I was a happy child, full of joy and childlike faith. I loved Jesus.
Things changed when as an adult I took my eyes off the Lord. I was married to a good man who adored me. We had three beautiful children, and a good life.
It started with a simple touch; a seemingly accidental brush from an acquaintance. One bad choice led to another and another. Soon my life spiraled out of control.
I found myself where I thought I’d never be; deep in the middle of a sordid affair.
Guilt drove me to divorce. I never even gave my husband an explanation, much less the opportunity to forgive me and save our marriage.
I’d sabotaged my marriage, our family and our future. I was too ashamed to turn back to the God of my youth. I still believed in Him, but I’d wondered so far away.
Instead of turning to God, I turned to another man and remarried. My second husband had his own issues and later went on to abuse my children. My marital sins where heavy enough, but now my choices were impacting my kids.
Weakly, I crumbled under the weight. It was as if I wore a wet blanket; a heavy cloak of shame and condemnation. The thing about this “cloak” is that it doesn’t just cover a matter or person –it consumes.
I was so consumed with guilt, shame and self-loathing that I didn’t see past myself. I hid my head in the ground, hoping all would work out for my kids once they eventually left the home.
Though l believed in God, grace and forgiveness were now foreign to me. I wore that heavy cloak for over 40 years until one Sunday when I went to church.
The message was about loads and burdens. It was as if the Pastor looked into my life and wrote the message specifically for me.
For the first time, I saw the heavy cloak I’d been wearing by not allowing myself to receive forgiveness from God. All those years I spent trying to hide the truth; not confessing; not sharing the weight and knowledge of my sins helped no one. In fact, it only hurt the ones I loved and added more weight to my burden.
I woke up when the Pastor said, “There is no healing in the hiding.”
Did I really believe Jesus died and paid the price specifically for my ugly sin?
Yes. I do!
As I embraced truth, my heart began to lift. I saw the cloak of shame for what is was. It had shaped me into something different than who He created me to be. I had only to turn it over to Him.
When I took time alone to listen to Jesus I realized He wanted me to give Him the burden. He wants everyone to do give Him their burdens. That’s why He went to the cross. His shed blood is for all who will not only believe, but receive the gift that trades our sin for His grace.
I even realized that all those years of trying to carrying my burden myself was dishonoring to what He had done and distanced me from receiving His will for my life.
When I gave Him my burden an incredible weight lifted off of me. I became free.
That freedom allows me to realize His blood established that I (and you) are worthy to walk with Him.
When I confessed this to others, power, grace and love welled up in me in a strong way. I was surprised at the bold confidence that spilled out of my mouth.
Jesus presence and joy replaced my shame. I’m not proud of my past, but grace empowers me to tell others that Jesus takes our heavy burdens –without shame!
He who the son sets free, is free indeed! John 8:36