Many of us are conditioned our whole life to portray that everything is okay on the outside. In the culture I was raised, you deal with everything behind closed doors. It is because there is a fear of judgment or ridicule. When there is trouble or attack in our lives, we think it is a sign of weakness, like we’ve lost control. We think if people find out that we aren’t as perfect as we are perceived to be, we surely won’t be accepted. However, no one is without a past, pain or struggles. But everyone is acting like they’ve got it all together and they put on that smiling, flawless front to avoid rejection and judgment. And it leaves each person feeling the same way, ashamed and alone.
Alone and flawed is where we dwell in isolation. And this is just the way the enemy of darkness likes it. Isolation is his playground. His place where he gets to taunt us with guilt, shame and self-hate. In this place, where he has cornered us all alone, he can trick us into believing we are not worthy of self-love or peace or freedom. All the things we think everyone else is worthy of having, but somehow we didn’t make the cut. Maybe it was a decision we made, or something awful that was done to us or the way we were raised. Who is there to stop us from our downward spiral? Your shame is holding you captive in the palm of it’s hand. Do you want to give the enemy power to play with that?
There is so much power in revealing and transparency. James 5:16 says, “…confess your sins to each other so that you may be healed.” I can’t even begin to tell you the freedom there is in this. Not only does openness disarm people, but you will soon see how much more you connect with others. I used to feel like I had to be this image of a person who I had created in my head from the culmination of women’s images whom I admired. Ugh, there is so much trapping in this. And fear. Not only does being open disarm people to relate with you, but you will soon see that others will connect with you in more ways than you think.
My friend, Alicia just experienced the epitome of this transparency power when she released her story in writing for the first time on Monday. She had this shame and guilt battling inside her for two years. She thought that brushing the guilt of calling off her wedding under the rug and moving on with a smile would eventually fade out the wounds. But when she finally sat down at that blank computer screen, she began to experience all the weight and strongholds that still imprisoned her freedom. She had no idea how many layers there really were to her story. Her eyes weren’t fully open to the fact that she had a powerful message to touch people until she started a weeklong journey of written word.
2,400 people read and were impacted by Alicia’s transparency in just 12 hours of her blog post going live. She was so nervous about opening up about this and at the last minute almost decided not to go forward with it. She was afraid of judgment and attack. But, she stepped out in faith because she knew she deserved to be free. Within hours she received countless affirming messages all over Facebook, Instagram and twitter. People started opening up with similar stories and thanked her for helping them through their struggle. Her reveal had just unlocked not only her freedom of feeling alone, but so many others’ as well. This is why the devil likes to keep us isolated in shame: so ourselves and everyone else stays locked up in burdens that weigh us down.
“I didn’t realize it was such a deep scar. I had buried that chapter of my life and covered it us with a smile. Once I had to reopen it for the first time I realized it was a topic that unleashed panic, discomfort, pain and shock. It also revealed how truly grateful I was for leaving when I did. Before this journey, I was prepared to never have any closure and just accept it as something that happened. It also had made me skeptical on marriage. I didn’t want to embarrass myself again. As of today, I know this chapter of my past was a once in a lifetime encounter and that I learned from it. I feel healed and brand new. It is so liberating! I don’t have to live with guilt and fear anymore.” ~Alicia Blanco
Alicia shone the ultimate flashlight on the darkness hidden inside. “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of the Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7. When I asked her how she felt after the journey of writing out her story and speaking out on it, these were her exact words, “Free!!! Relieved 🙂 EMPOWERED.”
You can have this too. Know that you are not alone, you aren’t the only one and when you confide in a safe person who loves you, you have opened the door to freedom and healing.