A blog where women are inspired and encouraged to grow in their relationship with Christ.

Monday, July 8, 2013

When Flip-Flops Meet Shame


It was time for this excited, flip-flop clad little girl to jump out of the old black station wagon, dash through the pouring rain and barrel through the front door of my grandparent's house.  Yes!  After an eight hour car ride, my summer vacation could officially begin!  

I was almost to the front door when my older sister elbowed me off the sidewalk. She'd already called 'first-through-the-door' and wasn't about to forfeit her first-dibs status.  That's when IT happened.  One foot remained solidly planted on the rough concrete sidewalk while my other foot was sucked and slurped deep into a seemingly bottomless pit of mud. 

Fortunately my grandmother heard my full-of-fear yell.  She turned around, grabbed my hand, and pulled me from the deep abyss.  First my goo covered calve appeared, then my ankle, and finally my foot was reluctantly released from the brown ooze.  

My bare foot.  A bare foot that once proudly wore a brand new, pink flip-flop.  That's right!  My brand new, pink flip-flop was sitting at the bottom of a pit of mud.  And like any four -year old little girl, who's just lost her favorite, new, pink flip-flop, I began to cry. 

That's when my grandmother became my hero.  She slowly knelt onto the concrete sidewalk, and did the unthinkable.  She bravely reached down, down, down, into the shoe-sucking goo and then slowly began the assent, holding onto my muddy mess of a flip-flop.  Oh, but she wasn't done being heroic.  No, she then took my ooze-covered flip-flop over to the hose and 
sprayed until my brand new, pink flip-flop once again emerged!

Shame can be like that muddy pit.  And I can be so like that flip-flop!  I have a boat-load of repented sin that our Dear Lord has miraculously forgiven and forgotten.  He washes me off; I once again look brand-new and pink and then I plunge right back into the mire of shame and regret.  Yes, God has already reached down and pulled me out of the mud, forgiven my repented sin, but sometimes I jump right back in to that pit of shame... And remember.

"Shame says because I am flawed I am unacceptable."

Shame wants me to remember:

Things I wish I had done differently when raising our children.
Words I wish I had never spoken to my husband.
Words left unsaid to my dad, who's now with our Abba Father.
Unkind thoughts I've had about people.

Most things I can easily let go of, but there are some things that are just harder...

"Grace says that though I am flawed I am cherished."

Notes to Mary {And perhaps to you too}:

Do NOT diminish the beautiful gift of grace by holding on to repented sin.  
As long as we feel shame and guilt over repented sin, we allow satan to indict us. 
Remember that holding on to shame and regret is self-centered and self-serving = sin.
Take those thoughts captive.
Replace them with life-giving thoughts and words.
Pray and ask our Abba Father for His grace-filled help.
Determine, with His help, to remain a mud-free, brand-new, pink flip-flop!  
Shame free; full of grace!
Do you ever jump back into the 
muddy pit of shame, guilt and regret?
How do you combat those memories?
I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Leave a comment! 
Living in His grace,
  Mary  
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39 comments:

  1. "Grace says, though I am flawed, I am cherished"...I LOVE that!

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    1. Jen, I thought that was such a beautiful quote! I LOVE it too!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  2. Hi Mary! I agree that shame does make me want to hide in that mud pit. I love that I should see myself as loved at ALL times.

    I love your Grandma!!!

    Peace in Christ,
    Ceil

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    1. Ceil, shame would have us set up residence in that mud pit. I'm so thankful for His grace! And yes, my grandma was the BEST!
      Thanks for coming by!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  3. As a grandmother, I loved your remembrance of what your grandmother did. So many times, I need my LORD to rescue me from the muddy pit. And He does!

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    1. Connie, isn't beautiful how He pulls us from that pit of shame using the merciful hand of His marvelous grace?!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  4. Beautiful. You had me at pink flip-flop ;)

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    1. Thanks Angela! There's just something about a pink flip-flop! :)
      I'm glad you came by!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  5. I love this reminder Mary! So beautiful. On another note, Google Friend Connect has gone away, or is going away. Just a heads up that you may want to have others follow you via another route. Blessings!

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    1. Barbie, thanks so much! I keep forgetting to change to a new reader. I appreciate the reminder!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  6. You're a great writer, Mary. Thought you should know!

    XOXO,
    Meredith

    P.S. I've missed you, and my blogging break is over. {See recent post.}

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    1. Meredith, thank you for your kind words of encouragement. I'm so glad you're back! I'll be sure to stop by!
      Blessings to you, my friend ~ Mary

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  7. Very well written! Our Father always has a way of removing the muck and miry clay - even when the world refuses to let us forget. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Trinity, the world would have us hang on to shame, but our Abba Father pulls us out and cleans us off by His beautiful grace.
      Thanks for coming by!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  8. I love the analogy. I also wrote about a similar topic -- MERCY. But it had to do with God's mercy for us and my mercy for our daughter. She made a mistake yesterday. ;-) Of course, I make them often myself.

    I hopped over from Darlene's place.

    Have a blessed day!

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    1. Beth, I look forward to reading your post! I'm so thankful for His mercy!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  9. Truth, Mary! Thank you for speaking it and pressing us forward.

