Owning Our Stories
What has left you wounded and on the run? Rejection? Betrayal? Abuse? The shame which attaches itself to the wounds we carry can sometimes be harder to heal from than the wound itself. “Shame keeps worthiness away by convincing us that owning our stories will lead to people thinking less of us” reminds Brené Brown. When you’ve gone through hurt, when you’ve had to endure stuff that isn’t pleasant, Jesus will establish, strengthen, and settle us and create a safe place where we can feel free to own our stories.
But you’re wondering, how can God restore me when you don’t understand the wounds I’ve received from people? I’ve been hurt and the people who hurt me need to be judged, right? In 1 Peter 5:6-11 it says, ‘Pour out all your worried and stress upon him and leave them there, for he always tenderly cares for you. Be well-balanced and always alert because your enemy, the devil, roams around incessantly, like a roaring lion looking for its prey to devour. Take a decisive stand against him and resist his every attack with strong, vigorous faith. For you know that your believing brothers and sisters around the world are experiencing the same kinds of troubles you endure. And then, after your brief suffering, the God of loving grace, who has called you to share in his eternal glory in Christ, will personally and powerfully restore you and make you stronger than ever. Yes, he will set you firmly in place and build you up. And he has all the power needed to do this – forever! Amen.
Peter wrote this from a place where he was able to own his story. He had let Jesus heal the shame that had been attached to his poor decisions that led to his denial of ever knowing Jesus. Peter was stronger and he had been restored, he was not afraid to own his story which was littered with mistakes.
In Luke 22: 31-32 Jesus foresees Peter’s denial. ‘Peter, my dear friend, listen to what I’m about to tell you. Satan has obtained permission to come and sift you all like wheat and test your faith. But I have prayed for you, Peter, that you would stay faithful to me no matter what comes. Remember this: after you have turned back to me and have been restored, make it your life mission to strengthen the faith of your brothers.’ Now in his own penned letter, Peter is possibly writing from his experience of what happened in Luke 22. He remembered the words of Jesus. “after you have turned back to me and have been restored, make it your life mission to strengthen the faith of your brothers.”
Peter had run because he’d been sifted like wheat. The hunter, Satan had fired his arrows to test his faith. The shame Peter probably felt after denying His saviour needed to be dealt with because Jesus knew that shame was keeping Peter hidden because shame can only work in darkness. Jesus needed to bring His light into Peter’s denial.
We cannot start owning our stories if shame keeps reminding us that we’re not worthy, not good enough. The shame attached to our wounds can cause create the whole definition of who we are because of our past painful experiences. Shame is so powerful that it can make you believe the lie that God can no longer save you, can no longer rescue you, so shame causes you to become contained and confined which the enemy wants. John 10:10 reminds us that Satan is a ‘thief who approaches with malicious intent, looking to steal, slaughter, and destroy’ but Jesus came to ‘give life with joy and abundance.’ (The Voice Translation)
I know all too well about shame and the power it holds in keeping you quiet, hidden and unseen. Growing up in a dysfunctional home left me to deal with the emotional, and internal struggles of keeping my secret of bedwetting right throughout my childhood up until I was nineteen years old. Shame kept me from owning my story for so many years before I allowed the healing touch of Jesus to come and restore, support, strengthen and ground me. Jeremiah 31:18-19 says, ‘Restore me, and I will return because you are the Lord my God. After I strayed, I repented; after I came to understand, I beat my breast. I was ashamed and humiliated because I bore the disgrace of my youth.’ Our healing comes through the wounding of Jesus and the scars on His hands and feet help us to find the redemption path toward our freedom so we can own our stories.
Wounds make us hide our true selves, and if we don’t allow Jesus to deal with them properly then we can’t live out an authentic life, we can’t own our stories as we keep walking in the confidence to be all God called us to be. Jesus doesn’t leave you in those moments of shame as fear causes you to pick at the scabs covering your wounds. As with Peter, Jesus dealt with the shame attached to the wounds of Peter’s guilt because he had denied His saviour. Jesus sat right in that pain with Peter and Jesus will sit with you too in those moments. He reveals His scars to you, the scars that have declared victory over death and pain, over shame and trauma, over humiliation and abandonment, over abuse and betrayal. The scars that heal every wound Satan has inflicted upon you so you can trust Jesus with your future completely.
Where has shame stopped you from owning your story of wounding?
I pray that today, you would know fully the power that the scars hold on Jesus’ hands and feet. The scars that help heal, soothe, restore, and ground you in your faith. I pray that you will allow Jesus to touch your wounds so He can turn them into victorious scars so that you can start owning your stories without any shame. Amen.