Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Transformation Happens During Renovation

Transformation Happens During Renovation
The Bathesheba Battle helps women find
hope in the unexpected and unplanned

When you hear the name, Bathsheba, what is the first thing that comes to mind—vixen or victim? Bathsheba, typically misrepresented as an adulteress, is one of the most misunderstood women in the Bible. Despite an unexpected turn in her life, which resulted in tragic circumstances beyond her control, there are glimmers of hope in her story. In The Bathsheba Battle: Finding Hope When Life Takes an Unexpected Turn, Natalie Chambers Snapp leads readers through an exploration of Bathsheba’s story, providing practical insights for the journey to wholeness after life has taken an unplanned twist.

Who hasn’t had their lives turned upside down when things haven’t gone as planned? We understand there are consequences to our decisions, but how do we deal with the aftereffects of the choices of others? There are other times when things happen beyond anyone’s control. Circumstances can leave us feeling hurt and stuck, but God promises healing and hope for all.

The story of Bathsheba may seem like an unlikely source of inspiration, but Snapp explains, “Bathsheba is often portrayed as the adulteress—as though she was a vixen with the intent to tempt David and hopefully, take her on as his wife. However, the fact remains that she was a victim of David’s own desires and paid a very dear price for his sin.”

While some commentaries claim Bathsheba was trying to entice David by bathing in the courtyard of her home, there is no evidence to prove she was doing anything more than obeying a required cleansing ritual or that she knew David was watching. Summoned to the king, Snapp writes there is also no way of definitively knowing if David assaulted her or if she was a willing participant of an affair. From there, she becomes pregnant and her husband is killed so that no one will find out about David’s sin. The restitution of David’s sins was the life of the child Bathsheba gave birth to. A chain reaction of events took place that were beyond Bathsheba’s control.

Rather than living as victims of circumstances, Snapp helps women find healing from their own painful pasts and hope for living the free and full lives God intends. Pain and suffering are cyclical on this side of heaven. However, transformation happens during renovation, and renovation happens when walking through the valley, not while on the mountaintops. Snapp shares how the thief wants Christians to stay confused, bitter, angry, and resentful, because he knows if we emerge from our valleys victorious, then God will be glorified.

Through seeing similarities between their life and Bathsheba’s, readers will see that her suffering renovated her into a woman of confidence, wisdom, and love. Chapters address topics such as:

  • Choosing how we respond to our situation
  • Turning away from shame, anger, comparison and fear
  • Understanding trauma and its effects
  • Forgiving others and self

The Bathsheba Battle is written for anyone who has ever asked the question, ‘Why me, Lord? Why do I have to suffer through this?’ It’s written for anyone whose life has not turned out the way they had planned. And it’s written for those who want to learn how to embrace suffering and humble themselves to the trying, but beautiful, reconstruction of it all. I intended this book to be used as a great encouragement – Bathsheba is an inspiration! Her deconstruction led to a very inspiring reconstruction!”

The Bathsheba Battle: Finding Hope When Life Takes an Unexpected Turn
By Natalie Chambers Snapp

Paperback ISBN: 9781501890802 / $16.99
eBook ISBN: 9781501890819 / $16.99
Available September 17, 2019 from Abingdon Press

About the author

Natalie Chambers Snapp is an author, blogger, and speaker known for her refreshing authenticity and practical approach to life and God’s Word. Not choosing to follow Jesus until the age of twenty-seven, she is passionate about sharing the grace, mercy, and truth of God’s love with others “regardless of your track record.” Her transparency and humor endear her to women of all ages.

Snapp is the author of the book Heart Sisters: Be the Friend You Want to Have, Becoming Heart Sisters: A Bible Study on Authentic Friendships and The Bathsheba Battle: Finding Hope When Life Takes an Unexpected Turn. She has written for various blogs and online devotionals, including Proverbs 31.

Snapp lives in the West Lafayette, Indiana with her husband and their three children.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Sitting in the Waiting Room of Life is Never Easy


Sitting in the Waiting Room of Life is Never Easy
Barb Roose leads readers to find the blessings in waiting on God

Need information quick? Just grab your phone and do a search. Didn’t plan ahead for dinner? Toss something in the Instapot. Forget about patience, we live a world where Prime shipping seems to take too long. Waiting on the little things is an inconvenience, so what happens when we have to wait on the big things? When the bills are stacking up because a new job hasn’t come along, a family situation is causing great heartache, or a loved one faces an illness, we pray for answers. We know God hears our prayers, but it’s hard when the clock is ticking yet He hasn’t shown us the answer. Sometimes he wants us to wait. In her new Bible study I’m Waiting, God: Finding Blessing in God’s Delays, Barb Roose helps readers build patience until God’s plan comes to fruition.

