Since I’ve been a part of the Illustrated Faith Creative Team for a year & a half now, sharing my testimony has become almost second nature to me. I keep myself open to others because I know that someone out there will read the words of my story & connect with some small part of it. But there are times when shame creeps in & makes me want to hide certain parts of my faith journey from the world. Parts that don’t portray my Christianity in the best light.
When I created this page in my Bible I asked myself what I’m ashamed to admit as a Christian. That’s a really hard thing to answer. I didn’t want to be 100% honest because I knew the response would make me feel bad about myself & worry that God is somehow ashamed of me. Do you remember doing something wrong as a teenager & instead of getting angry, your parents said they were disappointed in you? That’s somehow worse, right? But because it made me squirmy to think about, I knew it was something I needed to face. The things that make us the most uncomfortable are oftentimes the topics we should confront head on.
The truth is, when it comes to being a Christian– I fall short. WAAAAAAAY short. You’re probably thinking that’s a pretty obvious thing & the understatement of the century, but it feels icky to admit, right? As I thought about it, the list of my shortcomings as a Christian just kept getting longer & longer. Sometimes I slip up as a Christian. I curse, I lose my temper way too often, & I become overtaken with anxiety because I forget to pray. Sometimes when I remember to pray, I get distracted or fall asleep in the middle of my nightly prayers & don’t finish them. Sometimes I let bad thoughts sneak into my mind, I second guess what God is telling me, or I question what I read in the Scripture. I feel like these are not the marks of a good Christian & I’m ashamed for anyone to know.
But the thing is that God already knows. That’s kind of a relief in a way, right? Because we have no secrets from Him. Even if no one else in the world knows, He does. I take comfort in that. Because He already knows & loves me anyway. Sometimes we’re the cactus full of prickles that no one can hug but Him. He knows that we’re full of slip-ups & questions & prickles, but He loves us anyway. We’re imperfect beings by very definition. Truthfully, we are free from shame with Him. The point is that we keep trying.
That we keep seeking Him.
That we fight through those prickles.
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