hey you, I know you

I know how you look in the morning every day and all you see is your healthy tummy and your cellulite-loved thighs. I know that you sit by your phone constantly checking for his texts or counting your number of likes. I know you can’t speak, I know you can’t laugh, I know you can’t tell a joke or ask a question without your brain telling you “shut up, you just sound stupid.” You cut others down because you’ve been cut down. You judge others because you’ve been judged. I know you feel unworthy because he told you he loved you, but his actions proved otherwise. I know what they said about you.

“I don’t know how she even has friends”

“She’s gotten fat”

“Of course he dumped her, she was weird anyways”

hey you

I know she was your best friend, but then stabbed you in the back. Everyone else understands that class, but you keep failing every test. I know that the reason that you are so sensitive is because you let yourself believe these lies. And every criticism you hear is just one more added to your never-ending list of failures. You feel like all eyes are on you, constantly waiting for you to fall, to embarrass yourself again. I know you feel stupid, because you never should’ve believed him or trusted her. You’re too loud, annoying, quiet, awkward, and clingy. You’re not fun enough, smart enough, nice enough, or skinny enough.

You have your guard up continually because you can’t believe that anyone can see you as anything other than broken and flawed. You follow your friends into places that you know you shouldn’t because it makes you feel accepted. I know you skip meals and claim you’re not hungry.

You’re hurting yourself, you’re hurting the people who love you, and you’re damaging your relationships all because of the way you see yourself.

But God…

God does not see you the way you see yourself. When God casts His eyes down from Heaven and gazes on His children, he sees you: blameless, worthy of love, forgiven, and washed white as snow. I’ve written about this before (which you can find here), but just to remind you again: you’re already accepted.

You’re already loved. You are called worthy and blessed and beautiful. You can stop all this. You can let it go.

Giving into these lies and listening to the judgments of the world does more than just damage your heart, it damages your relationships. Instead of facing disagreements with courage and love, you beat yourself down and give up. When you mess up, your guilt swallows you even deeper and instead of humility, you retaliate with pride and anger. You get jealous more easily. You crave attention more often. Trying to cover up your insecurities causes you to act in dangerous and hurtful ways towards others.

I know, because I’ve been there. Actually, I’m still there.

Dear girl, you are L O V E D more than you could ever possibly imagine. And when you fully understand that you ARE LOVED, you will begin to LIVE LOVED.

When you live loved, you love others well too. When you see yourself as somebody loved deeply and unconditionally, you will love others deeply and unconditionally. Because you know you are accepted by God, you won’t crave acceptance from others. You won’t follow your friends to places you shouldn’t be to feel accepted. You won’t give pieces of yourself away to boys who don’t care, because you understand your value.

When you live loved, you won’t need to measure yourself up to others. You can laugh, talk, smile, and cry without worrying about other’s opinions because you know that their opinions are not the ones that matter.

You were chosen before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. God literally thought about YOU before he even created the world, and designed you with purpose. He designed you to thrive, praise Him, to spread love, and to live loved.

God did not design you intricately unique for you to stare at yourself in the mirror and reject all of it.

You were bought with a price, and your worth is far more than rubies. There is no amount of riches in the world that compares to your worth in Christ. Who are we, the creation, to look back up to the Creator, and tell him that he didn’t do it right? Who are we to say that there is something wrong with us, when our Creator tells us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made?

This web of lies that you allow yourself to believe may seem impossible to fight your way out of. The insecurities run so deep and you’ve been weighed by their chains for so long, that it might seem like you’ll never be free.

You have to sink yourself in God’s Word. You have to dive deep into the truths that the Bible claims about you, and you have to hold on to them dearly. If you want to be free from your insecurities, and if you want to be able to live loved and love well, you absolutely have to spend more time with Jesus than you do with the world. You have to build a meaningful, genuine, strong relationship with your loving, understanding, never-failing Savior. The world will never make you feel loved, but Jesus always will. If you want to feel loved, spend quality time with Him.

I know how exhausting it is to live under a burden of insecurities. There is freedom to be found in your worth in Christ. You can let go of the burdens of self-doubt and fear. You can live well and you can love well when you begin grasp the depth of love that your Creator has for you (which you can only *begin* to do, because no one will ever fully understand it; that’s how DEEP it is). You just sink yourself deep into his loving truths, rather than the world’s lies.

