Despising the Shame

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Hello again everyone! Thank you for tuning in to read my blog. For those of you heard me on Hallie Weekly, welcome! I hope not to disappoint. I want to try my very hardest to be honest and authentic on this blog. I learned a long time ago that there’s no way to please everyone all the time so the best I can do is to be open and truthful about my life and struggles.

I mention this because I was recently speaking to someone who was having a hard time being their authentic self. They were truly devoted to the Lord and were trying to be open about their love but were being made fun of and bullied. In response to this heckling they had tried to dim their own light and fit in but have become unhappy with who they have become because they were trying to fit in and not make waves instead of being their authentic self.

It’s a shame really because this person is so lovely and on fire with love for God. We’ve all felt this way at one time or another right? Even if it’s not about faith, even if it’s just something that you’re really interested and passionate about it’s so disheartening to be snickered at or judged because the world doesn’t understand your passion.

When I was a kid my passion was literature. I was grounded a lot so I would lay in my bed with half of my book shoved under my pillow and I would read for hours until my eyes were hurting and my head was pounding. I would shut my eyes for a few minutes, conquer the pain, and keep reading. Why push on when it hurt me so bad? Because there was freedom in my books. There were whole worlds and adventures tucked between the pages, I made new friends with every line and the whole time I got to devote myself to something that was much, much bigger than me.

Listening to my friend talk about the issues they were having made me sad for them, and if you could spare any prayers for this person it would be wonderful. It also made me think about the way I consider my faith. Do I hide my beliefs and my passion because I’m afraid of making people uncomfortable or having them judge me for my beliefs? The answer, unfortunately, is yes. I don’t talk about God with people I know aren’t Catholic. When we’re talking I won’t mention something relevant I heard in a homily or read in the Magnificat because I don’t want people to think I’m weird.

Essentially, I hide my faith because I’m afraid.

Which means the Devil is doing a fine job with me. I am putting my reputation and my friendships above my relationship with my Beloved. He’s essentially my side mistress, I see him on Sundays and text him a few times a week but I don’t want anyone to know about us. And really, who am I hurting by hiding him?

I’m failing the people around me because I’m not being a good witness of my faith. I’m doing a disservice to my children because I’m showing them that fear wins. And most of all I’m hurting myself. Instead of digging deeper into my relationship with God, of including Him in all aspects of my life so I can know and love Him better I am keeping Him at arms’ length, afraid to see what will happen if I truly allow him to permeate my life.

So today I rearranged my house and made a proper altar for my Lord. I brought out a crucifix and hung it front and center so that I can be reminded daily of the sacrifice He made for me. If Jesus could “endure the cross and despise the shame” (Heb. 12:2) I can do the same in my daily life.

Brothers and sisters, please pray for me and for my friend, that we might enter more fully into our relationships with God and I will keep you in my prayers as well.

One thought on “Despising the Shame

  1. Beautifully said jess! I love the way you compared it to a side mistress. Very funny but It’s so true and I’m proud of you for trying to overcome this shame 😊

    Like

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