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Feel Free To Judge Me

I have not been making friends lately. I think my filter broke. I feel like I found a piece of myself and my voice again. I shut it down for so long because I think I was afraid of it. The truth is a force to be reckoned with.

People often don’t like it and are afraid for people to speak it a lot of times. Why are people so afraid of the truth? Because they feel shame. Because they are hiding.  Because they don’t know that they are forgiven, and that it is finished. We no longer have to be ashamed of the truth that is our life story. We can own who we are, what we need, and the story that makes up our past.

I know the damage I can cause with my words which is why I think I was so afraid of speaking up and showing up. In the past, I’ve taken my bluntness too far and not remembered that the core of who I am is love.

There is a place for truth that makes people uncomfortable. At the same time, God is love, and the Holy Spirit lives in me. Therefore, by default the core of who I truly am is love. If I can slow down and remember that I am love, there is no need to shut down to an entire piece of myself.

I had this revelation recently as I’ve come to find out a ludicrous untruth that someone thought of me. I can’t control what people think about me, so why the heck would I dim myself trying to appease a bunch of people who will probably misunderstand me anyway?! I might as well show up embodying myself in full force as the sassy, loving, deep, caring, edgy, non traditional, honest, genuine, funny, spit fire that I am.

I’ve freakin had it with trying to fit in. Like me or don’t. That’s your prerogative. Mine is to be me. Tonight, I lay in bed and feel a piece of me that I’ve shut off to rushing back into my body. It’s kind of a surreal feeling. Welcome back baby girl.

I’ve been put on this earth not to fit in. I’m here to be me and to offer myself to the world. I’m not doing anyone any good by silencing my God given voice and the truth in my heart.

If you can own your story, you don’t have to be afraid. People are so freaked out by their own flaws. I definitely was.

I remember one time sitting in church maybe 11 or 12 years ago. The pastor asked us to self reflect and write down three sins that we need prayer for. I remember contemplating not writing the truth, but then decided to just write it. One of the things I wrote was “gossiping.” I was particularly ashamed  of that and that was the first time I really admitted to myself that I was struggling with gossip.

The pastor didn’t stop there though. He then had us give the paper to the person on our left so they could pray for us! I was mortified that my friend’s mom knew this about me and saw my weakness right there on paper. It was one of my first “vulnerability hangover” experiences as Brene Brown calls it.

I eventually realized though, I didn’t melt. It wasn’t the end of the world. It really isn’t a big deal that I’m not perfect and that people know that. When you own your flaws and are not ashamed of them, the flaw itself loses much of its power over you, and people who are trying to keep you in condemnation and shame also lose their power to control and manipulate you. Suddenly, we are free, and a force to be reckoned with because we can’t be shamed or controlled.

Yep, I swear. Go ahead and judge it. Yep, my kid heard me swear, and he copied me. Judge it. Yep, I’m divorced, and it was my fault. Go ahead and judge me. Yep, I had a lot of sex before my second marriage. Go ahead, judge me. Yep, Eli was conceived out of wedlock. Go ahead and judge it. No, I don’t think sex before marriage in all cases is wrong. Judge it. No, I don’t believe hell is what most people think it is. Go ahead and judge me. Yep, I sometimes yell and swear and act in unbecoming ways when I’m mad or moreso hurting. Feel free to judge me. Yep, I sometimes gossip. Go ahead and judge me. Yep, I judge people. You know what to do.

I don’t care anymore if you judge me. It’s freakin liberating. I’m over here wondering what other edgy and unpopular things about myself I can rattle off.

“Shame hates it when we reach out and tell our story. It hates having words wrapped around it - it can't survive being shared. Shame loves secrecy... When we bury our story, the shame metastasizes.” - Brene Brown

The Christian community just celebrated Easter. I find that many in the Christian community today don’t even realize the gravity of what we are celebrating, and grossly cheapen Jesus’ gift of the cross, by shaming, judging, and condemning peoples’ sins which is the very thing Jesus died to erase.

I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness comes by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” Galatians 2:21

“We live in a world where most people still subscribe to the belief that shame is a good tool for keeping people in line. Not only is this wrong, but it’s dangerous. Shame is highly correlated with addiction, violence, aggression, depression, eating disorders, and bullying.” - Brene Brown

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Let’s break these verses down. God is saying come to me all of you who are exhausted and weighed down from your sins and inability to be perfect or get it right. Rest in Him! He is gentle with your downfalls. He is humble and not berating you or demanding you be perfect to come to him. He will take your shame, he will take your wrong doings, he will take ALL of you, and you can have his feather light gift of grace, love, and freedom in Christ Jesus.

It is His goodness that leads people to repentance. (Romans 2:4)Not shame or condemnation from people in the church or oneself.

I believe that the devil’s biggest weapon against God’s children is shame and condemnation. He wants us to be blind to this beautiful gift of grace and freedom that we are given. He wants us to think God is some kind of mean judge we can’t be close to or ever measure up enough to qualify.

Stop letting the devil steal your gift and put you back under the law that Jesus Christ died to free you from. There are no buts, clauses, or take backs associated with this gift. Nothing can separate you from the love of God. Nothing.

You are perfect in his eyes. You are loved unconditionally. You, exactly as you are, are his beloved child because of the cross. Don’t believe any lies that tell you anything else.

I’m not here to make friends or to get likes. I’m here to be me and to speak the message of love and acceptance from God to his beautiful perfectly imperfect children. You are loved. You are accepted.

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