Sundays are usually the day that I get up and head to the beach. I get there just after sunrise and simply take in the vast expanse of blue water—the Gulf of Mexico. Currently, I live minutes from the West Coast of South Florida, so at least once a week, Sundays, I head over early so I can be relatively alone with Him.
So I was surprised last Sunday when I just sensed I wasn’t going. My concern turned to me feeling guilty for not going to the beach, which is a red flag since we all know that GUILT and shame are not from the Lord.
Oh, goodness, do you mind if I interrupt this Living Lesson and share something that I know will bless each of you—just as much as it blessed me!?!
What triggered my memory was when I wrote the word “shame” and felt led to rename this diverted Living Lesson to “There's NO Shame” because that was the word “Shame” that I heard a woman, Kelly, emphasize as we spoke on the phone a couple of days ago. Not surprisingly, I recently realized that the Lord has had me weaving several messages, principles, and promises together to form a safety net whereby women and brides can be caught safely in His loving truths! I’d just finished writing “The Heartbroken Heiress,” and that story had referenced Teen Challenge (that you may remember reading about in one of my Salvation Stories, “Heroin Addict”), so it was fresh in my mind and heart.
At this exact time, during the days that we were all anticipating Tara’s longed and greatly anticipated marriage, a distant relative reached out to me on behalf of her daughter. After surviving a second overdose, this young mother was at risk of her being committed to a psychiatric hospital for up to six months! She was a mother of four, and she had just divorced. Ah, how many of us understand how desperate a brokenhearted woman can be when she’s been rejected by her husband and separated from her children? Only God knows the underlying cause, but when I spoke with Kelly, I heard what had caught her in the web of meth. Thirty-two years of being dependent on a drug that did nothing to deaden her pain, her guilt, and her shame. Nothing to free her from decades of imprisonment.
Dear bride, please take a moment to read these words from our Heavenly Savior when He first stepped into His ministry on earth. It’s important because with Him living in you and His love bathing you continually, this same spiritual anointing is in each of you. All you need to do is simply open your heart to the hurting women who are everywhere:
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
Because the Lord has anointed me
To bring GOOD NEWS to the afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives,
And freedom to prisoners;
To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
To grant those who mourn in Zion,
Giving them a garland instead of ashes,
The oil of gladness instead of mourning,
The mantle of PRAISE instead of a spirit of fainting.
So they will be called oaks of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord,
That HE MAY BE GLORIFIED.
Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins,
They will raise up the former devastations,
and they will repair the ruined cities,
the desolations of many generations.
Even though Kelly had been freed from her imprisonment and had become a marvel to all the baffled doctors who could not understand how she was in her “right mind.” They had no explanation how she could have a mind at all after so much substance abuse. Even though I was able to retrieve information about the excellent program that I hoped could be used and available to the newly divorced, locked up mother of four. After listening to her testimony, she told me what she’s hoped for, something she’d kept hidden in her heart and never told anyone. All of her life, she had hoped that one day she would marry and have children. That’s when I told her the story of Vana and how God did the impossible for this heartbroken heiress.
Although I was completely behind in my work, I knew this was Kelly’s Divine Appointment to find Love at Last. Admittedly, she was/is hoping to be married someday, yet she openly embraced the truth that she first needed a Heavenly Husband. What helped was that she already understood and had embraced her Heavenly Father and even quickly located the Loveatlast.ORG website as we spoke.
Kelly went on to tell me that after being shamed for how she, “unlike her older siblings who hadn’t resorted to drugs after their mother had committed suicide,” she told me that when she spoke to her earthly father last, he began to rail into her again. This time, however, after being healed from her shame, she told me how she stood up and walked over to hug her father without saying a word. She said, “I understood that his harshness was his way of showing me love.” Isn’t that incredible what being rid of, being set free from, one well-used scheme of the enemy can do when you embrace the truth?!
Letting her finish as I was captivated by all she was telling me, I told her how in awe I was, and instinctively she told me it was due to what she had learned. At the same time, at *Teen Challenge—they emphasize there is no shame, no shame in what she’d done to herself, done to her family, how she had coped, nothing—NO shame as she literally shouted that word, NO. Once that lie left her, she said they all [at Teen Challenge] began to shower her, feed her, and nurture her with the truth. Truth, truth, truth. The result is instead of a broken, hurting, senseless monster; she is now a successful, energetic woman who is on fire for the Lord—who I hope realizes soon that He is not just her Savior, not just her Heavenly Father. That, He is, if fact, her Heavenly Husband as well. And who knows, God knows, if someday Kelly will have her own True Life Fairytale much like Vana’s “The Heartbroken Heiress” that I shared with her as well.
Before I come to my final call to get you to LIVE this lesson, I found myself showering her with the truth—interjecting so many promises I have hidden in my heart that spill out at every opportunity:
“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
"...nothing will be impossible WITH GOD." Luke 1:37
“God is no respecter of persons…”Acts 10:34-35
“Washing you with the water of the Word...” Ephesians 5:26
“...sitting there, dressed and in his right mind...” Mark 5:15
When I interjected each of these verses (and many more) as she shared her testimony, she got so excited and repeated what I’d just said! I wasn’t sure if it was a surprise that there was such a promise that I was quoting or it rang true or if she’d been surprised that I (this woman on the phone) knew these truths. But, regardless of why it happened, it continued to raise my enthusiasm and delight at the Divine Appointment. I also had to present to you a wonderful living lesson I could relive by sharing it with you.
What about you? Are you still bound up with shame that prevents you from literally embracing your accusers? I know I’m not there. However, I can somewhat stand close enough to turn the other cheek when my flesh wants to take a few steps back. Maybe her incredible anointing stems from this truth when “much is given, much is expected.” And this, God provides too, because God supplies all our needs!!
"From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, even more will be expected." Luke 12:48 CSB
*Teen Challenge is not just for teens but for adults as well.