shame

Silence loomed over me like a cloud while everyone else spoke about their wedding nights. They shared with one another how special it was to have their “first time” on their wedding nights. I sat silently smiling knowing that I was the one in the room – or at least believing that I was the only one – who had nothing to contribute to this conversation. Not because I wasn’t married – although I wasn’t – but because I had given myself away in the wrong ways so much sooner than these new friends of mine. They were all so sweet and kind and clean. There I sat feeling like the dirty girl, so aware of my sin before me that I could barely hold it together.

I left that party in silent tears. Tears of shame.

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Feeling the weight of my sin that night revealed what I believed about God. I believed, for some reason, that if I knew better and I did wrong that I was not His. I believed that He would not hold tightly to me if I didn’t wait until I was married. I believed that He wouldn’t give me a husband to love me because I had – in the name of independence – already given any love I had to someone who didn’t earn or deserve it.

So I cried. I cried and I asked for forgiveness again and again.

“For it is contained in Scripture: Look! I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and honored cornerstone, and the one who believes in Him will never be put to shame!” (1 Peter 2:6).

Not only was I forgiven, but the shame was taken from me! God didn’t have a plan to condemn me of my sins. He revealed Himself to me so that I might be saved and live in that freedom!

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).

God has made me new through the sacrifice of His Son. This is what He called me into. I wasn’t in this holy nation or one of His people, but He chose me and called me out of darkness. He let me feel the conviction of my sin and graciously granted me repentance.

The girl I was before this party would not have felt shame, but instead she would have been proud. She would have made excuses in her mind and thought unkind things about the women who were walking in the counsel of the wise and following the path of the Lord. This conversation would have been “a stone to stumble over, and a rock to trip over” (1 Peter 2:8a). Why? Because she was disobedient to the message.

Here’s the thing, the Lord is faithful to save those who turn to Him. He doesn’t have to be the stone you stumble over. He can be a merciful and gracious Savior. Truthfully, He is both. And whether you turn to Him away from your sins or hold tightly to the sin you’ve learned to love, He will be perfect in every way.

Lord, I pray that our sin and shame would lead us to repentance. I pray that we would not hold tightly to our disobedience, but long for You.

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