“I tried,” Trina said, “I tried so hard to forget, but the past keeps haunting me.”
Her days as an exotic dancer had brought pain and shame. She was deep in the cycle of easy work, but hard thoughts filled her nights. Good money, but bad work that tainted her soul.
Then one evening, a man showed up. He didn’t touch her but showed kindness instead. She dismissed him with disdain. She assumed he was like any other man who looked for one thing and one thing only.
But when he spoke to her one night, her heart was touched. He spoke to her about a love like no other. He told her about the forgiveness Jesus offered. And he also told her about how Jesus gave His life for her and her sins, big and small.
Eventually, Trina’s heart softened. Her view changed. And her longings took a different turn. She became a new creation, leaving her life style behind.
And although she paged through the Bible, filling her life with God’s Word, there was on area that still nagged at her.
“I believe God forgave me,” she said, “But I don’t know how to get rid of the shame that still comes over me when I least expect.”
Trina first tossed doubt out. And she shed the last traces of shame when Christ became the Lord of her past. Then her heart listened to His love whisper into her present…
1. Alone in her room, with her face buried in her hands, God spoke to her heart, reminding her who He is.
“Who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalm 103:3-5)
2. Whether adultery, or bad choices become the banner of the past, Jesus, instead of offering shame, offers freedom, total freedom.
“With the woman still standing there, Jesus straightened up and asked her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ ‘No one, sir,’ she said. ‘Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin.’” (John 8: 10-11)
3. Jesus takes all shame with Him on the cross.
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2-6)
4. God paints a colorful portrait of His transformative power.
“…Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)
5. Enemies of the past and painful reminders are defeated in victorious hope.
“In you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame…” (Psalm 25:2)
6. In the refuge of God’s love, His rescue is timely and His protection secure.
“Guard my life and rescue me; let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.” (Psalm 25:20)
7. Each time shame calls my name, He will hear my cries for mercy.
“You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you. Hear my prayer, O LORD; listen to my cry for mercy.” (Psalm 86:5-6)
8. His love sets me free from the grave of shame.
“For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths of the grave.” (Psalm 86: 13)
9. Sin confessed, shame vanished.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
10. Never again look in the rearview mirror of life.
My eyes are ever on the LORD, for only he will release my feet from the snare.” (Psalm 25:15)
Trina’s snare came loose. Her steps became secure. Her gaze remained steady. And the man who brought her to Jesus became her husband.
They adopted a daughter. She serves in church. And the shame she left behind keeps her moving forward to minister to women who walk on the path she once did.
Photo Courtesy: Thinkstock and Unsplash
Janet Perez Eckles is an international speaker and author of four books. Her best-selling release, Simply Salsa: Dancing Without Fear at God’s Fiesta invites you to experience the simplicity of finding joy even in the midst of hardship, With engaging stories, Simply Salsa gives practical steps to overcome heartache and celebrate life once again.
Originally published Thursday, 23 February 2017.