Monday, April 19, 2010

Life's Big Eraser ©

When I was a teenager the rage in school was rubbing our initials into the back of our hands. We took a big eraser and rubbed away the top layer of skin, making our unique designs. Once the outer layer was gone, the inner layer, raw and exposed, revealed what had been rubbed in.

Life is like a big eraser. Things happen throughout the years etching messages into the layers of the mind. I don’t often know they are there until God shows up and touches a place in a way that only He can touch. I’ve come to recognize it as His invitation into my healing.

It was just a simple question David asked one day, yet it hit a place inside me like an arrow piercing straight into a bulls eye. “Have you dealt with the shame you felt when that happened?”

There was something about his question that was unnerving to me. I knew that until I chatted with God, the quivering in my heart would not go away. I began to ask Him what was going on inside me. Why the emotions, what was I feeling or hearing? He began to open my heart to see what had been etched into my mind. Within seconds the emotions flooded my soul as I realized....

I have been ashamed of who I am for as long as I can remember. For the majority of my life I have felt that who I am is peculiarly unfit. I’ve been embarrassed to be me. I have felt like too much and not enough all at the same time.

I have believed that people couldn’t handle the “real me”, weaknesses, strengths and all. Which led me to hide parts of me away while at the same time, trying to be more, make a name for myself, do some significant ministry. Maybe if I could play the part, be the woman, do the good stuff it would get me the acceptance I so desperately wanted.

Shame caused me to create my own self-story to cover the wretched feelings of how I perceived I was seen in the world around me. It led me to try harder, be better, do more. I hoped one day I could be that good girl that everyone would want and love. I put on masks and pretended that everything was okay while layers of shame covered me.

Shame blanketed my soul like grave clothes wrapped around a dead body. I did not feel the freedom to be me. I often felt misunderstood and held captive by the story of my past.

That question, that simple question opened my eyes to see. I had never dealt with the shame I felt about who I saw myself to be through the eyes of others. What I couldn’t understand then, I now get. The world and it’s people around me will never give me an accurate picture of who I am. It is God and God alone who reveals the hidden things in my heart.

Words of love flood into those places in me as He tells me there is nothing to be ashamed of. He has loved all of me since before the foundations of the world. He sees me as I am and loves me in my totality, strengths, weaknesses and all.

I am adored by Jesus, just as I am. Knowing this takes away the need for a significant self-story. It allows me to be in the moments with Him, allowing Him to show me what it looks like for He and I to live as one.

This beautiful dance with Jesus is setting me free. As I’m learning to rest in this amazing embrace something stunning is happening inside my soul. I’m settling in more deeply into my place. I’m finding that place where I’ve longed to be. I am no longer peculiarly unfit. I fit perfectly with Him. No longer do I need a ministry, to make a name for myself, to be famous or seen. I am finding that place of rest that comes from being adored by Him.

Grace has brought me a love that takes my breath away. It’s in this place, this beautiful place, He is removing my shame so that I might see we are woven together as one. Jesus in Julie. The glory of God and I are fused together showing up hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder as one. Who could be ashamed of that?

How about you? How do you see, You? Have you dealt with the shame you have felt?

©copyrighted: 2010 Julie L. Todd


Sharon@KeenInspiratons said... Reply to comment

Julie, once again I feel that this was written to and for me! We have many paralells in our lives besides homeschooling and gardening! I'm glad God ahs brought us together!

Anonymous said... Reply to comment

I feel like you wrote this to me, It really speaks to me. I have not dealt with my shame and pain from my past, I recently had it blow up in my face, it hurts. I'm learning to take it all to God. It's hard. I'd really appreciate your prayers. I love you and thank you for writing this.


Andrea said... Reply to comment

For many years I live trapped in the same prison as you were...thankfully a few years ago...around 2002, GOD began to heal my heart...all those broken and abused areas. He used my husband, Doug as HE brought him into my life to help with the healing process. I am not much more secure in trying to be the person HE created me to be. I praise GOD for this healing...I am an entirely different person...a happy person.
Blessings, hugs, and prayers, andrea

Anonymous said... Reply to comment

Julie what an amazing post. This past year He has been peeling off the layers of 'everyone else' that I have put there over the years and revealing 'me' as He designed me to be - but adding Him as well.

