During my twenties, I would wake up each day with a pervasive, under-the-surface, dull sense of sadness. This went on for years.
But I knew sadness was just the surface feeling. There was something deeper than sadness.
But I couldn’t put my finger on it. I also didn’t know where it was coming from. Because from the outside, my life looked wonderful.
I was serving as a missionary, leading our spiritual community, and pioneering exciting ministries.
My Great Discovery
But one day, I read a book about sexually abused children. The author explained the most common feeling that permeates many victims, sometimes for years after the abuse.
When I read it, I froze.
Because what I could not name was written there in black and white.
It was what I felt every single morning: shame. It wasn’t just shame for the wrong I did. That’s actually good and beautiful.
When we do something bad, a well-tuned conscience will make us feel a healthy sense of shame.
It’s a signal for us to seek forgiveness and pursue change.
Toxic Shame Was Eating My Soul
But as usual, evil distorts anything beautiful. Every day, I didn’t just feel shame for the wrong that I did. I felt toxic shame for who I was.
Daily, I was ashamed that I even existed in the world. Why did God create such a horrible person like me? Fast-forward decades later, let me describe how I am today: God has healed my toxic shame.
Through the years, I’ve learned how to like and love myself.
Discovering Stubborn Dregs of Shame
When COVID happened to me and I stumbled upon this small inner room I called the Surrendered Place, I let go of all my fears, my worries, my regrets, and my dreams to God.
But one day, in that beautiful spot of absolute surrender, I also heard God say, “Embrace your shame and let it go.”
I was surprised. Did I still have shame? Didn’t I deal with this decades ago?
But God’s searchlight started to expose the stubborn dregs of shame. They clung to my heart like little leeches hidden in the unexamined parts of my soul, sucking my happiness and freedom.
In that sacred space, I embraced my shame, accepted it as part of my journey, thanked God for where it led me, and surrendered it all.
What happened next was beautiful. It was like God scraped off my spiritual cataracts. In a fresh way, I saw how much He delights in me.
I’m the apple of His eye. I’m the joy of His morning. He tattooed my name in His hand.
Dear friend, surrender your shame to God.
Let Him heal you today.
*This excerpt is taken from the book Find Your Surrendered Place by Bo Sanchez, available in paperback and e-book copy at http://www.feastbooks.ph!