One of the most destructive forces we face is shame. Shame, that good ole weight that so easily besets us. Shame, that enemy who hangs around reminding you of the kind of person you really are. Shame, that guarantee that your mouth will stay closed and thus you starve cuz closed mouths don’t get fed. Shame, that niggling gleeful voice telling you to calm down cuz you don’t deserve nothing after you did what you did/didn’t do whatchu shoulda done. Shame.
We wallow in shame. Sometimes it ain’t even nothing we’ve done but what others have done that follows us. Like how we might have parents who “accidentally” created us. Like how we get sexually assaulted by ain’t shit people. Like how we struggle to make it cuz of where and how we grew up. Like how a family member has been on alllll the drugs. Like how…well, you know what shames you. I really don’t have to rehearse an exhaustive list. I ain’t met a person yet who doesn’t tussle with the grande dame of shame (but I mean if you’ve never, then good for you). Human condition and alladat.
But I’m here to tell you to look up! And put that heaux to bed. Because shame really is an opportunity. That’s right. “I said what I said” (snort). What has shamed you is your calling to greatness.
What I have found to be true is this: God chooses people who have messed up. I know. I know. Lots of “holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty” Christians will turn every nose they can find up at you. Not me. Cuz unlike the über righteous, I recognize and adhere to the word of God that says, “All things work together for the good of them who love God and are called according to His purpose,” and “[God’s] strength is made perfect in [our] weakness.”
Perfect example? Bathsheba, aka Uriah’s wife.
I spelled out in my own way how garbage her situation really was in the post before this one. But all that aside, I can tell you that as a woman she was prolly tee-totally embarrassed about how her life turned out whether she was willing or nah. And consent or none, she has throughout history born the ugly mark of the scarlet letter (read a book, bro).
But at a church service one day, this guy (whom I’ve never met) stood up during testimony service and reminded me of how God used Bathsheba even in her shame. She birthed one of the greatest kings in Jewish tradition. The wisdom that King Solomon preached? Came outta her mouth first as she raised him. That scripture about how to conduct yourself honorably as a king and what a real independent woman was? She taught him that.
That’s right. The very woman who is marked as a conniving heaux in history taught her son about what a good woman was.
I’m not finna go into all that, though. You can argue with somebody else about what Proverbs 31 means. What I’m saying is that the very thing that brought Bathsheba pain and suffering is the place from which her wisdom flowed. Because God does that. God uses your worst experiences, your secret embarrassments, those midnight hour tears…to make you great. Thousands of years later, Proverbs 31 is one of the scriptures gone back to again and again just for the face value alone. What’s a good woman? But it is also the most intense pictures of the Holy Spirit working in your life, too–how industrious the Spirit is, who you become as a result of God’s Spirit residing in you and resting on you.
All from a woman who immediately invokes the term “adulterous.” You not finna find a better example of God using your crap to create a legacy.
What thing do you grapple with? What makes your head hang low? Whatever it may be, I promise you that God literally wants to give you beaut for those ashes, to take that seed harm sown and plant it in holiness to help somebody else. God never wastes a thing–all you have to do is be open to the turning of a problem into an opportunity.