“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV
I constantly feel guilt and shame. It may be over something I think is small or something I think is big, but I feel it. It always feels the same. Like this huge backpack filled with rocks I have knowingly put my arms through to carry on my back.
When I was abused and assaulted I felt guilt and shame each time it happened. I wondered what I did wrong. Why was this happening to me? I must have done something pretty bad for it to happen, right?
As an adult, when I first told about my abuse and assaults I was the one blamed. I was told because of me nothing would ever be the same. Well, here’s a news flash: nothing had ever been right in the first place!
I still carry this guilt and shame wrongly placed on me, but it is only adding insult to my injuries. They are wrong. I was wrong to think I should feel guilty and ashamed about what was happening to me growing up. It was not my fault. The people doing things to me should be ashamed and feel the guilt.
They have never admitted to it. Maybe the person or people who hurt you haven’t either. So, we carry the guilt and shame for them. This is not what God wants for us.
Yes, we are sinners, we are human so we will do things which are wrong. Being abused and assaulted was not one of them. It never will be.
When we sin now, we are already forgiven because Jesus died on the cross for our sins. If we have asked Jesus into our lives, admitted to God we need forgiveness of our sins (not the sins of others), we are saved and forgiven forever. Nothing we try to do or say changes this fact.
God’s word says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV
It is a gift from God. God’s grace.
He does not wish for us to feel any guilt or shame over what was done to us, and for our sins, He has extended us His grace. Forever.
Today I want to take a step toward His grace. I have carried this backpack of guilt and shame for many years and I can’t seem to just let it go overnight. I can let go of some of the rocks today, and then maybe some more tomorrow.
Then, one day, with God’s help, He will free me from the entire load and I can begin to relish what it truly feels like to be free from wrongly placed guilt and shame.
Today is the first step. Will you take it with me?
Will you begin to accept His grace instead of guilt and shame?
I have carried the guilt and shame over what happened to me for so many years it is hard to put down. Today I release some of it and accept your grace for my own sins. Help me remember what happened to me is not my sin, and was not my fault. Remind me You will see me through this journey to recovery.
© 2018 Susan M. Clabaugh. All Rights Reserved.