Dear Shame, I'm Playin' Offense Now

"Breathe Janae…just breathe." 

"You can do this.  It’ll be so worth it.  It’ll all be over in a moment and you’ll never have to look back." 

(My inner pep-talk as I did the unthinkable last night…

Rewind to a few months ago…  

The same exact day that I woke up and realized I had been struggling with a low-grade depression for quite some time (see previous blog post), was the same day God also revealed something in me that I was blissfully unaware of —shame.

For those of you who know me, I pride myself in being vulnerable and honest.  How could I (a girl who aspires to call people into living completely exposed and open before people) still be carrying so much shame?!?   

Well thanks to the Enneagram and the voice of the Holy Spirit, I officially became aware that my deepest fear is exposing my weakness.  And because of that, there was still a weighty amount of shame within me from things I had done in the past that had not yet been brought to the light.   I mean sure...I have told different people (at some point) everything I have done.  But I told individuals who were outside perspectives; people that wouldn’t be hurt by my actions.

I think this is what kept shame hidden within me; especially in the midst of the people I am closest with.   

That day when the Lord revealed this within me, I felt Him call me to action.  And lets just say...I fought HARD (for at least a solid month) to pretend like I did not hear what He said.  

“Janae, I want you to go towards shame —offensively." 

"I want you to expose every possible area within your life that the enemy could cause you to feel shameful and get it out once and for all.”

Immediately I knew God was calling me to do the unthinkable…

I didn’t even have to ask Him what he meant by this —my spirit just knew.

Although I am 27 years old (and have zero obligation to report to my parents on everything that I have done), I knew in my heart what God meant when He told me to completely demolish my shame.  

God was calling me to expose myself to the very people that I’d feel most ashamed to. 

And that my friends…was my parents.

So after pleading with God and trying to negotiate the timeline, God in all his graciousness kept going after me.    

Last week I hit my tipping point when I was out at Bethel.  

Abi Stumvoll spoke on Sunday night about taking back what the enemy has stolen and making him wish he had never messed with you!  At the end of her message, Abi had everyone in the audience stand up and declare "I WENT TO THE ENEMY'S CAMP AND I TOOK BACK WHAT HE STOLE FROM ME.  NOW SATANS UNDER MY FEET."  

How could anyone wrestle with that?!? 

I knew what I had to do.  

So back to last night… 

You guys, I have no words for what actually went down.  I sat on my parents porch, nervous as heck, with knots in my stomach, and I completely exposed anything and everything I have done that has caused me to feel shame throughout my life; the stuff I used to find myself thinking "if they only knew." The kind of sin when you're in the middle of it you think to yourself, "yea...definitely not telling anyone about this." 

But I did.  And it was emotional.  It was beautiful.  And by far the most vulnerable and courageous thing I believe I've done in my life yet.  

After all was said and done, my parents looked at me with sheer love in their eyes and said, “Janae, we love you.  We’re not mad at you.  We still see you as pure."  

Then we cried, we laughed, and my parents boldly prayed prayers of healing and protection over me as they declared my unshakeable worth in the Lord.  

Folks...I'm undone.  

Completely and utterly...undone.  

Goodbye Shame.  I'm playin' offense now.  

“Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.”  -Psalm 34: 5