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    1. Tresta, I'm thankful that God's truth pulls us from the pit of shame and helps us MOVE ON!
      Thanks for coming by!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  10. Mary, your blog post titles always suck me in! :) Thank you for this reminder. I needed to read it this morning. The enemy knows how to plant thoughts of past failures and sin and replay them over at our weakest moments, causing us to feel unlovable. Thank you for your faithfulness! xo

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    1. Grace, the accuser certainly does want us to dwell on our past failures and sin. He wants to keep us sucked under. I'm thankful we have a glorious LORD who pulls us out, cleans us off, and helps us from jumping back in to that pit of shame.
      Thank you for coming by, my friend ~ Mary

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  11. Beautiful post, Mary! I love the vivid real-life illustration of grace.
    This is settling into my heart: "Do NOT diminish the beautiful gift of grace by holding on to repented sin."
    Thank you.

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    1. Thank you, Janice. Our Abba Father doesn't want us to belittle His grace by dwelling on past failures and repented sin. I just need to remember that!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  12. Hi Mary,

    "Grace says though I am flawed, I am cherished." Yes. :)

    Sweet story.

    Have a great week! It's nice to be back here again.

    Jennifer Dougan
    www.jenniferdougan.com

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    1. Thanks Jennifer! I'm so thankful He cherishes us despite our flaws.
      I'm so glad you came by!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  13. Shame seeks to steal my joy often. I have learned to let go of it in the big things but it is the little things each day where I find I have to battle lies and focus on truth. Love your story here about the pink flip flop. I have been really wanting a pair of pink flip flops this summer from Old Navy. Now when I get them I will always remember your story and some truth about shame! Love, Rachael

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    1. Rachael, Shame will rob of us so much joy and denies God's beautiful grace. I'm glad to hear that you battle those shameful lies with truth!
      It's great how God can use the ordinary {pink flip-flops} to remind of us His extra-ordinary grace!
      Blessings to you, my friend ~ Mary

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  14. Dear Mary
    Oh, you are not the only one that needs to be reminded of this, dear friend! Especially when the Fm/CFS flares up big time, I can so easily tell myself what a useless mother and wife I am. I become my worst enemy at such times. But this is where we need to ask for so much grace to renew our thought processes.
    Thanks, dear Mary!
    Mia

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    1. Mia, it seems that when we're feeling our worst, the enemy whispers those 'you're not good enough' lies to weigh us down in the mud of shame. Yes, I'm so thankful that our Abba Father pours out His grace so that we can recognize the lies and be cleansed by His grace and power.
      I always appreciate your insights and thoughts, dear sister!
      Blessings and love ~ Mary

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  15. Thank you for the beautiful story, which you start your blog. I love that little girl :-) The older I am, the more I consciously looking for a good balance between shame and grace. with the help of the Holy Spirit I take my dark thoughts an lies captive.

    You are such a precious writer! Thanks.

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    1. Jedidja, thank you for your encouraging words. Yes, those dark thoughts and lies will hold us in that pit of shame... Glory to God for His liberating, power-filled grace!!
      Blessings to you, dear friend ~ Mary

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    2. Mary, thanks for your comment on my blog this week. I was very glad with it. We should be proud of ourselves that we break down the language barrier :-)

      Have a fine Sunday ( I hope for you: without migraine)

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  16. So true. Satan tries his best to heap mud on us. We have to fully accept God's grace of forgiveness. Great post. (Visiting from Bible Love Notes linkup.)

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    1. Laura, shame would seek to suck us right back in to that pit. I'm so thankful for the redeeming and renewing grace of our Abba Father.
      I'm glad you made it by!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  17. First, I love flip-flops, so great job on the title. :) Second, I love this reminder that we can only be overcome by that muddy pit of shame if we forget the Grace the Lord has shown us. I used to have a hard time distinguishing between conviction and guilt until I realized that conviction motivates me to repent and make a change, but guilt just wants me to suck me in further. It's paralyzing. Thank the Lord for Grace! :)

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    1. Jen, I'm a big flip-flop fan too! Wonderful distinction between conviction and guilt. Conviction always moves us toward repentance and relationship with our Lord. Shame would want to keep us mired in that suffocating mud.
      I always appreciate your comments!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  18. I just love the visual of your grandmother saving the day, and your heart! I enjoyed this post. I'll keep your words close, thank you for sharing this.

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    1. Thanks Carrie! My grandmother was a sweetheart!
      It's so good to have you here!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  19. I so marvel at His timing. His Words given through others. During these past seven months, through counseling, prayers, His Word, my husband and I are in the midst of "shaking the dust from our feet" with my family. After praying for my eyes to be open to His Truth, I am able to see my parents never got past the sin of pre-martial sex, and me as the consequence. To them, life is all about how you look, the opinion of others, etc. God has opened my eyes to see they have treated/treat me as their "shame", their scapegoat, setting up how my siblings have/do treat me and I have believed I was all they said. Due to the busyness of life, I haven't been able to read your blog for quite some time. As I experience another night of feeling my soul in the process of casting off this "shame", I am so blessed by this post. Thank you Mary - for listening and being a part of His timing. For being His vessel. God so blesses - your sister - deby

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    1. Deby, I'm so sorry for the halo of shame your parents cast upon you. Glory to our God that He's setting you free from the years of poor treatment and defeating words. You are His precious, valuable, deeply loved daughter. I'm so blessed that we're sisters in Him!
      Blessings and much love ~ Mary

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