Exposed

woman in prison

IT WAS SHAME AND HUMILIATION  that stood on guard outside my solitary confinement and whispered to me, ‘Come back where you’ll be safe from condemnation.’

They like to warn me of the danger I may face if I remove the mask that hides my honest and true self, which in reality, is pretty ugly.

You need the mask so that others will love and respect you.’ 

Even though I have been set free, they continue to whisper to me that I should return. 

 

It was on the day I met Jesus that I learned I could not hide behind masks in an effort to look good, nor could I keep secrets from him.

He let me know through the places of my past that we visited—in my spirit because we didn’t seem to leave my living room—just how far from good I really was.

 

But surprisingly, as quickly as we visited each event in living color, he covered my shame, guilt, and humiliation.

I felt a certain freedom, as if I had been released from prison with a full pardon. 

 

As I was being enveloped by complete love and acceptance I had never experienced before, he made one statement. “I want your life.” 

 

What Jesus did not say was what that meant, and at the time, it didn’t matter because I was overwhelmed that he would want my life.

 

He proved that I wasn’t as smart as I thought, and furthermore, that I was a fraud, a liar, a cheat, and adulterer.

 

And above all else, he proved I was not a friend to God. 

 

He proved that I was selfish, self-centered, and self-absorbed.

I had lived my life as if I was God, with no regard for the sacrifice Jesus had made when he died for me.

 

And yet, in the presence of his love, and because of his love, I could not help but to answer, “Okay.” And I did it without any hesitation, thinking only that I better agree before he changed his mind. 

 

Of all the reasons I claimed to be Christian, I never knew the best reason was to experience his love and acceptance of me.

 

Just as I am. 

 

All those years of going to church to look holy and to make sure I stayed on the roll called up yonder someday were in vain.

 

All the secrets I carried and all the trouble I went through to put on the right costume so people would accept me were meaningless.

 

And all the things I did that I thought were good did not even get an honorable mention on our trip through my past. 

 

The only thing that mattered was love and the only reason to be Christian is to experience love. 

 

Until I met Jesus, I had no idea how little I knew about love.

 

I had devised strategies to love and receive love, but because I was a slave to Shame and Humiliation, what I experienced was counterfeit love.

 

Controlled by the fear of being exposed, I lived my life behind a façade of looking good and trying to fit in, and all the while, the real me was dying from a lack of the knowledge of what is real love.

 

I knew that I had been hijacked and I wanted to be free, but until I met Jesus, I did not know that Love held the key. 

 

On that day, I also did not know that Shame and Humiliation were my enemies and not the friends I had made them to be.

 

I thought their whispers were to protect me from exposure, but instead, I learned over the next few years that every time I listened to them, I did so with a cost. 

 

Exposure leads to intimacy.

 

And the closer I can get to “into-me-you-see” where it does not matter what you think about me, the closer I get to freedom from the death clothes that rob me of love. 

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…. If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:1,31 (ESV)    

And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:13(ESV)

For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.—Ecclesiastes 12:14 (NIV)

John 3:16,1John 4:8

As always, it is my intent and hope that my words may encourage you wherever you are in your journey.

Please share your thoughts in the comments below or go to the group tab above to share your own experience. It only takes a minute of your time to register (and you can be anonymous), and your words may help others.

If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.--Jesus (Mark 4:23)

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