Secret and Shameful Ways…

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It was as if my heavenly Father commandeered the meeting – a tactical move to push the enemy back from trespassing on my freedom, from invading territory where he was not welcome.

As my husband and I prayed with our Pastor that day, a new question was posed – to enquire of the Lord if there was a particular verse or passage of Scripture that He wished for us to read together.

2 Corinthians, Chapter 4 immediately came to mind. The Pastor was familiar with the passage. It speaks of our treasure being held in jars of clay, and promises that, “We are hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair…” (vs 8). He could see why the Lord would lead us to these verses.

Or so he thought.

The Pastor asked me to close my eyes and focus on the words as he slowly read aloud. He was sure that I would find encouragement and hope in Paul’s words about the reality of suffering, but the promise of being renewed day by day.

One phrase stood out clearly, as if it were shouted while the rest was whispered, “…we have renounced secret and shameful ways…” (vs. 2).

When the Pastor finished reading, he asked me if the Holy Spirit had drawn my attention to anything in particular. I was evasive in my answer. I said that there were a couple of things – that I just wasn’t sure.

Evasive is not a strong enough word, really. I was being dishonest. I knew the phrase that had been impressed on my heart, but did not want to go down that path.

The Pastor began unpacking the passage with great enthusiasm – sharing the many wonderful promises found throughout the Chapter.

I couldn’t focus.

That one phrase played repeatedly through my mind.

My spirit was unsettled. I knew that the Lord had business He intended to pursue with me that day. Although I could certainly choose to resist, I knew that I would not have peace if I did.

I interrupted the Pastor and asked for his bible. I explained that I could not focus on what he had to say, because God was clearly drawing my attention to one phrase. My heart raced and I felt the heaviness of shame as I read the verse aloud.

The Pastor could see that I was struggling. That this was purely a step of obedience, and not something I wanted to discuss. My face was flushed. I could not look him in the eye. I was afraid of what my husband might be thinking. I did not want to embarrass him.

They were both so gentle, reassuring me that it was okay. That there was nothing I could say that would make either of them think any less of me. That they were proud of me for my willingness to be obedient despite how difficult it was for me.

Through my tears, I shared how I had been slipping back into old patterns of coping – things that I knew were dysfunctional, even harmful, but somehow felt comfortable and reassuring during times of stress.

I had given into the temptation to harm myself on a couple of occasions, and although it was mild in comparison to where I have been in the past, I knew it was a slippery slope.

An idol, really. Turning to something other than God to find release from the pain.

Even more difficult was admitting that I had been intentionally putting myself in the position of feeling abused by my husband, believing that I deserved to be punished.

To be clear, my husband is the sweetest and most gentle person. He would never hurt anyone. We have a wonderful relationship and I love him dearly, but some parts of our marriage have been a challenge.

Physical intimacy is an ongoing struggle because of the trauma that I experienced as a little girl. Things are fine one minute, but often something will trigger memories of abuse and I will dissociate – losing touch with reality. In these times, I am my five-year-old self, feeling scared and confused.

Thankfully, this has been happening less and less. We are learning to recognize times when it is just not a good idea – when I’m tired or stressed. My husband is so patient and understanding. He would rather wait for me to be in a good frame of mind, than do anything to cause me pain.

But I had been intentionally coming to him when I knew the outcome would not be good. I felt like I deserved to be punished, and manipulated circumstances to fill this unhealthy desire.

My Pastor led me in a prayer to renounce these “secret and shameful ways”. There was an amazing peace that settled in my spirit as the footholds of the evil one were broken and the burden was lifted. That which was intended to keep me imprisoned in the darkness of shame, was totally obliterated by the glorious light of Christ.

Freedom was tangible. Joy flooded my spirit. I smiled through happy tears and commented, “If this is the abundant life, sign me up! So very worth the struggle!”

How kind of our loving, heavenly Father to relentlessly pursue me with His plans for freedom, despite my resistance. He knows the strongholds that I have struggled with in the past, things that I have found freedom from through his grace. He allowed the evil one only so much latitude – not because He wants to harm me, but because He knew the healing that would occur as I walked in obedience to His prompting.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11  (NLT)

May you, sweet one, be blessed with a renewed understanding of His goodness and love,

Kamea

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21 thoughts on “Secret and Shameful Ways…

  1. Wow, this post, Kamea! First, thank you for being so open about this journey you’re on. Second, I love how the Lord used that section of verse in a secure and loving setting… so that He could go straight to the heart of the matter without you feeling fear… and His grace was poured out as as soon as you opened up to the Lord!
    His promises to renew our lives and secure our freedom and wipe away shame… they’re abundant for each of us!
    Beautiful post, friend. Cheering you forward today!!! xxoo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dearest Christine,

      Thank you for always being such a great source of encouragement! This was a difficult post to write, for sure – but as I tried to write on other topics, I was just not getting anywhere. As soon as I was obedient to the direction the Lord was leading, the words flowed freely. It’s a little unnerving sharing such intimate details from my life, but I know that God knows what He is doing and that I can trust in His plan. Holding to His promises – as you say – “to renew our lives and secure our freedom and wipe away shame…” Beautiful words of promise!

