I knew it wasn’t right, but I did it anyway. I knew what others would say and what they would think, but I did it anyway.
I had an affair with a married man.
I was that woman. The homewrecker. The woman looked upon with shame and disgust. I was the woman who ruined your life.
That affair happened over twenty years ago, and there are still times when shame tries to convince me that’s who I still am. It slithers into my mind and dares me to doubt the redeeming work of Jesus and baits me to question the goodness of my heart.
Perhaps you’ve experienced it, too. Maybe your sin is a different color with different layers and labels, but I bet the shame it hides under is the same. It’s shame that tells you you’re a horrible person – that if people really knew about the things you’ve done and the things you’ve said, they would hate you. It makes us feel like we have a bad heart, like there’s nothing good in us at all. This is when we must choose what we want to believe: we can accept the devil’s lies or we can accept the Bible’s truth. While it seems like a simple choice, it’s not always easy. When I’m battling shame, journaling helps me identify the heart of the matter.
Something about putting the pen to paper slows my mind enough to see the truth amidst the chaos; when I write out my thoughts and compare them with Scripture, I can quickly see the lies keeping me stuck. Reading the Bible and journaling out my thoughts is a lot like gardening. I pull lies out like weeds and plant seeds of truth in their place. Click To TweetReading the Bible and journaling out my thoughts is a lot like gardening. I pull lies out like weeds and plant seeds of truth in their place. I water the seeds with prayer, and the Holy Spirit nurtures them to grow and strengthen my faith. It doesn’t all happen at once, just like a garden doesn’t produce fruit overnight.
Luke 8:15 says, “But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”
As I pour out my thoughts with pen and paper, I see these seedlings growing into faith. Through scribbled writings, I see transformation taking place, and it gives me courage to keep battling shame! It gives me hope to persevere. It gives evidence of a noble and good heart.
I still wrestle with shame from time-to-time, but journaling helps me in my battle. It’s not always easy to do and it takes a little time, but I know it’s producing lasting fruit.
I’m not the woman I was twenty years ago. I’m not even the woman I was yesterday. I’m a woman of God, redeemed by the blood of Jesus! I’m a woman with a noble and good heart who hears the word, retains it, and perseveres to produce a crop all for the glory of Jesus.I’m not the woman I was twenty years ago. I’m not even the woman I was yesterday. I’m a woman of God, redeemed by the blood of Jesus! Click To Tweet
Have you, too, battled with shame or questioned the goodness of your heart? How can you remind yourself of your noble and good heart? What seeds can you plant in your heart today that will help you persevere and produce a harvest?
And join us over at Back to the Bible with the Beautifully Refined reading plan. Growing in Christ Day by Day with Jessica Brodie.