I’ve Worn a Cloak of Shame and Guilt for Decades
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8
Are You Being Groomed?
I have worn a cloak of shame and guilt for decades. For years, memories that I had tried to bury deep away would inevitably and uninvited rear their ugly heads, turning my thoughts accusingly inward. Almost subconsciously, I would repeatedly interrogate myself on where I might have done things differently, possibly preventing any or all abuse I had experienced and from which I still experienced effects. The smallest admission… “I could have left – I could have said something differently and maybe, just maybe, it may not have gone that far” could fill me with an agonizing sense of responsibility. I felt an almost dirty sense of unworthiness to the point that I believed that in order to be accepted by anyone I had to pretend my life! I pretended my life! How sad an admission is that? And worse?… what if someone saw past the carefully constructed existence of illusion I had built and discover what I truly was?
The song, “Mercy”, speaks to that scenario. I wondered what would happen and how shamefully naked I might feel, if I were brought in front of a panel of my peers and each of my life events and sins were put out in the open for anyone and everyone to see and to judge! The shame! The humiliation! Those feelings had become constant companions to me – ever present and in varying degrees of perceptibility. In the chorus of that song I beg for Mercy. In life, what happened next was an answer to that prayer.
I just happened to see an interview on television one afternoon. A pedophile, who had already served his time in prison for his crimes, was trying to make amends by warning others against people just like him! He explained in a very detailed way the process in which he would ‘groom’ his victims. I instantly recognized that those exact tactics had been so cleverly used against me! He could have been talking about the very situations I had been in! I had been groomed!
Thankfully, I was home alone and felt no need to hide or cover my feelings because in that brief moment of realization, a sweet liberation overwhelmed me to the point that I could barely even stand! For a long time, I continued on my knees crying out to God in desperate appreciation for this breakthrough that had now completely destroyed the heavy, relentless, ever-present chains I had come to accept as a part of who I was. God had used that moment to literally set me free!
The devil had managed to successfully sell a pack of lies to me for years but in just that moment, I became crystal-clear aware of the sadistic deception of grooming and was released from all indignity, blame, and self-reproach. When I finally had the strength and desire to get back on my feet, I found myself practically floating with a sense of weightlessness. The weight of those years of lies and accusations, shame and guilt, had fallen to the floor. It … was… over!
I also learned that the devil doesn’t give up easily and that I am not his only prey. On a daily basis, he continually attempts to groom his targets in the same way that my abusers had groomed me. He carries the weapons of blame, accusation, fear, and so much more that can be very successful if not identified. He may not even be lying; sometimes his slings and arrows can be tipped with a poisonous grain of truth. That makes the weapon that much more formidable. But the bottom line is that he is trying to prepare you to admit defeat. To think you are unworthy of redemption. BUT KNOW THIS…
Because of the gift of Jesus’ blood, we are worthy no matter what! Through His blood we are cleansed as white as snow – regardless of the stain that may have once been there. Please don’t ever believe otherwise. The lies will come. In fact, the more secure you are in Jesus, the more the hurled accusations will be tossed. Put on the armor of faith and fill your mind with the never-changing, Word of God! Stand in Truth! If you ever need someone to talk to that might understand what you’ve been through.. contact me here!
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1