Shame – a small word that carries a big weight. It’s the devil’s age-old tactic for keeping us from living in the light of the cross and from making a difference. Since the beginning, sin and shame have caused us to hide from God and from each other. Adam and Eve hid from God after they sinned, and we tend to do the same. We feel ashamed of our broken past and broken
hearts. We feel ashamed because we don’t measure up. So we hide. We cover up the dark, painful, shameful, and ugly parts of our stories, and while this keeps us safe from others’ judgement and rejection, it also keeps us from love, freedom, and ultimately, from making a difference.
But we don’t have to hide anymore when we believe that Jesus is enough for us and that He can turn the shame of our broken stories into a testimony of His victory and goodness. See shame will try to trap us into thinking that our stories disqualify us from knowing God and making a difference, but the truth is that God uses our stories to move in us and through us. When we let Jesus in, when we talk with Him like the woman at the well, we are loved, transformed, and set free; and this propels us to make Him known.
The woman at the well was transformed when she spoke with Jesus about her story. So transformed that she ran to the people that she had been running from and told them about Jesus. The Bible says that many of the Samaritans first believed because of her testimony – her story. Suddenly, a woman who hid in shame was running courageously and freely with the message of Jesus. And we can do the same. Like the woman at the well, we can let Jesus into our mess and let Him turn it into our message.
Your story is powerful not because of who you are or what you can do, but because of who Jesus is and what He did. It doesn’t matter how broken or messed up your story is, Jesus is enough. He loves you and forgives you, and because of His crazy goodness you are free to live loved and make a difference. You don’t have to hide anymore. Give Him your story and let Him transform you. His love, grace, and goodness will overwhelm you in the best way possible and lead you to make Him known. Like the woman at the well, you too will lead with what you’ve been hiding.