judgment toward others. I lived in a shame filled place of great
frustration as my inside longings and outside life did not match.
As I embrace my rightful place as a complicated and
messy human being, healing as well as a joyful pursuit of true
abundant life are realized. The truth is that I, just like my friend
Amy, never actually felt good enough, but I camouflaged it
with pride and arrogance. My new desire is to be a person who
can receive with grace and mercy the dark secrets of others and
walk alongside without judgment or trying to save or fix. I want
to be a traveler through life who can share my own shame and
secrets with trustworthy fellow sojourners, embracing together
Jesus’ words, “You will know the truth and the truth will set
you free.”
Recently, my husband, daughters, and I were skyping
with one of our sons. This big brother imparted great wisdom
to his little sisters. “When I was your age, I thought that our
family had it all together. Other people really looked up to us.
Now I know that we are just as messed up as everyone else.”
I’m learning to be honest with myself, with God, and
then with others as I pursue intimate acquaintance with the
messiness and shame that resides within. It takes courage. It
hurts. But when I am honest and real about those things that
humiliate me, the power of shame is destroyed. I am then free
to be genuine and sincere about the good and bad intermingled
within me. I am set free to live as one with an open heart. I am
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