Replacing Shame

 We’re all moved into our new house and life is starting to settle again. I’ve been thinking a lot the past few days, something I’ve been enjoying. I busied myself too much over the move. I didn’t take time alone with God really, I didn’t rest, I didn’t think about much of anything besides getting the house put together. And at the end of it all, even though the house was unpacked, my soul was empty and down from being so ignored. And I’ve been learning to rest again, or as Emily Freeman says, making space for my soul to breathe. And how my soul needs that space.

And in that rest He’s finding me. “Be still and know…” Because it says it there: “My God in his steadfast love will meet me.” (Psalm 59:10) And He does meet me. And as I come to meet my Jesus again, I see Him. I see this man who “wearied as he was from his journey was sitting beside the well,” and all the while “his disciples had gone into the city to buy food.” (Jn. 4:6-8) He was the man who sought rest when He was weary even when His friends were busy running errands. He took responsibility to give His soul the rest it needed even if it could’ve easily looked to others like He was just being lazy. Like when He took a nap on the boat while His disciples were busy running the ship. My Savior knows the souls need for rest. If Jesus Christ made a point of taking time to rest how must we all need rest.

And how good it is to know that. Because I’ve been struggling with bitter thoughts and then again in my soul’s empty state, I turn to hide from Him in shame, like I can’t go to Him in my mess, and then my bitter thoughts only grow. But He finds me with those precious words. “My God in His steadfast love will meet me.” (Ps. 59:10) And that sets upon my soul struggles a beautiful relief. I’ve felt lost on how to respond to my sin, and though I know He accepts me as righteous, my soul has not rested there, and I go back to the shame again. And I try to fight shame, but I’m not sure how to counter it. But there in Psalms He speaks to me the replacement for my shame. “Let not the downtrodden turn back in shame; let the poor and needy praise your name.” (Ps. 74:21) Rather than turning in shame, praise His name. Replace shame with praise.

When I have those bitter thoughts, He is there offering the grace for that moment and those thoughts can be my cue to turn to praising Him that He does, in fact, meet me in His Love, even when I’m coming from the place of failing.

He meets me as He met Adam and Eve when they hid in shame. When they did not remember that they were made in God’s image and tried to become like God in their own way. Emily Freeman points out that all of God’s children do the same when they sin – they don’t remember. (Grace for the Good Girl, Ch 10) We deny our identity when we sin and we deny it perhaps even more when we hide in shame. Because it is in shame that we believe that we are a failure when God has said we are righteous in Christ. He is my identity and that is what I can always praise Him for. That is the identity I have to speak into my soul and praise my God for when the shame starts to creep in. It is because of that identity that I can come boldly to the One who first came to me.


My prayer is that you find God's grace pouring through your insecure moments. In this audio series, you'll receive a few quiet minutes of encouragement each month free in your email inbox. I hope it helps you find sweet gifts inside the feelings.

When the Fail Gives Sight to Love

Romans 11:32 “For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.”

I love all the Romans 11 beauty of God’s plan in bringing mercy to Israel and the Gentiles through their very own disobedience, but when I read through it this time this verse caught my heart by surprise and wrapped big arms around it.

Because when you’ve seen the place of knowing the extent of a fail you’ve made, and your fail seems to have brought a world of trouble, its easy to fear that there’s no going back. There’s no seeing the world as good as it used to be again.

And it takes me back to church Sunday and the story of Achan in Joshua 7, and Achan and his family members were each stoned for Achan’s sin. It was the story that stirred up those same emotions, those same thoughts of fear. And I asked, how can it be anything but that place – no going back, no making things the way they used to be. And I see the place where he was stoned, stoned at the Valley of Achor, and that name stirs up something, thoughts of hope, but why? Because there the name is again in Hosea, the Valley of Achor.

“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her. And there I will give her her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.” (Hos. 2:14-15) And Achor means trouble, and that valley of trouble was a door, like an opportunity, for hope. And at the valley of trouble in Joshua the Lord turned from his burning anger. (Josh 7:26) And it was Israel taking the steps through the trouble that happened in that valley that opened the door for them to see new mercies from God and a new hope for the future. And instead of being the place of no more, the door was open to see the place of more beautiful.

Hosea and Gomer were there too, the real-life play of God’s relationship to His people. And Gomer’s valley of trouble was her unfaithfulness to her husband and that itself became her door of hope. And after all her unfaithfulness, she was given the joy of not just seeing someone who wanted to be her husband. She could look at him and see a man who Loved her even though she had proven above and beyond that she was so undeserving of his Love. She could look at a man whose Love was determined to stand through the storms of her sin. She could look at a God who Loved her so much that He hedged up the paths that she thought were satisfaction (Hos. 2:6) and brought her to the place where she could see the door of hope. (Hos. 2:14-15) It was God who brought her through the door so she could know the greatness of this mercy that she had never seen in this way, so she could know greater depth in the beauty of belonging.

