Category Archives: Shame

Heavy Burdens…

Burdens

Burdens.

What do you carry?

Burdens are heavy. They weigh us down.

My heaviest burdens at the moment are shame and guilt. I didn’t realize this until recently. This storm I’m in has made so many things clearer to me. One of those realizations was seeing just how many burdens I carry and how heavy they are.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

I long to rest. My heart cries out to The Lord “Take me home.” What a glorious day that will be. No more burdens. No more sadness.

And yet He has plans for me here in this broken world. My storm is no surprise to Him. He’s prepared me for a fight and I’m quite sure He’s teaching me through this and preparing me for a grander plan after the storm.

Does knowing that make the burdens any easier?  No.

Does faith and trust in Him mean we don’t feel pain and suffering?  No.

Does all this heaviness feel like too much to bear?  Absolutely!

It is too much to bear on my own. That’s why He tells us to come to Him, to pour our hearts out to Him, to lean on Him. He knew we could not bear the weight of this world on our own.

Knowing He is with me doesn’t make things any less painful but it does give me hope. I’ve carried these burdens all my life. I’ve felt invisible and alone all my life. This weight is nothing new to me but in my darkest moments, I had no hope. My burdens today have taken me back to that very place – the place where I was consumed by the darkness. The difference now is that He has shined His light into my life and having seen His light, I have to believe there is purpose for my life and trust that He will carry me through this storm.

What burdens are you carrying?

Do you trust that He is with you?

Can you hand your burdens over to Him?

Sheila Walsh offers a webcast related to her new book, “The Storm Inside“.
Click here to see episode 2 on Shame.

 

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Love does not dishonor…

1 Corinthians 13:5
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not dishonor others.  Love is not rude.

Love does not make fun of people.
It doesn’t call them names.
It doesn’t say ugly things about them.
Love does not embarrass and humiliate others.
Love accepts.  Unconditionally.

Love is not self-seeking.  

Love considers others.
It puts their needs first.
It lends a helping hand.
It gives a voice to the silent.
It walks for the weak.

Love is not easily angered.

Love finds joy in situations.
Love looks beyond mistakes.
Love seeks to encourage.
Love speaks calmly.

Love keeps no record of wrongs.

Love wipes away the tally marks.
It doesn’t keep score.
It doesn’t seek to settle a debt.
Love forgives.

This kind of love is unnatural.  It’s difficult to look past the hurt and pain from the world around us.  We want others to suffer as we have.  We want justice.  God wants those things for us as well but He wants so much more than that.  He wants us to find peace, hope, faith, trust and love through Him.  He wants us to hand over our baggage and let Him carry it for us.  
  
Can you love others like God has loved?  I pray we all learn to love like that!
 

© The Imperfect Princess at theimperfectprincess.com

The not so lovely truth about baggage…

I must admit, I’m a girl who loves bags!
Just ask anyone that knows me and they will tell you, I go through purses like babies go through diapers.  My husband would certainly agree that I have a slight huge obsession with bags.
The pic above is from my current stash of bags.  My collection has been purged many times over the years.  I have learned that I am very fond of a particular style and keep going back to that same style which is why I’ve hung on to most of these. 
On the left, there’s a blue & green flower print w/ Phil. 4:13 on it – that’s our church bag!  All the Bibles go in it as we head to church and I keep my current Bible study stuff in it.  It’s a nifty Thirty One utility tote ;)
Notice the bright yellow in the frontthat’s my hot new bag!  I snagged this beauty by Nine & Co. at JCPenney over the weekend.  Yes, I *had* to get the matching wallet because it’s also yellow and all this fabulous yellow will match the tiny huge order of more bags I have coming after a recent Thirty One party at our place.

– shameless plug:  be sure to visit my friend Kelly at the Thirty One links above to get your own awesome bags! –
{ Might I add, encouraging a bag party might not be the best idea for a girl who drools over bags (aka bag addict).  Perhaps an intervention might have been a better idea! *wink* }
So what’s my point in all this?
As much as I love bags, I don’t love baggage!
Baggage is defined as…
1. The trunks, bags, parcels, and suitcases in which one carries one’s belongings; luggage.
2. The movable equipment and supplies of an army.
3. Superfluous or burdensome practices, regulations, ideas, or traits.
Baggage is…
regret, disappointment, shame, guilt, anger, fear, anxiety, hate.
heavy.  it weighs us down.
tiring & exhausts us. it wears us out.
occupies too much of us, leaving too little for the important things.

Or as we know it, it’s all the crud we’ve stuffed away in our pockets (our hearts & minds), lugging it around with us every day, weighing us down, leading us to depression, wearing out our bodies, our minds, our spirit, attacking our hearts, our attitudes, and leaving us open to Satan’s attacks.