(Ephesians 1:4) (1 Corinthians 6:20) (Proverbs 31:10) (Psalm 139:14)

when you don’t feel accepted

When I was in high school, I lived nearly every day in terror over wondering what the people around me thought about me. Y’all, I mean it was severe. I let the imaginary opinions of others dictate literally everything about me- what I wore, what I said (or didn’t say), who I talked to (or didn’t talk to), things I did, activities I was involved in, etc.… I was in constant fear over saying the wrong thing, making a stupid mistake, being awkward, or appearing to be a certain way and looking back at those days now, I feel TOTALLY ridiculous. Who I am today is not anything close to who I was in high school, and I feel like the main reason for that is because I was too afraid to be who I really was and do and say the things I wanted to. My need for acceptance totally dictated my identity.

when-you-dont-feel-accepted

I watch the people around me (and strangers via the internet) hate, judge, ridicule, and reject each other and it seems like all of those actions are a result of our need for acceptance. We need attention. We need to feel accepted. We need to feel like someone out there notices us and sees what we’re doing and cares about it. If someone is getting more attention, others get jealous. If someone is different from everyone else, they are rejected. If someone has a different view or belief than us, we feel threatened and get angry. Our own need to be accepted causes us to do the exact same things to others that we fear they’ll do to us.

For some, this desire leads them to doing things they shouldn’t be doing with people they shouldn’t be with.

For some, this desire creates a selfish and jealous heart.

For some, this desire is quenched with the use of social media.

In my own case, this desire gave me a heavy heart. Seeking acceptance from the people around me only led me to feeling even less accepted.

Whatever the case is, the need to be accepted, cared for, and just simply noticed leads to a heart-breaking life.

Chasing attention from the world will never leave you satisfied. There will always be someone to live up to, someone better than you, receiving more attention than you, or just doing life better than you are. You’ll always need to do more, say more, or be more to get the attention and acceptance that you want.

Hey y’all, you will never ever be accepted by the world. Why should you want to be? Why should you want to be accepted by the same people who reject the One who lives and reigns in your hearts?

“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you” John 15:18

Jesus himself has chosen you specifically out of the world, to stand apart, to be light and salt and love and joy- not to look like the world. Jesus didn’t set you apart so you could look and act like the very same people who hate him. No, friends- He chose you to stand above, and to stand out.

This fact alone- that He set you apart- is real proof that you will never be accepted by the world.

It’s even further proof that you will never NEED to be accepted by the world.

You are already noticed. You are already accepted. The world may make you feel rejected, but you ARE known and loved and cared for. You were chosen by God himself “to be holy and without blame before Him in love” (Ephesians 1:4).

This world is not your permanent home. Acceptance and attention from the people here will give you a temporary ego boost, but it will never create lasting joy. If you want lasting joy, cling to the worth and identity you already have in Christ- not in your strengths, not in your material things, not in your athletic ability, not in your talent, artistic ability, number on the scale, grades, popularity, or whatever. You can very easily find acceptance from the world with stuff like that- but when you seek acceptance through temporary, worldly things, it will not last. You will always need more.

Acceptance in Christ is satisfying. It is real and lasting. It won’t ever break your heart.

You know why?

Because it’s not based on you. It’s not founded in anything you’ve done, will do, or ever could do. Your worth is found in Christ alone. And He never changes, you can for sure count on that. Your identity found in Him will never, ever change, because He will never, ever change.

You don’t need acceptance from the world, you need acceptance from God. And you already had that- long before you were even born. That acceptance was established that day on the cross, and in that you have hope- knowing that you are always noticed, always loved, and always cared for.

 

you don’t have to be pretty like her

I have a story.

On one particular Wednesday morning, I was running late for class. Having an hour long commute to school, and an 8 AM class preceded by a 5:45 AM alarm, this not an uncommon occurrence for me.

you-dont-have-to-be-pretty

This morning, like many other mornings, my eyes were doing this really cool and unique thing where one is slightly more open than the other. I can wash my face, I can stretch my eyebrows, I can apply lotion, but nothing solves this problem. It’s great.