      Much love,
      Kamea

      Liked by 1 person

    • Welcome Dita,

      I am so glad to have you visit Incremental Healing. Sorry for the delay in responding, I’ve been away on vacation. I hope that you will always find this to be a place of encouragement – a place where you will feel welcome! Thank you for your beautiful words of love!

      Blessings,
      Kamea

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  2. Kamea, I’m so glad to be your neighbor at that #raralinkup today. Can I cheer you on? You so beautifully share the depths of your story here – you have willingly laid yourself bare. I imagine that’s why you heard from God what most would not – you were listening. So glad that He is continually writing freedom and healing over your life and that you have those precious people to walk beside you. Hugs, sweet friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sweet Tiffany,

      Learning to discern God’s voice has been an amazing blessing – a gift that makes everything that I have been through worthwhile. This gift has brought challenges as well. As I clearly hear the Lord’s prompting to share on topics that I would rather avoid, it becomes an act of disobedience to ignore the prompting. This was one such post. I initially tried writing to someone else’s prompt, but He was insistent that I share these words. I trust that He has someone specific in mind who needs to read them.

      Blessings and hugs,
      Kamea

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh Kamea, you are so transparently honest here! My heart aches for you and my soul nods in recognition at this all too horribly familiar scenario:”Physical intimacy is an ongoing struggle because of the trauma that I experienced as a little girl. Things are fine one minute, but often something will trigger memories of abuse and I will dissociate – losing touch with reality”
    I know that pain, and can share that it does get better, really it does. One day I may write how my equally gentle and understanding husband and I have worked through those times too. Hang in there, friend! The very fact you’re so willing to share these things on an open platform is a good sign of the healing work God has already done and is doing in you. Your openness and willingness to be obedient to Christ will stand you in good stead as you walk closer to deeper levels of overcoming and healing.
    God be with you and bless you with His rest and peace as He pours out a loving smile on His precious child. Hugs and blessings to you, sweet friend. Xox ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • My dear friend,

      Tears welled up in my eyes as I read your words, “I know that pain, and can share that it does get better, really it does…” Such a wonderful encouragement. Of all the struggles that have resulted from the trauma, this one seems the most unfair, and the most difficult to overcome. The evil one certainly knows what he is doing when it comes to sexual sin – there is such brokenness that comes. It seems so deep and overwhelming, impossible to overcome. But God. With Him all things are possible. And I am learning that He ultimately will redeem our darkest moments to be the very thing that shines His light most brightly into a world desperate for hope. Thank you for your beautiful words of blessing and hope.

      Much love,
      Kamea

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    • My sweet friend,

      I am so thankful that this encouraged you. I know that this is a difficult time for you, as you reflect back on all that has happened over the past year. I am sorry for the hurt that you have endured, especially from those who should have been there to walk alongside you and offer love and support.

      Praying for you,
      Kamea

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks so much, Kamea. I am realizing today I just need to keep thanking God for those people He has given me and let those others go. It’s hard, but I know I have to keep trusting that He is in control. I hope you and yours have a good Sunday.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your kind words of encouragement, Katie. What glorious hope, that others would be set free as I share my story. That is what I am trusting the Lord to do, as I walk in obedience to the call to share – despite how difficult it can often be.

      Blessings and hugs,
      Kamea

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    • Sweet Crystal,

      I’m deeply sorry that you have walked through these struggles as well, but knowing that I am not alone means so much. This is one of those details that I was unsure about sharing. It helps to know that others have walked this path, and to be encouraged for my willingness to share! Perhaps this will be an important first step in finding freedom in this area of my life. How wonderful that would be!

      Blessings and hugs,
      Kamea

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    • Thank you, dear Beth. Yes, His grace is sufficient. We can trust in His goodness and love – in knowing that He walks closely by our side through it all!

      Blessings and hugs,
      Kamea

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    • It was certainly not easy, dear friend. I resisted the prompting to share this particular part of my story, but as I tried to write about something else I was really getting nowhere. As soon as I walked in obedience to share this part of my story, the words came easily. I’m glad you were encouraged!

      Much love,
      Kamea

      Liked by 1 person

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