I can so realte to this post. Loved this:

"The world and it’s people around me will never give me an accurate picture of who I am. It is God and God alone who reveals the hidden things in my heart. "

Actually I blogged along a similar vein this week myself. xo

Karen said... Reply to comment

Loved this post, Julie...

"I am adored by Jesus, just as I am. Knowing this takes away the need for a significant self-story."...what freedom from this realization!

Tea With Tiffany said... Reply to comment

As I continue writing my book about freedom from shame, I feel such joy reading your post. You get it. You are unashamed. You get that you are totally free to be: Jesus in Julie.

Yes, yes and more yes.

Love this as I love all your posts of God's love and redemption in your life.

Live free and shine His love to a world in need. You never know who may stumble upon your blog. Keep writing His story.


christy rose said... Reply to comment

I love how you relayed the Truth of being one with God. How could we not see ourselves as valued when we are united with Him. We are fused with Him, absorbed in Him. The revelation of that is so deep. I do not believe that we have even begun to experience the fullness of that truth. Shame will truly be nonexistent in our lives when we begin to live fully in our union with Him. I always love stopping by and hearing the Holy Spirit speak to me through your posts Julie! Thanks for sharing what the Lord leads you to share. :)

Aine Willis said... Reply to comment

This was beautiful, Julie. So very true. I cried while I read your post. I can so relate to your feelings and the way you used to handle your shame. Hiding yourself because somehow it wasn't good enough ... when all along ... you are perfect because of Christ.

Sarah said... Reply to comment

"felt that I was too much and too little" all at the same time....YES....I hear ya! I hear ya! And the world will never give us an accurate picture of what we are....perfectly stated.
You have the gifted of understated powerful you...there is now therefore no condemnation....and in Hebrews, shame is not from God....may we look intensely into the eyes of Jesus and find our reflection there.

Wanda said... Reply to comment

Julie, this is such a wonderful post. I must admit sometimes my load does seem heavy and that's certainly because I'm attempting to carry or figure out things on my own. I love your blog. You have such words of wisdom. Sorry to hear about your daughter's miscarriage.

Stonefox said... Reply to comment

Julie, Jo sent me over here to read this. What a blessing to hear more of your story and for the hope of JESUS as your testimony shows. I am always encouraged by your posts.

I really don't know why I haven't followed your blog, but I am now. Keep sharing! :)

Amy said... Reply to comment

Jesus has cleansed my heart of shame...and turned me into a radiant vessel of His love.

I love reading about all that God has done in you. You are a beautiful woman of God.

It was great seeing you for a few moments today!

Love you!

CAPTIVATING FI said... Reply to comment

This is amazing that you wrote about SHAME! just last week I was reflecting on many of my decisions I made as a teenage girl and I always felt I had nothing to offer young girls because I had fallen in many areas and given in to much temptation. Then the Lord unveiled my eyes to not hiding it through shame, but unveiling it to take away the shame. I think Shame is very key to freedom! xx

Beloved of God said... Reply to comment

Wow Julie.. once again you have spoken God's word seemingly straight to me! I too have felt such shame about being who I am, and somehow never good enough. Again and again Jesus is showing me that it's only through allowing myself to be loved by him, filled by his Spirit, HIS words to be my truth, just be LOVED ON, that my shame and bad feelings about myself will melt away, in the face of his love. It's happening little by little, but it's happening! Thank you for sharing your story - I so relate to it!

Crown of Beauty said... Reply to comment

Dear Julie,
It is good to read another part of your journey...deeper into discovering who you really are in Christ.

How the enemy loves to speak lies to us, and there are many portions of your story that I could relate to. I knew just how it feel that I was merely being tolerated, that I was never good enough to be completely accepted by others. Yes, I felt that way too!

And it was the loving and gentle voice of Jesus that re-imparted my true worth back to my heart...and just like what you experienced, Jesus spoke to me the truth of my identity.

I appreciate hearing you tell your stories, dear Julie. And what is so special is that it is a journey I share with you, so that even though we have never met face to face, we have come to know each other heart to heart!


Manda said... Reply to comment

I love this... This beautiful dance with Jesus is setting me free. As I’m learning to rest in this amazing embrace something stunning is happening inside my soul.
This dance is your life, Beautiful Julie!!!

Anonymous said... Reply to comment

Some of my past came to haunt me a few days ago. We think we've buried things, but sometimes God wants to pull them out and have us once and for all face them and deal with them.