Shame—it’s something that I am well versed in. Aren’t we all?
Shame is defined as ‘a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.’ We feel shame when we do something wrong, but what’s worse is when you feel shame for something that is outside your locus of control. Shame is a tool often utilized by Satan. After the fall of mankind, shame and blame entered into the world, along with running from God. During the time we experience shame, it’s our natural inclination to run or hide from it. Typically, that means that we run from the One that gives us true comfort.
2014 was a year for the books for the Humes family. We experienced true highs and lows, as each year holds; however, this one was especially different for my husband and I. In a span of four short months, there were two pregnancies that we did not get to see through to full term. We loved each of our sweet babies fiercely and well (and still do!). One babe was with us for a little over ten weeks that resulted in a D&C procedure and the other we were able to celebrate for a mere six weeks. And after those few months, I found myself attempting to put my hope in getting pregnant once more. I thought that if we were able to conceive, I would be ‘okay.’ All would be right again. Unfortunately that isn’t always how the world works. We often put our hope in broken things as a result.
Miscarriage douses one’s heart in shame—at least it did mine. It’s a private guilt like nothing I had ever felt before. My two miscarriages and the desire to control situations lured me into playing the dangerous ‘what if’ game with myself. What if I had eaten more iron-rich foods? What if I had worked out more? What if I had worked out less? What if…what if. Guilt, blame, and shame were running rampant in my soul.
What my heart needed most was Truth whispered over and over until I was ready to fully accept it. The Lord blessed me immensely with family, community, and a desire to seek out Scripture and worship that helped me recognize my need for the Truth. My healing process was raw and challenging, but encouraging too. I needed to allow myself to cry when needed and extend grace to myself because I had never truly grieved in life before. I also needed to lean into Scripture and the community that I was given. Because I was open with what we were experiencing and embracing this part of our story, people approached me and spoke Truth to my heart that I knew in my head but not my heart. Ultimately, it was encouraging to then build and grow in community with both women that had experienced loss like I did and those that haven’t—because God can still use your story for His glory.
Fernando Ortega beautifully writes in his song ‘Sing to Jesus’ that we should sing to Jesus, Lord of our shame, Lord of our sinful hearts, for He is the Great Redeemer. That reminder is what our soul needs to hear: the Lord took on our shame to redeem us! During this heartache, I heard that Truth whispered to me through multiple facets that were necessary for me to experience life-giving, grace-filled freedom from the shame and guilt that I clung to. Lamentations 3:19-24 specifically blessed my soul in this season, and has done so in every season since then.
“I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘TheLord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’”
The Truth started out as a whisper, but eventually it became so loud that I had to listen, even after the questioning, crying, doubting and yelling in the car. After some time, I realized that I no longer wanted to feel shame, especially for a loss that was not my fault. Miscarriage is not embarrassing. In fact, through this, I have realized all the more that we need to talk about it. My soul needed people to know what we experienced. My heart longed to be heard, known, and pieced back together. To those that have experienced loss, I pray that you replace the banner of shame with the banner of Truth. God is good, even through heartache. If you haven’t been able to throw shame to the wayside, please know that you are not alone. We are in your corner, fighting for you and lifting you up in prayer. Truth wins. Every time.
LaRae Humes is a lover of Jesus, family, and being outdoors. She loves to run, cook and bake, and read. She is so very blessed! Join her in this journey of loving God and others, being a first time momma, and more as she blogs at http://laraehumes.blogspot.com.
From Dauntless Grace Ministries’ “About” page.