Walk of Shame


I HAVE DETERMINED THERE ARE two basic fears in life. One is the fear of people; the other is the fear of God. As a church lady, I should have a greater fear of God, but it just isn’t true. 

I am more afraid of people than God, simply because God already knows I am not perfect, and he is quick to forgive me when I stumble. People, on the other hand, must know I’m not perfect, but they don’t always remember what they already know. 


It is true that it should not matter what people think about me, and I like to think it doesn’t, but give me a raised brow, a frown, or your negative opinion about something I’ve done or said, and the alarm sounds in my head. 


“The Gospel According to Me” trumps Jesus, and I forget that I have been wonderfully made. All I hear is I’m stupid or I’m not good enough or I don’t matter. 


These messages tell me there’s something wrong with me, and if I could trust Jesus I could change my truth, but there is a chasm between wanting and doing. 


I remember the day I told my aunt that my husband and I had sex only once in the six years that followed our daughter’s death. I do not know what prompted me to take off the mask I wore that gave everyone the impression that I had a perfect marriage, but the truth blurted out. Maybe it was because I couldn’t breathe and I knew I was dying inside, or maybe it was because I trusted her more than anyone on the planet. 

She sat down beside me and cried. 


I wished I hadn’t revealed the secret I had been careful to never share with anyone, even my best friend. My thoughts were swirling in my brain as I wondered what she would say. What is wrong with you? How could you deny your husband? He’ll divorce you, and you’ll have another failed marriage. Are you stupid? He’s a good man, and if you lose him, you’ll never find another. 

And then I thought of the trouble I brought on myself when she would surely tell everyone in the family. My father would be disappointed in me—again, and my mother will say something like, “I told you so.” 


My grandmother, the big Christian in the family would remind me that “God hates divorce”—again. My brothers and sisters won’t look up to their older sister as the one who has everything under control. I’ll have to find excuses to miss the big extended family reunions. 


And my husband? Well, the shame this will bring upon him will be too much to bear. He’ll divorce me and our son will suffer from a broken home. 


“Honey,” she said, “I’m crying because I’m so sorry you’re going through this. You’re a beautiful woman, and I hate it that you’ve carried this secret. That’s too much for anyone to bear alone. I’m crying because you didn’t think you could talk to me about this long before now. I am so sorry.” 

She put her arms around me, and I wept for what seemed like an eternity.


And then I exhaled. 

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.—James 5:16 (NIV)

Isaiah 54:4,Revelation 21:4Psalms 40:11-12,John 3:17Isaiah 50:7Psalm 34:5Romans 8:28

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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Long Beach Girl
July 3, 2019 6:21 pm

Love your posts, Mable! Your willingness to be transparent is so rare among “church ladies”. You go, girl!

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