Well, it looks like this might be my last post for a while. It seems Dani is itching to take control of her blog back. I hope you'll read the rest of my story in Submerged. Today's subject is a touchy one for me. I'm a Christian. I should know all about redemption. Thing is, I believe Christ died for my sins and I believe He saved me, but I still struggle. As you've learned these past few weeks if you read my posts on Facing Your Fears and Shame (still stinging from that one), I continue to wrestle with fear and shame.
I should know better. I should have it all together on the inside like I do on the outside, but I don't.
I still struggle.
I still hurt.
Regret and shame still cling to me like an ugly old sign flashing 'she doesn't belong.'
I strive to be good, to be perfect and on the outside I might even appear to be, but on the inside....
Bethany shared redemption's definition over on Katie's blog today. Four and Five hit me the hardest.
1. An act of redeeming or the state of being redeemed
2. Deliverance or rescue
3. Deliverance from sin; salvation
4. Atonement from guilt (I wish! I know I'm saved, but I fear this guilt will never go away. And, in truth, I don't deserve for it to).
5. Repurchase, as of something sold (I gave myself away painfully enough, but you're going to have to read my story if you want to find out more, because unlike Dani, I'm not ready to share the source of my shame).
What about you? Which definition of redemption hits you hardest, for good or for bad?
Do you ever feel the hot sting of shame? Ever feel that you're not enough, you'll never be enough? You're not alone. My name is Bailey Craig and I've wrestled with shame for years.
Shame grips you, makes you want to shrink away and cower in your pitiful ugliness, in your past sins and mistakes. It whispers you don't belong. You'll never belong.
That's where I am--knowing I don't belong. Knowing that no matter how put together I look on the outside, no matter how confident I may appear, inside I'm suffocating and scared. The past lingers and the shame remains. Reminding me of what I've done, of who I used to be.
Leave it to Dani to make me face it. At least I'm not alone. Bethany is suffering too, only at Katie's hands.
I wonder how Dani and Katie would feel if we brought up the things that cause them shame. Would they really make us faces our pasts? Would Dani really bring me face-to-face with my shame and the one person it wounded most?
I doubt it, but here I am, about to face my fears and the overwhelming burn of shame. I pray I make it through. Pray I don't yearn to shrivel away when my past catches up with me.
How about you? Do you ever wrestle with shame?
Missed last week's post on Facing Your Fears? Click here.
Are you being forced to face your greatest fear? I am.
It's something I've prayed I'd never have to face. In fact, I'd happily dive into a pit of vipers if it meant I didn't have to go home. But I don't have a choice. Not unless I want to ignore the passing of the only family I had left. The only real family I had left.
Fear is an odd thing, isn't it? You think you can ignore it, think you can make it go away if you just smoother it down deep enough.
But it's not gone.
Oh, it never leaves--just lingers, simmering beneath the surface, waiting for the opportune moment to strike. To clutch you in its greedy, all-consuming grasp. That's where I am. Where Dani has placed me.
Fear is crawling up my neck, winding around my throat, threatening to suffocate me and I'm not the only one. Bethany is also wrestling fear's domination. Both of us are being forced to face what we'd rather run from.
The difference is I should know better. I know God. I know His Word says not to fear and yet I quake in it. What's wrong with me? Why can't I be stronger, better...different?
I stand on the precipice knowing I have to jump, and I'm terrified.
What about you? Have you ever felt suffocated by fear? Ever been forced to do something that terrified you? Ever had to face a fear you'd rather run from?
Bethany and I are chatting about it today. Protesting the painful turn our lives have recently taken at Dani and Katie's hands.