The baggage in my life has piled up about as quickly as my purse pile grows.  I’ve had to learn to let go of a lot of baggage – that is, give it to God!  He is capable of carrying all the things we drag around.  He can carry my baggage without worry, without anger, without resentment and all the while, He remains caring, loving and gentle.  I don’t have to worry about the strain I put on Him but the freedom it has given me is big huge! 

While I still struggle with my bag obsession, I am happily learning to let go of the baggage that weighs me down and keeps me from glorifying God.  
Hand your bags to God – He will gladly carry them!
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  Psalm 34:18
Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”  Luke 18:27
I can do everything through him who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:13
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.  Proverbs 3:5-6
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.  1 Peter 5:7
I am thankful for these gentle reminders that I don’t have to carry around a lot of baggage – God will carry it for me! 

© The Imperfect Princess at theimperfectprincess.com

Who Are You?

Many times throughout life, we question our identity, our purpose.  For years, I was a victim.  That’s all I could identify with – victim mentality and I let that role invade every tiny inch of my life.  I didn’t sleep without being a victim.  I didn’t walk through the mall without being a victim.  That’s all I saw for myself.  I felt invisible, no one could really see me.  At the same time, I felt see through – like people could just glance at me and see the dirty, shameful victim that I was.  It doesn’t seem to make sense, but it was my reality.

Many times, I wished someone could have seen the real me, torn away all those insecurities and said, “Jenny, that’s just not true.  You are somebody!”.  Maybe someone did but my ears failed to hear.

My prayer is that someone, maybe feeling those same feelings or thinking those same thoughts will read this and know they are not alone!

A child is defined as “a young human being below the age of full physical development or below the legal age of majority.” (ref. Google dictionary)

My interpretation of that through my growth in faith and my walk with the Lord is we are all young – not at full development and capability to understand many earthly things.  We are incapable of true knowledge of all the things of this world.  God, the father, has full knowledge.

Daughter is defined as “a girl or woman in relation to her parents.”  (ref. Google dictionary)

I am a daughter.  I was born to earthly parents.  I was raised by my mother, my grandmother and my grandfather.  I am also God’s daughter.  He is my heavenly father.  I have never met or seen my biological father so understanding God for me is not that hard.  I know that physically, there is a man out there with my DNA who helped to create me but I have never physically seen him.  I also know that there is a creator, greater than I could ever imagine, the creator of my DNA and I have never physically seen him.  They both are my fathers – only one has been here for me my entire life – my heavenly father.  I have never physically felt the presence of my earthly father but thankfully, I have felt the presence of my heavenly father.  He is with me daily.

Like daughter, “a son is a boy or man in relation to his parents.” (ref. Google dictionary)

I gave birth to two sons (and a daughter).  They share the DNA of my husband and I but we are teaching them to recognize their heavenly father.  He can be there for them in times when we cannot.  He can teach them things that we cannot.  He can guide them when we fall short.  He can pick them up when they fail.  They can make mistakes in this world, but He can wipe their slates clean.  We may hold grudges or judge, but He will view them as holy, like He viewed His own son, the son He gave up for mine.

When you question who you are, remember you are His and there is no greater person to be.  He created you.  You will never be perfect on this earth, but in His eyes, you are pure perfection.  Sure, you will stumble, but He will catch you.  You will fall, but He will pick you up.  You will forget how to walk, but He will carry you!  You are so much more important to this world than the world could ever possibly show you.  Put your eyes on God and let Him be your guide!

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s a light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
Over us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conquerors we are!

His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!

~ Author Unknown ~

© The Imperfect Princess at theimperfectprincess.com

Lessons Learned…

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.  Ephesians 4:32

I am not at all without sin.  In fact, I have had so much sin in my life that for most of it, I felt absolutely unworthy of any love from God.  I turned away from Him in shame.  I withheld prayers because I felt dirty.  I cried out to God in anger because I was angry with myself, for my own bad choices.  I blamed God for all the wrong in my life.  I spent years miserable, soaking in my own world of self pity.

I thank God every day now that HE has brought me out of my own world of darkness and into His light – He has forgiven me.  I thank Him for the beauty he puts before my eyes each and every day – beauty that for years, I couldn’t see.  I thank Him for the man He placed in my heart to love me and to share my life with.  I thank Him for the children whom He entrusts me with each day – even when they turn the house upside down, through the temper tantrums, the crumbs, the runny noses, the dirty diapers.

I thank Him for making the most unimaginable sacrifice anyone could make – saving me by allowing His own son, a man who did nothing wrong…ever, to suffer in tremendous pain, hanging on two slabs of wood, with metal shoved in his wrists, blood dripping from his brows, crying out “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34).

How could I not be thankful?  How did I go through so many years with anger and darkness in my heart, missing out on all the glorious things surrounding me?  How did I not wake up with His songs in my head and His words in my heart?  How did I survive and why did Jesus have to die?