In this four-week Bible study, Barb Roose invites us to explore the stories of four women in the Bible who had to wait on God. Each grappled with unanswered prayers:
  1. One woman wondered if God loved her or had forgotten about her. (Hannah)
  2. One woman’s life took a tragic and unexpected turn. (Ruth)
  3. One woman suffered for over a decade with an embarrassing medical condition. (the unnamed bleeding woman)
  4. One woman prayed, but God said “no” to her prayer. (Martha)
For anyone who has ever felt anxious, angry, discouraged or depressed because God isn’t giving her what she wants, these stories will breathe fresh hope and practical next steps in life.

As a reforming control lover, Roose mixes in her personal stories of learning how to wait for God during long seasons of unanswered prayers, family difficulties, and challenging times in ministry. She knows from experience that taking matters into your own hands when you’ve run out of patience can make the situation worse. Together participants will discover there is goodness and blessing to be found in times of waiting, including a closer relationship with God than they would have ever dared to dream.

“Years ago, a crisis emerged in our home. At first, I tried to fix it. I failed. Then I prayed for God to make it go away. That went unanswered. So I prayed harder. The situation grew worse. Was God angry with me? Why wasn’t He answering my prayer? I wrestled with God, begging Him to end our struggle and heal my suffering,” Roose writes. “In the midst of that unanswered prayer, I discovered God’s better blessing for my life. When I stopped panicking and started focusing on being in His presence, God filled the parts of my heart broken by pain and suffering with what I needed most, which was more of Him. Experiencing the presence of God is greater than the good things that I prayed for, and that has been the best blessing of my life.”

I’m Waiting, God can be used as an individual or group study. Recognizing time limitations may be a challenge for participants, the study has been designed with a flexible format. The shorter four-week study is ideal for in-between or busy times for groups. Each week offers three days of Bible study homework, plus two optional days for more personal reflection to be enjoyed as time or energy permits. The participant workbook includes group session guides, discussion questions, prayers, video viewer guides, and leader helps at the back of the book. There is also a DVD, available separately, for group use with 20-minute teaching sessions.

For additional encouragement, readers can sign up for “The Patience Path,” a 30-day email devotional Roose created to go along with the study. To sign up, go to barbroose.com/patiencepath.

I’m Waiting, God: Finding Blessing in God’s Delays
Women’s Bible Study Guide with Leader Helps
By Barb Roose

Paperback ISBN: 9781501888625 / $14.99
eBook ISBN: 9781501888632 / $14.99
DVD ISBN: 9781501888649 / $44.99
Available September 17, 2019 from Abingdon Press

About the author

Barb Roose is a popular speaker and author who is passionate about connecting women to one another and to God helping them apply the truths of God’s Word to the practical realities and challenges they face as women in today’s culture.

Roose enjoys teaching and encouraging women at conferences and events across the country, as well as internationally, including national platforms such as the Aspire Women’s Events, She Speaks Conference, and the UMC Leadership Institute.

She is the author of the I’m Waiting, God: Finding Blessing in God’s Delays, Joshua: Winning the Worry Battle and Beautiful Already: Reclaiming God’s Perspective on Beauty Bible studies and the books Winning the Worry Battle: Life Lessons from the Book of Joshua and Enough Already: Winning Your Ugly Struggle with Beauty. Her writing has been featured in many magazines, and she also writes a regular blog at BarbRoose.com. She is the host of the bi-monthly “Better Together” podcast.

Roose lives in Toledo, Ohio, and is the proud mom of three adult daughters. Her perfect day includes sleeping in, taking a long walk outside, shopping for shoes and eating two big bowls of chocolate peanut ice cream.

Visit Barb Roose’s online home at barbroose.com. Readers can also keep up with her on Facebook (BarbaraRoose), Twitter (barbroose), and Instagram (barbroose).

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Deep and Wide

It's the first video with my new crew! We didn't really know what direction we were going here.

Deep and Wide

Deep and wide. Deep and wide.
There’s a fountain flowing deep and wide.
Deep and wide. Deep and wide.
There’s a fountain flowing deep and wide.

Hmmm and wide. Hmmm and wide.
There’s a fountain flowing hmmm and wide.
Hmmm and wide. Hmmm and wide.
There’s a fountain flowing hmmm and wide.

Deep and hmmm. Deep and hmmm.
There’s a fountain flowing deep and hmmm.
Deep and hmmm. Deep and hmmm.
There’s a fountain flowing deep and hmmm.