So, I have two options: put on a full face of make-up to the point where the smaller eye looks like it’s caved in (not a good option) or wear no make-up at all (a worse option).  On this particularly rushed occasion, I chose the latter.

So I run down the stairs after throwing on an outfit that I’m highly dissatisfied with because it makes me look like a safari tour guide and I begin to make my cup of coffee. My cup brews, so I pull out the milk and pour some in. And then I smell something.

And I look down at the expiration date and realize that I just poured spoiled milk in my coffee.

So no coffee today.

So here I am, no make-up, one eye half closed, unhappy with my outfit, and no coffee. And away to school I go.

In my first class that day, I meet a girl. She’s tall, literally the size of a toothpick, with a beautiful face, hair piled into a cute messy bun, and perfectly polished fingernails. She’s wearing athletic clothing, so she obviously must be in perfect shape, and her blonde straight hair definitely beats out my frizzy, air dried, semi-waves in any kind of imaginary beauty competition.

And I put her image up against my own in my mind. And nearly every ounce of self-esteem I had inside me drains out.

Lies spill into my heart telling me that I am not as pretty as I should be. I don’t try hard enough to look presentable for class. Why do I ever skip the make-up? I know I don’t look good without make-up. I am not who I should be. This girl must have her life completely together, I mean just look at her. She’s probably less clumsy than me, more feminine, more organized. She’s probably happier. Probably never misses an assignment. Probably has a clean room. Probably has a nicer car. The list goes on and on and on…

Unfortunately, this type of situation is not a rare one in my life. And I have a feeling it’s not rare in yours either.

What I’ve been trying to convince myself since that day, and the thought I hope you can sink into your heart is this: You are, by no means, under the obligation to strive to reach someone else’s standards of “perfection”. Because you are not placed on Earth to be someone else. You are not placed on Earth to please anyone else.

Someone else’s beauty does not take away from your own beauty.

Someone else’s skills and abilities do not take away from your own talents.

Someone else’s cute outfit does not take away from your own unique sense of style.

You don’t have to look, talk, dress, or act like that girl. You can look, dress, talk, and act like you.

You don’t have to be pretty like her. You can be pretty like you.

I have another story. It’s about a girl named Leah. Leah was a young woman who always seemed to come in second place to someone else.  The Bible tells us that Leah was pleasant, but her sister Rachel was beautiful (Gen 29:17). When a man named Jacob asked their father, Laban, for a wife, he was promised Rachel, but received Leah instead. When Jacob realized this he said, “What is this thou hast done unto me? Did not I serve with thee for Rachel? Wherefore then hast thou beguiled me?” Not only was Leah not as beautiful as her sister, but she also became a newlywed who was rejected by her own husband.

Don’t you have days that you feel a lot like Leah? Don’t have days when you feel as if you’re always second place to someone else, like you’re supposed to be so much more than you really are?

I have those days too.

God eventually blessed Leah to give Jacob a child. Despite the fact that this man has rejected her, Leah praised and thanked God for blessing her with a child to give Jacob (vs 35). Leah understood something that is should be such a precious reminder for all of us.

Leah understood that she was not placed there to serve people. She was not there to serve Jacob, to please her Father, or to try to live up to her sister’s standards. God placed Leah on Earth to serve and praise Him. And that’s exactly what she did. Leah was not beautiful like Rachel, but she was beautiful because she was a young woman who remained faithful to God and served and praised Him.

When you allow yourself to believe that you are not as good/pretty/skinny as other girls, you begin trying to please people more than you are trying to please God. You are admitting that others’ approval is more valuable to you than God’s approval.

Dear friend, you do not exist to please people around you.

You do not exist to win beauty contests, to win over all the boys, or to win anyone’s approval.

You exist to serve God.

You are not beautiful because of the color of your eyes, the color of your skin, the style of your hair, or the shape of your body. You are beautiful because God created you for Himself. You are beautiful because God is pleased by your praise and faithfulness. You will become so much more content with who you are when you have a firm grasp on what your purpose is- to serve God, to spread love, to honor and worship the One who made you beautifully and perfectly.

what does self-care look like from a Christian standpoint?

