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It's Time to Live Beloved

Updated: May 15

“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1a NLT

As I look back over the seasons of my life, I can recall many that felt like they lasted far longer than I would have wanted. From my-nerdy-teen years to the harsh realities of adult life, to the moments of motherhood and marriage that I thought would kill me, book-marked by doubt, pain, and betrayal; yes, just like the long months of a cold Pennsylvania winter, there were many periods of my life I thought would never end and I never wish to relive.

Even amid the positive chapters of my story, one thing has remained constant as life has ebbed and flowed, a sinking feeling that I would always be a failure, and growing confidence that I would never amount to anything more than my present circumstances. And with each subsequent mistake, I found the grip of shame growing tighter around me.

As a woman in her 30’s with a resume list of sins longer than my work history, I know how toxic shame can be, and how heavy a weight it is to carry. For most of my life, because of the poor choices I had made with men before and during my marriage, I thought that shame would forever be the label that would define me. It wasn’t until I got to the root of where the enemy had first planted shame during my formative years that I was then able to see that disgrace was not a destiny for my life, but a doorway into all God had designed me for.

I know I am not the only woman who struggles with shame. Whether you have been in church your whole life or just walked in yesterday, I find that so many women, like myself, wrestle with the indiscretions of their past resulting in them masking behind a smile every Sunday morning. Thoughts such as, “If people knew my story, they wouldn’t love me,” fill our hearts. As the mind continues to spiral down the slope of self-deprecation, we soon find ourselves believing that not even God could love us. This lie from Satan often keeps us from coming to God at all.

Today I feel God longs to remind us that no matter what we have done, or what has been done to us, we are still loved by Him (see Jeremiah 31:3 NLT). Absolutely nothing we do, good or bad, can separate us from His love (see Romans 8:31-39 NLT). It took me many years of therapy and leaning into God to believe these truths were not just something quoted from a pulpit that had once chastised me, but truly the heart of my loving Abba Father.

And now, in this season of healing and understanding grace, I feel God’s call to my heart is to share His heart with you. In our mess and insecurities, and in the feelings that we are too far gone for His love, He desires for us is to hear Him crying out to us – just as He called after a forgotten nation in the desert so many years ago, “You have circled this mountain long enough. Now turn north,” Deuteronomy 2:3 NASB.

We have circled this mountain of shame long enough, wasting our potential as daughters of the King who have been predestined for far greater things. God’s heart is never for us to crumble under the burden of guilt from our past. He wishes for us to live in freedom in our present, because of who He says we are, and because of what He sent His Son to earth to do for us – to die for us to take all that shame and guilt away (see John 3:16-17 NLT).

Will you join me? Will we let this be the chapter where we permanently discard shame and enter a new season of unapologetically sharing our stories of pain and deliverance? It’s time to allow God to close the door on our pasts as we lay down the weight of guilt we carry. This will require us to dive deep into scripture, opening our hearts to hear what God actually thinks about us, maybe for the first time. In doing so, I believe, as we press into Him, allowing the Holy Spirit to transform our minds with truth (see Romans 12:1-2 NLT), we will learn the Father’s heart for us. His is a heart for our good and not disaster (see Jeremiah 29:11 NLT); and as we allow Him to calm all our fears with His love (see Zephaniah 3:17 NLT), may we begin to own the truth of who God says we are, beloved.

There is a time and season for everything under heaven; now is our time to live beloved.

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