Shame is such a strong word – it implies a dirty, filthy, nasty, unworthy, and rejected perception– but unfortunately, it’s a word so many of us identify with. Years of shame for things you couldn’t control, and even for things you could control, have burdened you until you can’t even enjoy the good things that do occur in your life. Shame keeps us in hiding – we can’t fully open up and be free because we’re weighed down with our perceived inadequacies and unworthiness. I struggled with shame for a long time. I didn’t want anyone to know what I had experienced earlier in my life and even more, I didn’t want to remember what happened because it was shameful to me – it caused too much pain to remember. Then I realized, my past only had power over me if I stayed silent and not deal with it. The darkness and shame of your past starts to minimize when you shed God’s light, truth, and healing on it. There is power in opening up about your pain and seeking help to deal with it, both in His word and if necessary, with people trained to deal with your type of situation. By doing so, you allow yourself the opportunity to deal with it in healthy ways. In trying to smother your shame, you deny yourself the ability to treat your wounds, and any wound not treated will never heal properly. Your past is not too shameful for God. He specializes in healing wounds, and the truth is that everyone has a past, but not everyone’s willing to admit it. Some people you see today that look good on the outside, are broken, hurting people on the inside. Your best life is an honest life. Make no apologies for where you’ve come from; notice the key is that it’s where you’ve COME FROM, not where you are today, or where you’ll be in the future. Anything you have done or been through is just another opportunity to experience God’s wonderful, powerful healing.