – the absolute mess me, the me who daily wakes up well aware that I fall short of the world’s standard, and most especially the “victorious Christian” standard?
When I fall short of peoples’ expectations, I’m that scared little girl again, filled with debilitating shame…afraid to be left behind.
What if ALL my masks fall off? What if ALL my idols get stripped away? It would hurt like hell, but I think it would be the beginning of freedom. Then I could let those who are willing to stick around love me for me.
Jesus knows everything about me and He loves me as is. That’s pretty amazing!
If I disappoint you when you find out the ugliness, the messiness, the brokenness behind my masks, my prayer is that you’ll stick around to see what God does with all that junk. If you don’t, I’ll hurt probably for a good while…but Jesus loves me, Jesus accepts me..and I’ll ultimately be okay.
“Even if the most important person in your world rejects you, you are still real, you are still okay.” Melody Beattie
“The most broken, powerless and exposed person is the freeest person in the room. Always.” Byron Yawn