Shame hinders the healing of our hearts. It keeps us from freedom and the blessings of God.
I invited Norma Donnavan, founder of Restoring Hearts Ministry, to share with you about grace.
She has also graciously provided the booklet, The Most Priceless Gift, as a free download for all my readers.
Norma Donovan loves to read, write and go on bike tour trips. She enjoys having coffee and heart-to-heart talks with friends. Norma attained degrees in Elementary and Special Education and a Master’s degree in Counseling and Guidance from the University of Arizona. She has been married to John since 1976 and together they have two adult children and live in Omaha, Nebraska.
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“If only I could be good enough!” I tried to be perfect so others would like me, even to the point of being called “Miss Goody Two Shoes.” I thought if I did what others desired and rose to everyone’s expectations, then I’d be accepted by God, people, and myself.
The sins I committed, the rejection I experienced as a child, and the critical parental messages I received, all reinforced my feelings of inadequacy and defectiveness. There was no doubt in my mind I wasn’t good enough.
I believed the lie that I needed to be perfect in order to be acceptable. Thus, I tried to earn God’s love and approval, by being overly involved in ministry, thinking I could earn brownie points from Him. I thought if I went to church, spent time daily in God’s Word, prayed often, and ministered to many, then I would receive not only God’s stamp of approval, but man’s. Being religious, adhering to all the dos and don’ts of religion, made me a modern day judgmental Pharisee.
I attempted to hide, like Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden, when they were ashamed. I hid my ‘not being good enough’ self from those I loved, by covering up my true self with perfectionism. People pleasing, achievements, and being busy were some of my best hiding places. Busyness kept me from feeling and dealing with my pain from the past. My identity was based on my performance, not who I was in Christ. Shame led me to get my worth from ‘doing,’ not from ‘being,’ and stole my intimacy with God and others.
My addictions, such as eating for comfort and reading books to prevent loneliness, were other ways I covered my true self. Even healthy things can become unhealthy when they turn into god-things or idols. Idolatry is when something has our affection, attention, time, and money, or controls us more than God does.
As in Genesis 3:8, our sin today leads to shame, fear, and hiding our true selves. The way out of this destructive spiral is to realize we are not good enough and that’s why we need Jesus. We don’t have to be perfect, because Jesus was for us. I was rescued from shame and received God’s grace through the following six steps.
- I needed to confess my sin, repent, and receive God’s forgiveness. (Luke 13:3, I John 1:9)
- I needed to realize my righteousness is based on what Christ had done, not on anything I could ever do and I needed to unwrap God’s gift of grace. (Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 5:8)
- I needed to replace the lies I believed with God’s truth. (Romans 12:2)
- I needed to base my identity in who God is and who I am as His daughter.
- I needed to grieve my loss and understand the hurt within my heart.
- I needed to put my hope in God and His ability to restore and transform. (Psalm 25:3)
A life without shame is marked by intimacy and frees us to be who God created us to be. I encourage you to thank God for all He’s done, to receive His grace, and begin to walk in freedom, knowing in God’s eyes, you are good enough.
Download your free copy of The Most Priceless Gift HERE.