I remember the day I walked the aisle at Bammel Baptist Church and accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior. I even remember the green polyester dress that buttoned down the front with pockets on each side. It was my favorite dress. The shoes I wore were a rust colored suede with some awful rubber soles. The hymn that was being sung was, “Just as I Am”.
Just as I am, without one plea
But that Thy blood was shed for me
And that Thou bid'st me come to Thee
O Lamb of God, I come! I come...
Scared, but sure that the Holy Spirit was nudging me to step out into the aisle and make that walk, with tears flowing down my cheeks, I did it. I walked down to the altar and gave my heart to Christ. What a wonderful day that was!
Later that summer I went to pre-teen camp. I was on fire for God! I was going to go and tell all my friends about Jesus! When I returned home fear took over. They had not experienced what I had experienced. I was so afraid that they would laugh and make fun of me. Needless to say that the flame was quickly extinguished!
Over the next 20 years I made some terrible choices. Choices that would have lifelong consequences. Consequences of guilt, shame and fear of what others would think of me if they knew the things I had done. There it is again…fear of what others would think. Isn’t it amazing how so many of us walk through life afraid of what others think about us?
It wasn’t until 2006 that I was truly able to lay the guilt and shame down at the foot of the cross. I attended a bible study that walked me through the steps of turning loose of the guilt and shame. Those things were holding me back from the life that God had planned for me even before I was knit together in my mother’s womb. (Jeremiah 29:11, Psalm 139:13)
Shortly after the bible study I read in a devotion by Beth Moore. She said that when our sins are in the darkness Satan has a stronghold on us. When we expose those skeletons in our closet and bring them into the light, he no longer has a hold on us. God’s light casts out all evil. It exposes Satan for who he really is, the king of deception!
See, Satan wanted me to believe that people would judge and shame me. God showed me that the truth would set me free. (John 8:32) He’s taken the trash from my past and given me a testimony of His mercy, grace and forgiveness. He uses it to give others hope in Him. (Revelations 12:11)
Now over the past 10 years I have shared my testimony with 100’s of people all around the world. I’m no longer gripped with fear of what people think about me because I know what God thinks about me. He thinks I’m beautifully and wonderfully made. I’m made in His image. I’m His daughter and He loves me more than I can fathom!!!
Yes, there are still those who judge me and some of those, are people that I dearly love. I don’t let that define who I am. I am confident in my identity in Christ and walk with my head held high knowing that I am forgiven and free.
I don’t know where you are today, but if you are like I was and riddled with guilt, shame and fear, I have great news for you. God made you in His image and He loves you more than you can imagine. Don’t wait another day. Today, you can lay it at the foot of the cross and begin living a life of joy and freedom that only comes from Christ.
Jesus said, “I am the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Friend, there is freedom in the truth and there is life in forgiveness. Receive it today!
Heavenly Father, I am amazed at the mercy and grace that You pour out on Your children. I am overwhelmed with the forgiveness that You so readily give to us when we ask. Lord, touch the hearts and lives of those who are reading this today. I pray, that through this, they are able to lay down their guilt, shame and fear and exchange it for the forgiveness and freedom that You desire for them to have. Thank you for loving us unconditionally. You are a good, good Father!
In Jesus Holy and Precious name, I pray,
Kim Stokes is married to her husband Robert and together they lead a Non-Profit Ministry called R3 Fellowship based in Montgomery County. Their desire is to see men, women and marriages Rescued, Redeemed and Restored by the transforming work of Jesus Christ.