Our society is in a huge “self-care” surge at the moment. Since the world promotes a somewhat self-centered attitude, this obsession with self- care conveniently fits in perfectly. Sometimes self-care is simply selfish attitudes or actions disguised as a healthy lifestyle.

self care

I used to see all the cutesy little self-care and self-love graphics and scoff and think that’s just egotistical.

But I’ve started wondering, what if self-care is a Biblical concept? And here’s what I found:

In John 9:13-25, Jesus heals a blind man, in John 5:1-9, Jesus heals a lame man, and Jesus is often described as our Ultimate Healer.

We are told in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 to respect our bodies because they are “the temple of the Holy Spirit”.

Many of the Old Laws established by God in Old Testament, such as the dietary laws, were given to the people in order to keep them healthy and safe.

I have to assume that God values physical health and safety.

But we’re also told in 1 Timothy 4:8, that “bodily exercise profiteth little, but godliness is profitbale unto all things”.

So while physical health is important, spiritual health is even more important.

christian self care

What kind of picture of self-care does this give us?

It’s a picture of simply putting in the energy and time to keep your body healthy and safe. I’m not talking about lifting weights every day or running 3 miles every morning. I’m not even talking about cutting ice cream and Coke out of your diet. I’m talking about respecting your body and taking care of it in a way that is comfortable for you. I’m talking about being mindful of the state that your body is in, and taking care of yourself when you need to. Don’t be apathetic about your health, instead be intentional with your body.

If that does look like lifting weights and running until your legs fall off, great. But if not, that’s great too.

Maybe your version of self-care looks like choosing a salad every once in a while, going for a short walk a couple times a week, or taking some extra vitamins. Maybe it looks like making yourself to go to the doctor when you’re sick instead of avoiding it, or taking a break from your Netflix binge (guilty).

You don’t have to be a gym rat or health guru (but if you are, kudos to you). You simply need to remember that you were bought with a price, your body is a temple and deserves respect, and that you can serve God best when your body is healthy.

Mental self-care is a heavier ball game. I’m still trying to figure it out, and I’m fairly positive that I’m not very good at it. Maybe once I discover more, I’ll write a new post about it. But for now:

I believe that ultimately, all of our mental health relies on our spiritual health.

And I firmly believe that spiritual health is a large part of self-care.

I 100% believe that *most* mental struggles like anxiety, depression, anger issues, focus problems, insecurity, low self-image, emotional problems and attitude problems can be overcome with a healthy spiritual life.

I think self-care in this area looks like a lot of time spent with God. It looks like separating yourself from the problems of whatever or whoever you are facing and diving into God’s word. It can also include letting someone you trust know what you’re struggling with, and seeking godly counsel. It can be simply realizing that you (just like myself and everyone else) are broken on your own and only Christ can fix you.

Emotional and mental self-care includes holding on desperately to God’s truths. The truths that tell you to have peace, because Jesus has overcome the world (John 6:33). That it’s ok to be angry, but do not sin in your anger and don’t let the sun go down on your wrath (Eph. 4:26). The truths that tell you are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14) and that you are greatly valued in God’s eyes.

I promise that the Bible holds an answer to every mental or emotional struggle that you face.

*But also let me say, that sometimes you can’t find these answers on your own. Sometimes you need to talk to people you trust about your struggles.*

I think spending time with God and His Word is the ultimate self-care tip.

Maybe that means you wake up a couple minutes early to start the day with Him. Maybe you listen to worship music on the way to class, or listen to Christian podcasts on your afternoon run. Maybe you gather your friends for a Bible study at Starbucks or maybe you study alone.

Whatever it looks like for you, make it happen.

Because I’m learning that physical and mental/emotional self- care really is important. God gave you one body to run this race of life with, and it’s important to take care of it, physically and mentally. You are valuable and your health and safety is important. And given the fact that your Creator loves and cares more about you than you ever thought possible, I believe that self-care looks less like love for yourself and more like love for God.

if you wish you were a spoon, but you’re only a plate

Dear girl, you have been formed for a purpose. You have been molded and crafted by the Ultimate Creator to fulfill a purpose that only you can.

if you wish you were a spoon

In Romans 9, we see a picture painted of the Potter and the clay.

