I remember someone telling me that God is always there if I need him. To me, that felt like a lie. I was so little … too little to be so distrustful … but I couldn’t help it.
Many times, I felt like God must have turned his face away; that he was busy doing something else, or something more important must have been happening. He must not have seen me or surely, he would have done something.
I used to feel like I was walking around with a neon light behind me that flashed “Damaged Goods” or “Broken Beyond Repair” or some other sign that conveyed my shame. I know that’s a common feeling for those of us who have been sexually assaulted. It feels like the violation has left a visible mark for everyone to see—that I was now defined by this one thing.
Eventually, I learned that Jesus bore our shame and traded it for righteousness. Whether the shame was put there by our own sin or inflicted on us by the sins of someone else, Jesus bore our shame on the cross. He died so that we could live free of the shackles that shame tries to ensnare us in. He bore our shame so we no longer have to bear it. He took it all away so we know longer have to carry it.
Jesus has cleansed us and made us whole. No person or circumstance can change that reality. No person or circumstance can change your identity.
“Praise the LORD, my soul . . . who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.”
Psalm 103:2, 4 NIV