Struck Down but Not Destroyed by Shame

struck down but not destroyed by shameI started this post a couple of weeks ago with the title It’s OK to Need and Ask for Help. I planned to write on how we can’t do parenting alone and how it’s good to ask people for help when we need a break. I often get overwhelmed with motherhood, and I wanted to encourage others that it’s ok not to be able to be and do everything all the time.

I thought I had beat shame in that area. I had come to the point where I was able to send out an SOS text without becoming overrun with guilt. But shame is sneaky.

The truth is we do need help from others, but what I didn’t realize at that time was how powerful shame can be when we can’t get help, when we ask but no one is available.

It happened to me the other day. Out of desperation from a rough morning I sent out a text. My friend wasn’t available but asked if everything was ok. When I had to explain why I needed help, shame flooded over me like a tidal wave and left me feeling exposed and needy. The conversation wasn’t intended to bring shame, but that’s what shame does, that’s what the enemy does. He takes what is innocent and turns it against us.

The accusations rang loud in my head-

Grace, you can’t handle the kids on your own?? What kind of mother outsources her kids? How many times have you asked already? Are you really that desperate? It’s just sad. Suck it up and mother your children like you’re supposed to. Don’t be ridiculous. 

Shame made me want to melt away and disappear forever or build up walls and never ask for help again. She tried to convince me that I didn’t need others, that I just needed to be stronger, better, more self-sufficient. She tried to convince me that vulnerability wasn’t worth the risk of rejection, that it would be better to pretend to have it all together than invite others into the mess.

I’m working through it. I’m reminding myself that I’m covered by Him, that I’m safe in Him. I don’t have to be tossed back and forth by shame because my identity isn’t tied to what I do and how well I do it. No, I am who I am in Christ and that is enough. I can rest in His sufficiency, in His strength, and shame has no ultimate power over me or you. We may get struck down, but we will not be destroyed.