September 14, 2012
"No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the Lord will take delight in you ..." Isaiah 62:4a (NIV)
Several children were asked to define love. One said that love was when her mother was pregnant and her daddy painted her mother's toenails. Another said that love was when her daddy walked in after work smelly and sweaty and her mom said he looked handsome.
But one child said this, "I think that love is when your name is safe in someone's mouth."
Makes me think about Candy. One day she showed up at school. Her morning was like every other. She got up early, fixed her siblings breakfast, and got them all out the door to school. She had picked up her jeans off the floor and put them on in a hurry. Candy's mother was addicted, and her daddy wasn't in the picture, and sometimes laundry just didn't get done.
She arrived at school and a mother of one of the students confronted her, asking, "Why are you always so dirty?"
All she could do was bow her head in shame. There was no way she could share her secrets with this condemning woman.
In Isaiah 62, a nation was marked by shame. Through the prophet Isaiah, God let the nation know that He was willing to come down into the trenches beside them. Yes, He saw their situation, but He also saw them for who they were to Him.
Shame can teach us many lessons, like:
What you have to offer isn't enough.
Keep your secrets to yourself.
But when God marks your life, there are new words to redefine you, like: Beloved. Mine. Beautifully and wonderfully created.
As a teen Candy became a Christian. She knew little about faith, but what she did know is that for the first time in her life her name was safe in Someone's mouth.
As time passed Candy handed her shame to a Heavenly Father who took it willingly because each of us is precious to Him, and shame was never a burden God desired that we bear.
Perhaps you, like Candy, define yourself through the words of someone else. Or see yourself through the past. Or the actions of someone who was supposed to love you and failed.
When shame encounters the love of God, something powerful takes place. That love lifts the receiver up and over shame to a place of value set apart by God. Your burden is shifted to God's broad shoulders and He is now free to complete the "good work began in you" (Philippians 1:6).
As God's girl, shame has no place in your life or heart. Your name is safe in His mouth because you are beautiful. You are loved. You are His.
Dear Lord, that past incident or those words from the past, they do not define me. Your words and Your love define me. From this day forward I choose to see myself as You do. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Do You Know Him?
Would you like to bring the message of this devotion to the women of your church? Click here to find out more about considering Suzie Eller as your next retreat / key note speaker.
Visit Suzie's blog where she shares more on how to overcome shame and discover how to forgive, let go, and live in your new identity as God's child.
Reflect and Respond:
Read 2 Corinthians 5:17.
If the old is passed away and you are a new creation, how much energy do you currently devote to thinking about the past?
Name one way that this same energy can be utilized in a fresh new way today.
2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." (ESV)
Psalm 103:5-6, "He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle's! The Lord gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly." (NLT)
© 2012 by T. Suzanne Eller. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Friday, 14 September 2012.