*Now this verse is taken slightly out of context, but I believe the principle is still true 🙂

The potter has complete control of the clay. The potter can take any particular lump of clay and turn it into anything he sees fit, to serve any particular purpose that he sees fit.

He can turn it into a bowl, a pitcher, a mug, or spoon- all created for different purposes.

And the formed clay is not going to be effective as anything other than what the Potter intended it to be.

A pitcher wouldn’t make a very useful spoon.

A plate wouldn’t be a very efficient pitcher.

A mug would make a terrible spoon.

There’s no use in the spoon wishing it was a plate, or the pitcher wishing it could become a mug. Because the spoon, plate, pitcher, and mug were all created the way they are for a specific purpose designed by the Potter.

People benefit from the spoon being a spoon, they do not benefit from the spoon trying to be a plate. In fact, a burden is placed on them when their spoon is acting like a plate.

To be a bit more realistic, here’s an example:

I am a cheerer, a calm, observe-from-the-sidelines kind of girl. I’d rather support and cheer on others than ever, ever, ever setting foot on a court or a field.

And I promise you, everyone else would rather me sit on the sidelines too.

Others would not benefit from me trying to be something I’m not: an athlete. I’d probably get people hurt, we would lose every game, etc… you get the idea 🙂

Others do benefit from me acting as what I am: a supporter, encourager, lover, and cheerer.

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – Ephesians 2:10

You will find the most joy, peace, and contentment in yourself and your life when you are acting as who you were created to be. God receives the most praise when you live your life striving to fulfill the purpose He’s placed within you. You can do the most good for others, you can form the best relationships, and you can have the most contentment in your life as long as you are living as what God created you as.

In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul tells us about all the different gifts given to the members of the church. In verses 4-6 he writes, “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.  There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work” (NIV)

Everyone is given different ways to serve the Lord. He says some are given wisdom, some knowledge, others faith, and some gifts of healing, etc… You can have the gift of easily spreading joy, showing compassion, giving advice, maybe you’re a peacemaker, you can settle arguments easily, whatever your gift may be- others need you to be who you are and use that gift.

Maybe you’re a good writer, speaker, singer, dancer, runner, or athlete. Whatever gifts and talents God has given you, use to them to serve others and ultimately to serve Him.

I firmly believe that God has placed you exactly where He needs you to be in His Grand Design. I firmly believe that He calls you to follow Him wherever He takes you, whether it’s moving across a stage or court, moving music notes in songs of praise, or moving across the country or even the world to serve others. He has a purpose for you, and He has created you exactly the way He needs you to be to fulfill that purpose.

Don’t look at your friend the Spoon and wish you were her. Don’t look at your sister, brother, acquaintance, or classmate – the plate, mug, or pitcher and think that your life would be easier if you were them. Don’t think that you could do more if you were different or that others would like you better if you weren’t you.

You are specifically designed. Every part of your heart and mind was carefully crafted by the Almighty Potter.

You are you because God wanted you to be you. And that’s a marvelous reason to love who you are.

p.s.- the most important thing that the Potter made you into is a child of God, and that’s also a marvelous reason to rejoice 🙂

This post not enough? Part 2 is coming soon on your purpose and role in your relationships with others!

 

I can’t fix the emptiness inside

Sunday morning I was feeling really good about myself. My hair looked good, I was wearing make-up for the first time in a long time, and I had a new dress that I knew I looked good in.

Once I was fully fixed, with every hair in place and all my jewelry on, I was giving myself the final once-over in my sister’s full length mirror. You know, girls- the concluding check before deciding that you’re ready to face the world.

A rush of confidence surged through me for a solid 10 seconds, and then I was shocked at what followed: emptiness.

The thought ran through my mind, “ok, I look really good. I know I do…but, now what?”

I had been feeling pretty insecure all week, my face had been breaking out, and I was having one of those “fat weeks” (you know when you just eat everything all the time and end up feeling like a whale). After only working and doing summer-y things that require no make-up and only a semi-clean t-shirt, I was finally going out, dressed up, and looking good.

And I felt empty.

1

Do y’all see where I’m going with this? I am not the cure for my own insecurity. My happiness and contentment cannot stand on my appearance, clothes, or anything else about me. No matter how much I dress up, or how much make-up I put on, it will never be enough. I’ll continually be searching for the next thing- a new haircut or a new outfit, etc…

The spaces in my heart will not be filled by a shopping excursion, a makeover, or trip to the gym.