The place after the fail doesn’t have to be the place of no more’s. Getting up from the fail does mean it will be different, but it can be different in a way that’s so much better. It’s an opportunity to see the place of saying, I’ve never seen it all so beautiful before. Not that we had never failed before, but that sometimes it takes harder falls for us to deeply know that we have failed and how much we truly stand in need of mercy. “For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.” We can never receive the beauty of mercy without going through the valley of failing. Each time God allows us to fail, He is giving us a grace, a gift that’s undeserved, because the fail itself was a door to see Love in a whole new way.



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My prayer is that you find God's grace pouring through your insecure moments. In this audio series, you'll receive a few quiet minutes of encouragement each month free in your email inbox. I hope it helps you find sweet gifts inside the feelings.

The Blessing of Insecurities

Hello dear friends! Yesterday marked two years since my first blogpost on this site. Two years of writing here has been so life giving for me. Thank you so much for reading! You give purpose to this space. So, in honor of that, I wanted to revamp and share once again the first post I wrote on the blessing of insecurities. Love you all!

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“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor. 12:9-10)

Sitting in a pew in the corner of the auditorium I strained to try to make out his words. David Ring had cerebral palsy. He told of the struggle his life had been, but he stood in front of us and identified his handicap as his thorn in the flesh, his weakness, that would make God’s grace shine through even more. I’ll always remember that service. I had walked into that room feeling weighed down by my insecurities. I had felt like they held me back. I saw them as my limitations. But that was the day I first realized that my insecurities do not have to limit me. They are a blessing of grace. If this man with cerebral palsy could have such an impact standing in front of so many people trying so hard to get his words out than I could have an impact too, not only despite being shy, but because of it. I was in a whole new world to realize that there’s a world of people out there who struggle with feelings of inadequacy too and I just like David Ring am in a position to have an influence that no one else in the world has. Because of my weaknesses, because of my position, I can have a unique opportunity to make an impact. The fact that I sometimes feel insecure does not make me useless. Insecure moments have been divinely allowed in my life to make me useful.


Found in Him I am, and that is where my identity lies, but when my mind isn’t set on Him, I always go to my safety zone where I don’t have to risk rejection, where I believe I can hold to some worth, and forget that all my worth is only in Him. I do think that my insecure moments are gifts that He allows in my life because it only makes His grace more apparent.

Insecurities are a reminder. When I start to become proud in my accomplishments, my mind comes off of Him and onto me and there, focused on me, I will always struggle with being shy, with fearing rejection. Insecure feelings always bring me back to earth and remind me again that, mind set on me, I will find no true worth. Insecurities help me remember that.

Insecurities are a memorial, a memorial of me without Him. I struggle sometimes to share my insecurities, to fear that I will be rejected if only in someone’s mind. But because of that struggle, His grace shows through and I am found in beautiful grace. In the insecure moments, I have that memorial of life without grace and it reminds me to turn to Him to give thanks.

Insecurities are a connection, a connection to a world that wants desperately to find a place. I know those feelings. My shy moments give me a peek into the hearts of those around me who can’t see Truth. Those moments give me compassion because I understand those feelings of worthlessness. Yet, I have found worth in Christ, and I can testify to that. My insecurities connect me to a lost world that needs Jesus.

Insecurities are an invitation. And I am given this freedom: I can respond to them in fear and refuse the invitation, or I can respond to them in faith and receive it. Sometimes I am shy still. I choose the fear and I am swayed by opinions. But (Mt. 22:16) Jesus lived unswayed by opinions in my place. He fulfilled the perfect response to insecurities because I never could. He has given me grace in taking my identity of shy away forever with His own death, and allowing me to live the risen life with a new identity of righteous and victorious. It is faith in this grace that can guide me along to live in that truth. His wonderful grace has covered my imperfect response. He has given me grace for the insecurities, yet the insecurities, themselves, are an invitation to His grace.

It is in weakness that His power is made perfect, and marvelously, He uses the weakness of my insecurities to glorify Himself. His grace is sufficient for my weakness and I can boast in that. Because the Holy Spirit uses imperfect people and not only does He use them, He uses their imperfections. And if He uses imperfections then praise be! He has a lot to use in me.

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My prayer is that you find God's grace pouring through your insecure moments. In this audio series, you'll receive a few quiet minutes of encouragement each month free in your email inbox. I hope it helps you find sweet gifts inside the feelings.