Written by: Denise Pass, photo courtesy: Pixels, published by: ibelieve.com                 –  9/10/18

God’s word can help us silence the “what if’s” in our lives if we are willing to face the fear and pain behind our shame. That place of pain is a reminder of how great our God is.

*  The article below first appeared on www.ibelieve.com

Looking at old pictures, I felt that familiar tug in my heart. It hurt. But throwing away the pictures removed a part of my children’s past, too. How could we move forward with all of the pain? Would we be able to look at old pictures and smile again? It seemed impossible. Time has a way of healing, the world tells us—and yet time and distance alone cannot remove shame from the past. No, shame lurks still as we bury it underneath until it is triggered and resurfaces again. Like a game of Whack-a-Mole, we just can’t keep shame down.

Feelings of regret and condemnation criticize us as we consider the “what if’s” of the past. What if we had done something differently? What if we knew the truth? What if . . .? Bound by the shackles of the past and all of its mistakes and sorrows, we can tend to feel as if we will never be able to shake off shame’s impression upon us. But God.

Shame has a way of making the past stick, as if we owe allegiance to its memory by paying for it with a mind recompensed with shame. We don’t. We can remove shame and regret from our past when we seek to understand our past through God’s perspective and not our own. We can redeem the past and use it to guide us toward the future, rather than burying it. But we have to own up to the past in order to be rid of it. Facing whatever we’re avoiding, along with its fear and pain, we can overcome shame from our past and actually thrive again.

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