In The Grip Of Shame, In The Grip Of Grace

Hiding Under Our Shame


“Ready or not, here I come!” Those words end the countdown in Hide and Seek, the familiar childhood game. As a person caught up in shame, you can bet that I learned to always be ‘ready,’ always well hidden. I did not want to be found. Remember, I didn’t trust so I hid, especially my heart. I hid from others, and I hid from God.

Hiding our hearts disallows us from being known. It’s not just the ugly bits we hide but the beautiful ones as well. As we hide in our shame, we become unwilling to believe and accept the truth of who we are as God’s sons and daughters, so we give Satan power. Then, Satan uses that power to access the wounds of our past and he attempts to wound us repeatedly in those same places. In our weakened state, we believe his lies of condemnation and feel the urge to hide even more.

Continued hiding keeps us in the grip of shame instead of in the grip of Grace. Satan knows the power of the embrace of the One who loves us, who gives us the good gift of hope. He revels in the fact that our hiding keeps us in his tight-fisted grasp with little hope. Locking us in the shame of our past is one of his favorite objectives. He knows that when we lock up our hearts tight, shame feels like death, so we close the door not only to Grace but also to life.

Many times, the wounds of our past emerge as themes in our lives. Those themes can frequently be painful, but they are also powerful. When we spend time to gain insight and recognize themes of our past, God reframes these wounds and diffuses their power and our shame. This gives Satan fewer wounds to pierce with his prickly weapons of fear and destruction.

Sexual sin is a theme in my family story. I don’t have space to go into details, but suffice it to say sexual sin has impacted me and each of my siblings in significant ways. As I have opened the door to Grace, I now understand some of my life realities that made me vulnerable and led to dreadful decisions.

I no longer hide where I’ve been and what I’ve done, even the scandalous things. “Ready or not” has a different ring these days. I am always ready these days, too, but not by hiding. Readiness these days comes as I open my heart and remember. Remembering God’s redemption of my story keeps my heart vibrantly alive. My story isn’t really my story anyway. It’s His story of Grace and redemption - redemption of me, my heart, my life.


“We can’t just put our pasts behind us. We’ve got to put our pasts in front of God. He longs to reframe our pasts and let us see them against the backdrop of His glory. Never ever forget that our God is a redeemer.”   ~Beth Moore

What wounds have pricked and pierced your soul? Do you see any themes emerge as you explore your wounds?