You weren't born with shame.

It was thrust upon you. God planned for your childhood to be filled with carefree dreams. So why are you loaded down with baggage from your past?

Well, toxic words change us, and not just temporarily. They are seeds that grow inside us and cause us pain even throughout adulthood.

I came "baggage free" into this world in 1969, but those worry-free days vanished. As criticism came, I packed it in my bag and carried it with me. You, too? When we try to "measure up" by seeking affirmation from others, we'll never be enough. I walked through life collecting emotional baggage delivered through words. Did you?   

Jesus died on the cross to free you from shame!

You and I were programmed to trash the positive and store the negative, filling our minds with self-loathing. Labels like "not skinny enough," "not good enough," and "not smart enough" attached to our identity.

Negative words controlled my thoughts and shaped my "not enough" complex. Sound familiar? 

Do you realize that, by society's standards, we will never be enough?

Have destructive words taken hold of your identity? Have the Enemy's lies bound you? Is your fear of judgment keeping you from the plan God has for you?

The Enemy deceives us to bind us with fear, but he cannot stand against God. The Lord has a purpose and plan for your life. You have a new identity in Christ, so claim it and learn to stand forgiven and redeemed.

Hollow words can't fill an empty vessel.

My desire for praise left me broken and empty. Do you feel that is what happened to you? For me, it led to date rape and more criticism. Being assaulted and thrown away like trash was devastating.

How have you been wounded? Do you feel far from God?

 I felt far from Got too, then realized I had made no room in my life for a Heavenly Father. But, thankfully, the Lord never abandoned me. He rescued me. He is ready to save you too.

I started a new chapter when I met and married my husband, or so I thought.

My situation changed, but I didn't. In my mind, marriage would "fix" everything, but I was still that girl afraid of judgment.

Do you believe a change in circumstance will lead to a problem-free happily ever after? My "happily ever after" consisted of money and weight problems, which were far from perfect. It made me angry and resentful.

Have situations in your life made you feel this way? 

There is beauty in tribulation because God uses those moments to perfect us.

When faced with a failed business, bankruptcy, and an accusation of adultery, I hit bottom. With my hopes dashed, I began looking for help. I needed my Heavenly Father.

Have you hit bottom? Or are you free-falling and dreading the impact?

When we surrender our problems to the Lord, we learn to change the negative voices in our life. As a result, we are set free from our self-made prison. Are you ready to be free?

God is waiting for you. He has a plan and a purpose for your life. He desires to rescue you and help you change the words you have allowed to define you. 

Would you like to hear the Good News?

You may identify by your faults and failures, but God doesn't see you that way. And if you're convinced that the presence of shame in your life is immoveable, trust that the Lord can remove it.

God never intended for you to live a life imprisoned by shame. He is waiting to break those chains!

Jesus died on the cross to free you from your past and give you a fresh start. As a believer, you need to claim your new identity in Him. Learning to grasp the positive and trash the negative changes your perspective and breaks the enemy's hold.

You can live forgiven!  

So why am I so fired up about this?

While writing my memoir, I discovered something. I realized that the pain from my past was still alive in the present. It was like a stain on a shirt, you think it’s gone, and then it starts to show again. You may not be able to recognize what it is, but it is there. I refer to this as a stain on our soul.

These stains are wounds we have never attended to, the trauma we have placed a Band-Aid over and never healed. We think they are gone until they bubble to the surface unrecognizable. Words place some of the deepest stains upon our souls.

 But, God can cleanse you, and He stands ready to remove those stains.

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