The world is divided into two camps. The first, and, in my humble opinion, the greatest ever, is the camp filled with those of us who love Cadbury Creme Eggs, the Easter candy from Heaven.
The second camp is made up of those unthinkable others who, for some inexplicable reason, can’t stand the candy egg deliciousness. (They probably hate children and bunnies too.)
One devastating year, I bit into my beloved Creme Egg and discovered that, by some flaw of the manufacturing process, it was empty. No egg white. No yellow yolk. No gooey goodness. Just a sad little crumbling chocolate shell.
The effects of shame leave us like that empty shell, and sometimes we end up looking to anyone or anything to fill us. I’ll admit that I came to most of my former dating relationships with empty hands, begging those poor boys to satiate a hunger in me they couldn’t possibly have filled. It was never their role to fix my broken shell, and it was unfair of me to expect that from any human being.
And my poor husband. When people ask Kevin if he’s read this book, he replies, “Read it? I’ve lived it.”
He’s joking, of course, but there’s some truth to that statement. No one more than Kevin (besides me) has had to bear the burden of the repercussions of my struggle with shame. No one else had to deal with my insecure questions in our first years of marriage: “Do you still love me? Do you still like me? Do you still adore me? Are you sure?”
He’s been such a loving, faithful, godly, and gracious husband. (Remember, the guy willingly wore twinsie T-shirts with me on our honeymoon!) But even so, Kevin, with all his charms, does not have the capacity to fulfill my deepest longings for love.
The woman at the well (John 4) is a prime example of another woman who looked to men to fill her up. She had given herself to six husbands, but one fine day, her true Husband, Jesus, stood before her at the well. He had loved her before she ever knew Him. He stayed when the others left. He knew the amount of hair on her head and had counted the number of shameful tears she had shed. He knew the real her, and He loved every bit. She responded to the love of Jesus that day by dropping her water jar at His feet — releasing her tight grip on the past, on the men, on her sin, and on her shame — and acknowledging that He had always been, and would always be, the only one who could fill her empty places. He restored her crumbling shell.
Perhaps you’re running from one romantic relationship to the next, looking for affirmation, looking to feel complete. Maybe you’re thirsting for approval from a pastor, teacher, parent, boss, or even a friend. Only Jesus, the Living Water, can fill you in such a way that you become satisfied and yet never grow tired of drinking deeply. Return to Him again and again and again. He is standing before you saying, “My daughter, I see you — all of you. Nothing is hidden from Me, and yet no sin or shame can ever change My love for you. I like you. I love you. I adore you. And I can fix your broken places.”
So return to Jesus. Give yourself gold stars. Stop shoulding. Enjoy the little things. Remind yourself of God’s truth. Continue to acknowledge shame. Sharpen your weapons and be- come a shame slayer, one who is consistently and victoriously overcoming her shame.
You can spend your whole life sitting next to a throne, wishing you were the princess. Or you can take your rightful place as a daughter of the King and live your adventure. Claim that throne (and decorate the thing with gold stars while you’re at it).
- If you feel comfortable, share about a time you expected someone or something, other than Jesus, to fill you.
- If Jesus were standing before you today, what would you love to hear Him say?
God, You are my Overcomer, and I want to live a life that exemplifies You. When shame rears its ugly head, give me Your strength to knock it down. When I bury myself in shame or put expectations on myself that You don’t, or when I look to others to fill me, please help me to listen to Your powerful voice. Remind me to return to You again and again. You are the only one who can fill me, and I praise You for that. Amen.
Excerpted with permission from Overcomer: Breaking Down the Walls of Shame by Aubrey Sampson, copyright Aubrey Sampson.
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What do you hear Jesus saying to you through this devotional today? Come share your answers to Aubrey’s questions on our blog! (And, let us know if you’re in Camp Cadbury Crème Egg or Camp Can’t Stand ‘Em.) We would love to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily