I'd like to give God some more glory by sharing another lesson He has taught me through this, now, 3 month ordeal with my skin.
A painful emotion caused by a strong sense of guilt, embarassment, unworthiness, or disgrace.
This has been a very real emotion for me recently and has conjured up a boatload of dangerous thoughts:
When my face looks like this:
These were taken early THIS week.
I have had the following thoughts coated in SHAME:
- I am disgusting.
- All people see is my imperfection. My friends and perfect strangers will not be able to see past my skin. They will only like me if I'm easy to look at.
- My husband cannot love me or find me attractive. He must be repulsed to consider kissing me.
- People think I'm dirty or disease-ridden.
- Stay home Renee. Going out in public will only invite pity and ridicule.
- Your are shameful. You are unworthy of good.
I have battled these thoughts on a regular basis. I have shot back arrows of truth from God's Word and found grace and peace at the feet of Jesus.
As God has tenderly removed my shame He has also revealed a very powerful message to me.
One that I could never fully understand until now.
The message became clear to me one evening while crying out to Him for healing.
Here was His message:
"Renee, the shame you feel on the outside is the shame that so many in this world feel on the inside. So many of my children feel their heart is too disgusting for My love. They feel they've fallen too far for My forgiveness. They feel that all someone sees when looking at them is their sin, their disgrace...their shame, shame, shame. They feel unworthy of life, unworthy of hope, unworthy of love, unworthy of forgiveness, unworthy of anything good."
In that moment, I began to weep.
God was giving me a glimpse into the hearts and minds of the broken and hurting in this world. Their sin has coated them in SHAME, blinding them to a God whose arms are wide open to them.
You must understand. I gave my heart to Jesus at the age of 7. I've lived most of my life feeling LOVED and FORGIVEN by God. I have absolutely sinned but I have never been covered in SHAME...simply because I trusted in the forgiveness of Jesus and His love SET ME FREE every time that I came (and still come) to Him with a repentant heart.
So, I have in NO WAY experienced the SHAME that many in this world experience on a daily basis. Through this experience with my skin, I have caught a SMALL glimpse of what their lives must be like and understand to a small extent WHY their shame keeps them from having a relationship with Jesus.
Through Jesus, "we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." [Ephesians 1:7]
"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."
[2 Corinthians 5:21]
Anyone who "is in Christ is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" [2 Corinthians 5:17]
"Though yours sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow..." [Isaiah 1:18]
"The Lord God is merciful and forgiving..." [Daniel 9:9]
"Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea."
For, "as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us." [Psalm 103:12]
Do YOU feel Shame because of a sin you've committed or because of a sin another has committed toward you?
God spoke very clearly to me regarding your shame.
Read these words, let their truth penetrate your deepest shame and grant you healing.
Jesus loves you without condition.
You are worthy of His love.
He is merciful and forgiving.
There is no sin He cannot forgive.
He wants to make you white as snow.
He will make you NEW. He will hurl your sin into the depths of the sea.
You no longer need to feel shame for Jesus makes you pure and holy, clothed in righteousness.
As I write these words I am very emotional because I KNOW that God's truth is touching many of Your hearts even now as you read this.
I pray you will find rest from your shame in the arms of Jesus.
Here is a picture of me a few weeks before this rollercoaster with my skin began.
It is shocking to me to see the difference that only a few months has made. I mourn the person in this picture because I'm certain that I can never look like her again. There will be scars.
BUT, I can honestly say that the many lessons God has taught me through all this already diminish the pain I've experienced and may continue to experience.
God has been faithful to me.
I thank Him for this struggle.
He is good and always will be.
And I will focus on the lessons I've learned and rebuke those shameful thoughts with the truth of His Word.
Now to our children...
I simply want to pray that they desire a relationship with Jesus...TODAY. For they will have struggles and they will sin...but with Jesus there is no pain, shame, or sin that He cannot wash away and replace with a remarkable love that simply has NO CONDITION.
Let's pray the following over our children:
Lord, may my children desire Jesus. I pray they would see their need for a Savior and give Him their life. May they experience His remarkable love and be made righteous through His forgiveness. May they never be coated and crippled by shame. Grant them the faith to believe and the courage to walk with Jesus all the days of their life!
I feel I should also share that I have seen a few different doctors and am currently on a plan to hopefully help my skin. It is clear that I have a very bad hormone imbalance so I'm taking steps to fix the problem. It will take time, however. So, I must be patient and hope that what I'm doing will bring healing. I welcome your prayers. Thank you friends.