This one simple word connects us all the way back to Adam and Eve. Especially Eve. As women, how often do we wage a full out attack on our bodies when we have had our hearts broken? After a breakup (not always but many times) our first instinct is to change ourselves, to change our outer appearance because somehow we feel we are not good enough. We want to lose weight, we want to change our hair, we want to whiten our teeth. The list goes on, but it is real. We attack our selves because somehow we have begun to believe this lie that we are not good enough as we are.
Men also struggle with shame, but I am a woman and can only speak from that perspective...so men, if you are reading this I am not excluding you from this! Just speaking from perspective I know :)
I have often wondered how Eve felt after The Fall. She had once lived in freedom of this knowledge of "gift" but that was quickly attacked when sin entered the world.
Did she carry the weight of shame for the rest of her life? Did she fight the lie that she is not good enough? Did she too struggle with body image? My guess is...our struggles are nothing that Eve herself did not fight. Especially, shame.
Shame can make us hide. Many times we close ourselves off to those around us. And it is not always because of a relationship that we feel shame. Shame because you are still single and in your 30's and not married, shame because you are infertile, shame because you didn't make honor roll, shame because you are "just" a stay-at-home mom or a mom that works, shame because your spouse left you, shame because you're poor, shame because you don't know what you're doing with your life, shame because you are from a broken family, shame because you struggled with chastity. The list can go on and on.
But what now?
I think the key in dealing with shame is reacting opposite to shame. Instead of hiding, step into the light. Let yourself be seen for the beautiful imperfect gift that you are. No matter what you have gone through, your identity as gift will never be taken from you.
You will always be a gift.
Live in the freedom that you are loved, you have always been and will always be loved. We are all in need of healing.
I wish I could've spoken to Eve and told her that the Lord wasn't finished yet...but maybe she already knew.
"Little girl awake, awake from sleep and step into the light. And let all your shame be washed away by the One who brings you back to life."