Hiding Shame

I lay staring at the ceiling I couldn’t see through the dark.  Lying next to him, not a sniffle escaped as my face crinkled and tears ran silent down around my ears.  I thought to myself, “I’m not supposed to let the sun go down on my anger . . . but I’m not angry, I’m ashamed.”  Can I let the sun go down on that?”

Hiding

Covered with blankets, but exposed to the skin, I wasn’t ready to apologize or ask forgiveness.  I liked it better under the covers.  While I wondered what to do with my shame, sleep snuck in unnoticed.

The next morning I arose, and my heart groped for the bed.  All my life was in question.  I felt silly for all I write about the Tale.  “Is it true?  Why can’t I keep my head up?  Why do I feel hopeless and alone?”

“Why have you forsaken me?”

The question surprised me.  I’d heard those words before.

Sabrina

For an unloving comment made to my husband, the weight was more than I could bear.  For the weight of a whole world’s error, the same question was begged long ago.  It feels far removed until its words, spoken by the Savior, swell up in a forlorn soul in her suburban shower.

“Have You forsaken me?”  The water pouring over me, as I tried to wash down my embarrassment and escape my doings, could not do what those words could.  Sometimes begging a question can instantly reveal the answer.

What began as a hiding place for tears became a megaphone for praise.  I dried off and put my fig leaves on again, but my heart was free of its cage.  Someone understood and felt my shame, all of it at once, and long before I did.  Someone took my shame and covered it. I have a hiding place forever.

I was free to ask forgiveness and mean it.  Not bound to the sheets or the shower, I am hiding free wherever I go.

Hiding in Towels

You are my hiding place;
You will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance.

Psalm 32:7

They look to Him and are radiant
And their faces shall never be ashamed.

Psalm 34:5

The Year of Unafraid?

Yeah, that was last year.  I ran across a post in which I declared 2013 to be the year of “Unafraid.”  Then, I forgot it was.  The year found me, near the end of it, paralyzed.  In many ways, the word I was supposed to be running away from, left me with two overarching frustrations: high expectations and low productivity.

As I went through the year many “somethings” brewed.  The week before Thanksgiving found me curled up on my living room floor, sobbing.  My girls were beside themselves.  One, who would love any excuse to avoid school work, was telling me, “Mom, how will I get English done??”  They ran around cleaning and making lunch, which I couldn’t figure out how to eat.  Eventually, I reached the couch to stare at wall and window.  I’d had tough days before, but not this tough.  I worried, ”Will I always be like this?”

Bleeding Heart

I was doing what I wanted.  I was home with my children, learning all over again with them, but I wasn’t getting to all I wanted to.  On top of that, I had the regular day to day keeping of a house that wasn’t getting done.  The same story over and over again and I was tired.

It must’ve been my husband’s fault.  That master of getting up early and achieving what he decides, unaquainted with or unaffected by stress.  His expectations weighed me down.  He was the reason why I had so much on my plate.  That had to be it.

This melting lead to holidays full of conversation between us and even some friends, and revealed that much of the expectation I was living under was my own.  The more we hashed, the more those “somethings” brewing all year crescendoed into one obvious issue:  Fear.

Wisteria

Still??  Yes.  Fear of disappointing others, fear of failure on many levels: loving my husband, educating my children, feeding them well, getting my house in order, friendships with women when you’re working full-time but not employed, making time to write what I think I’m supposed to.

I enjoy ideas, having vision for the future, and trying to be different as the days turn into years.  I’m not giving up on goals and haven’t thrown the “word of the year” idea in the trash because it didn’t seem to work.

Understanding that fear still looms has been healing for my soul and I marvel at the way last year turned its last page.  When my body could do nothing but curl and heave, my heart seemed lost, but only to me.  Now, in 2014, what I only knew in fact, I now know by experience.  When I fall, where I fall is grace.

Sabrina flower

Maybe that’s my word:  Grace.  I’ve fallen a little harder and understand it more.  It’s a good word because it can’t be earned.  It will be a year of discovering it whether I remember or not.  Funny I thought differently about “Unafraid.”  Isn’t it all about grace?

So why have a word, or just a simple goal?  To learn the smell of the beautiful place you’re caught; the hands with the craziest goal I’ve ever heard of . . . to save the souls of lowly man.  It is secured and for this we wait, to see its final accomplishment.  This is our hope; this year and every one to come.