I have spent the past year doing some deep thinking and lots of growing.  In that time, I have had to make some hard decisions.  I have had to step out of my comfort zone and follow God’s lead.  It’s a choice that took me too long to make but I am glad I did.  In doing that, I have met new people, grown closer to my heavenly father and learned new things about myself.  I am learning to trust myself.  I have learned that in all this life, the ones God places in your life, to love and to take care of are most important.  I have learned that living in His word, reading my Bible as much as possible and drowning myself in His glory is all I need to get me through each day.

I have learned that my life is headed in a direction I never imagined was possible.  I have dreams of all the ways God can use me.  I never thought God would use me – why would He? 

I was broken.
I was damaged.
I was dirty.
I was angry.
I was depressed.
I was suicidal.
I was lonely.
I was afraid.
I was worried.
I was ashamed.
I was sad.

All that time, I failed to add one thing to that list, the ONE thing that mattered…

I was HIS!  I was His daughter.  I was His creation.  I was His glory, His name, His word, His testimony …

I AM!  I am God’s princess – and I can glorify Him with my actions, my words, my story, my life.  I can choose to continue to grow and move forward, even when it means letting go.  I can choose to walk next to Him, trusting Him, even when my feelings are hesitant.  He has proven to me that I am worthy and that I am His!

I am thankful for He is what I need and He is my rock.  I have spent most of my life trying to fit in.  I’ve tried to fit into places that I was never going to fit in.  I was really just fooling myself, trying to believe that I had to be here or there or I had to do this or that.  I made bad choices and tried to impress the wrong people.  I lived an ungodly life.  I allowed myself to be hurt, putting myself in places and situations that I knew were wrong.  I turned my back on God and lived my life the way I wanted to.  I failed to let Him guide me.  I failed to let Him lead me.

I am following Him.
He is leading me.
I am thankful.
I am His.

He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.  Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.  Psalm 23:2-6

© The Imperfect Princess at theimperfectprincess.com

Are you consumed?

Are you consumed?

With worry, fear, guilt, questions, doubt, anger?

How do we manage to get through each day when there is sadness, pain, heartache, disappointment, loss – all around us?  How do we go on living when we feel so overwhelmed by all the suffering we are facing or those around us face?

Recently, I see it more and more.  I don’t know if it comes with age or what but I notice now more than ever, all the suffering around us.  I have dear friends who’s lives have been turned upside down by disease.  Other friends have faced questionable times with their children facing surgeries and the unknown.  Friends who have lost loved ones – spouses, parents and even their own precious children.  Each day, I frequent a number of Caring Bridge sites where many families have already lost their children or are praying for just one more day.

And yet, here I am.  I must make it through the day.  I must go on living even though so many around me are stuck in a moment or are dying.  I still manage to find joy in my day – even with all the darkness and sadness that surrounds me.

How do I do it?

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”  Matthew 6:27

I didn’t always.  There was a point where it really got to me.  It brought me down.  I was living, but I was dead inside.  I went through the motions of each day but I wasn’t really living.  I missed out on so much and wasted so much time because I was consumed.

Consumed by a past that I couldn’t get away from…
Consumed by regret…
Consumed by doubt…
Consumed by shame & guilt…
Consumed by fear…
Consumed by worry…
Consumed by anger…

I had all these things standing in the way of the One thing I needed to be consumed by … God!

Today, I can make it through the day, even knowing my friends are suffering and facing uncertain times – I can do it because my faith is stronger now than it has ever been.  I can do it because I know God is on my side.  I can do it because I know He is walking with me, holding my hand and guiding me through each day.  I can do it because I know He loves me.  I can do it because as a Christian woman, I am blessed with the knowledge that today is not the end – that our life here on earth is not the end – that it is only the beginning!  I can do it because I know that tomorrow, He will hold me in His arms and welcome me into a place of beauty and grace, a place with no more suffering, a place of joy and happiness where my past cannot follow me, where I won’t feel ashamed and dirty, where all the unknowns of this world will finally be answered.

I can honestly say that without God as my forefront, I wasn’t living.  I was here in the flesh but my heart wasn’t in it.  I was ready to check out of this life.  Each day was a burden.  Every action seemed daunting.  Every choice seemed to have devastating results.  Life was dark and gloomy.  The biggest difference between then and now is that now, I am walking with God instead of against Him – so in my mind, He has to be almighty – there just isn’t any other explanation for the changes in my own life.

I am promised a tomorrow and so are you!  As Christians, we tend to get a lot of flack from around the world.  People think we’re crazy or that they don’t need that “junk”.  I use to think that same way.  I’m here now and living proof that God can and does work in our lives – but we have to choose to let Him.

Will you continue to be consumed with all the daily heartaches or will you choose to hand those over to God – who can handle anything – and become consumed by Him?

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  Matthew 6:34

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Philippians 4:6

In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.  Proverbs 3:6

© The Imperfect Princess at theimperfectprincess.com