My contentment with myself will remain shaky and unstable as long as I depend on my looks to bring me security.

I have been desperately trying to engrave this concept into my soul: contentment comes from God.

I can get as skinny as I want, buy as many new outfits as I want, and become a make-up expert…but I will never be satisfied. I will never be satisfied until I embrace the fact that contentment with my life and security in who I am comes from God and Him alone.

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God with your body…” – 1 Corinthians 6:19

Our bodies are a living temple for God. Inside you, within your heart, is where Jesus resides. Who are we to be dissatisfied with the body that God gave us? Who are we to use something that God created for His glory, for our own ego boost? While you were created beautifully and for a purpose, you are not your own.

How selfish of me to seize what was meant for God’s glory, for my own glory.

My satisfaction and contentment with who I am comes not from how glamorous or attractive I can make myself look, but from how I look through God’s eyes.

Unblemished. Spotless. That’s how I appear to God. That’s where my security stands. Anything I put my self-worth in besides Christ is a weak foundation to stand on. Who you are is defined by what Christ did for you on the cross, and any other place you put your confidence will surely crumble. Rely only the lasting foundation that Christ provides for your joy.

I believe everyone on this planet is searching for fulfillment. Every living soul is seeking something to pour themselves into, something to make their bad days good and heal their heartaches, something that they can look forward to every morning that they open their eyes, and something that makes them feel like their life has a purpose. On this particular day, I was relying on my appearance for my satisfaction.

Some girls turn to their looks, some turn to boyfriends. You can seek fulfillment in your grades, athletic ability, friendships, success, money, whatever… and all of it will leave you feeling empty.

Nothing in myself is enough to fulfill my contentment. There is nothing about me that is worth praise. I cannot fix myself enough in order to find joy solely from who I am. There will always be something else I need to fix, something about me that is still not good enough.

This relates back to my journey to joy: If every morning I wake up anticipating only my appearance, money, success, talents, or anything else to get me through the day, I’ll be an unhappy girl a lot of days. Nothing can bring you greater joy than this: the fact that you are made blameless through Jesus Christ, and that you belong to God and Him alone. Nothing you do on this Earth can fix the emptiness inside you. The only consistent fulfillment you can find anywhere comes from Christ.

God uses your “damage”

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God, not to us.” 1 Corinthians 4:7

Some of the strongest and wisest people I know come from a broken past. It’s often the ones who come from brokenness that grow up to be the most loving and understanding. It’s the people who have cracks in their own soul who know how to pour into the cracks of others’ souls. You often see the people who do the most for God’s kingdom and the most good for others come from a place of sin and shame.

Your “brokenness” and your “damage” is not something for you to sweep under the rug in your mind and pretend it’s not there. God uses where you’ve been and who you were for His good.

He uses you.

Maybe you think you’re too far gone or you’ve somehow lost your value, but you are still precious and worthy because of Christ and what He’s done for you. Things you did in the past, who you thought you were, or maybe even things you’re doing now, do not define who you really are. Who you are is found in Christ and His saving grace.

So, don’t cover up your shame, and don’t let it force you into hiding. Allow God to use your “damage” or past mistakes to show others His glory and grace. Stand firm and securely on Christ’s foundation. Rest in the knowledge that you are who you are because of Christ. Your identity doesn’t rely on your accomplishments or mistakes, it relies solely on God. And that should be so comforting to us, because it is not our burden to make ourselves “worthy”.

So knowing that, you can face the world and admit: yes, this is where I was…but this is where I am now, and it’s only because of the saving grace of my loving Savior

cracks in your soul

The cracks in your soul are where God’s light shines through, where His glory and power are revealed.

The power of Christ steals your shame.

Being ashamed of where you came from prevents others from seeing the work of a redeeming God. Allowing others in, no matter how painful, lets them see how God moves. You become a living, breathing, example of the power of God’s grace. People need to see God’s providence in your life. Other people need to see your testimony. They need to see your example.

“Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.” 1 Corinthians 1:26-29

If you need to read more on guilt or shame, check this out!