Hmmm and hmmm. Hmmm and hmmm.
There’s a fountain flowing hmmm and hmmm.
Hmmm and hmmm.
Hmmm and hmmm.
There’s a fountain flowing hmmm and hmmm.

Deep and wide. Deep and wide.
There’s a fountain flowing deep and wide.
Deep and wide. Deep and wide.
There’s a fountain flowing deep and wide.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

I'm onto something good!

I really hate that the glare from the window gave me a less than perfect picture. I think the one on my iPad is a little better, so I need to switch it out. This weekend, I did a small local event to test out my latest items I'm taking to craft shows in a few weeks. I wanted to get some feedback on my new hymnal canvases. Much like my Dr. Seuss canvases that did so well last year, I take pages from song books and put a line or phrase from the song on them. The entire background is made from the song itself. 

These pictures were taken against my turquoise wall in my hall. Right now there isn't anything hanging on one side of the hall, and whatever I do hang may have to come down easy because I like finally having a background to take photos again.

By the end of the day, 7 of 11 of these sold, and I have orders for five. Three of those are new songs. The good news is, they are selling, the bad news is that I will never keep caught up. 

Thursday, September 12, 2019

The Crafty Dad and Daughter schedule

We just added what we think is the final event to our fall schedule to make it official. Now I'm freaking out that I only have two weeks to some stock made up instead of three, especially new canvases!

Where can you find us this fall?
Check out our line-up!

Click on the school name for more information on the event. Click on the address for Google Maps.

October 5 ~ 10 AM - 4 PM
October 6 ~ 10 AM - 4 PM
October 13 ~ 11 AM - 5 PM

October 26 ~ 9 AM - 4 PM
Eaton High School

November 2 ~ 9:30 AM - 4 PM

November 9 ~ 9 AM - 4 PM

December 7 ~ 9 AM - 5 PM

Sunday, September 8, 2019

My God is So Big, So Strong and So Mighty

My God is So Big

My God is so big!  So strong and so mighty.
There’s nothing my God cannot do.

My God is so big!  So strong and so mighty.
There’s nothing my God cannot do.

The mountains are his and the valleys are his
and the trees are his handiwork too.

My God is so big!  So strong and so mighty.
There’s nothing my God cannot do for you.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

The craft room

I've been spending more time in the craft room as it gets closer and closer to craft season. I'll be spending late night soon. 

I guess when I took the pictures I thought enough light was coming in. It's super bright with the blinds open. I'll need to take more pictures.

It took Angie coming over one night to help me sort through the last of the Readers Digest books and get them sorted. Then, I finally got the last of the craft supply boxes in from the garage. 

Square footage wise, when I measured, it was about the same size as over at the last house, but the room is arranged where it seems a whole lot bigger because I can walk all the way around the island.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Love is Something if You Give it Away

Love is Something if You Give it Away

Love is something if you give it away
You’ve got to give it away
Give it away
Love is something if you give it away
You’ll end up having more

Love is like a lucky penny
Hold it tight and you won’t have any
But, give it away
And you’ll have plenty
You’ll end up having more

Saturday, August 31, 2019

I just thought I was finished with house decorating

After getting all my pictures hung up down the hall and in the guest bedroom, I thought I was all finished in fixing up the house for a while. I had really wanted to paint the whole house before I moved in, but for the sake of expense, just did the bedrooms and hall. Other projects were put on the "someday list." After all, my bathroom is the color of mud. 

Then, when Grandmother was over, she gave me some money for a project. I knew that was having the front entry painted. The painter was able to get to it right away, and while he was here, I had him do the kitchen walls. The cabinets could use redoing, but right now, they are a faux finish that hides a lot of dings. I think a fresh coat of paint would reveal more hiccups. 

Everyone had agreed that they didn't like the rust color of both the kitchen and entry. It matched nothing I had. So, I went extreme. Here are the before and afters.


I won't lie. We joked about the kitchen color and how the guys at the paint store laughed about it. When it was done, I had some strong feelings of "WHAT THE HECK DID I DO?" But in the few days since, it's starting to grow on me, and I think it will be fine once I hang some plates with darker purple on the walls. It sure makes the kitchen brighter, as if putting in another light.

The entry hall photo doesn't really do justice to the color. Here's another couple of angles once I hung the big picture back up.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

The Judges

The Judges

God set Judges over Israel, 
One brave woman, fourteen men.
They helped Israel fight their battles, 
led them back to God from sin.

Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar, Deborah,
Gideon, Abimelech, Tola, Jair,
Jephthah, Ibzan, Elon, Abdon,
Samson, Eli, Samuel.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

My interview with Denise Pass about Shame Off You

An Interview with Denise Pass,
Author of Shame Off You

Enter to win at the end of this blog post!
Shame is an assault on the core of who we are. It assassinates our character, minimizes our worth, and dashes our hope. Like Adam and Eve, we often hide shame, but hiding never heals it. Left unattended, shame can develop into a crippling reality that paralyzes us. Like an infectious disease, shame impacts everyone . . . but not all shame is bad.

Shame can either be an oppressive and powerful tool of worldly condemnation or a source of conviction that God uses to bring his people back to himself. Having the discernment to know the difference and recognize shame in its many forms can change the course of one’s life.

In a transparently honest style, Denise Pass shares of her experience dealing with shame after learning that her former husband was a sexual offender. Having lived through the aftermath, she leads you into God’s Word where you will see for yourself that God is bigger than your pain, shame, mistakes, and limitations.

Shame Off You (available from Abingdon Press) shares how freedom can be found in choosing to break the cycle of shame by learning from the past, developing healthy thinking patterns, silencing lies, and overcoming the traps of vanity and other people’s opinions.

Q: Can you start us off by sharing a little bit of your own story?

I did not realize just how significant of an impact shame had on my life until I started writing this book. I don’t think I recognized all I was experiencing in my life as shame. Shame affected me in profound ways—from worrying to the point of obsession about what others thought of me to shame from my past, present and in the future. Shame was pervasively impacting all of life: how I related to others, processed my perception of myself and responded in social situations. Shame was snuffing out my hope and life, and it felt like I had no way out.

Then in 2007, God revealed to me my (then) husband was a sex offender and some of our children were his victims. This revelation crushed us, and the ensuing shame was crippling. I had waited for marriage and married a Christian man. We were that homeschool family. It did not seem possible. But it was. Through that devastating season, my children and I drew nearer to God, reading the Bible through and clinging to His precious promises. I continued to home educate, and we put one foot in front of the other. Through a five-year long court battle. Through tragic new revelations. Through sorrow up on sorrow and financial woes. God was our God through all of it and the lessons we learned as shame lost its grip on our souls were priceless.

Now, my four oldest are all in college and walking with God, and my youngest son who I adopted from Russia is still home educated by the grace of God. And me? God brought a precious man into my life who I call my Kinsman Redeemer. There’s more about him (my “Bo”—short for Boaz) in the book.

Q: At its root, what is shame, and why is it so detrimental to us?

There are many roots underlying what we call shame.  Shame is the broad term used, but there are so many things interwoven in our culture that we accept as “normal.” Shame is an accusation on our soul that says we are not enough. News flash—we are not enough—but God is. He is our righteousness and removes all of our sin and shame. Shame is peer pressure and the fear of man—we would not have shame if we did not have an audience. Shame is a label or box that imprisons our souls and steals our joy. Shame is detrimental because it gives us a false identity and keeps us from living the abundant life Jesus promises, distracting us from the mission we have been called to.

Q: What are some of the most common underlying sources of shame? Is shame always caused by a sin a person commits him/herself?

Shame is a head game that we do to ourselves most of the time, but there is also plenty of social shaming that goes on—shunning and people condemning one another. While sin invites shame into our lives as a natural consequence, shame is prevalent within our culture. We come by it naturally and so we don’t question it. Expectations cause shame to rise when we don’t meet them. Comparison. Pride. These are huge contributors to the game of shame. The presence of shame in our lives is ultimately a spiritual matter. We feel the truth behind the statement that we are not enough. We accept this condemnation, but it can become our vindication. We are not enough. That’s ok, because Christ is our Righteousness. The enemy of our souls is always accusing us, but our Savior is always interceding for us. 

Q: Shame typically surrounds a situation the public is aware of, at least in the mind of the person walking through it. How can the church community be more supportive of a member suffering with shame?

Great question. We would not have shame if we did not have an audience. It is this fear of man and focus on self that makes us feel so very exposed as we seek acceptance and to snuff out rejection. In my situation, I felt like the church did not know how to handle sex abuse situations, so they didn’t. I was told to be silent. The shame culture thrives in silence. However, being able to talk about it in a God-honoring way and having support instead of isolation would take the sting out of shame and turn it on its head. When we protect the violator and silence the victims, we are propagating and promoting shame.

Q: In what ways do we intentionally or unintentionally heap shame on others?

We live in a society of labels. People try to define one another by false identities based on their performance—good or bad, or their status in this life. When we move away from our identity being in Christ, we find that our identity falls short. Shame was introduced to man in the garden of Eden. We left perfection and chose an insecure, shame-filled culture, instead. Discontent with our lot, comparison and the fear or man have robbed us confidence and plagued us with shame in all of life. Shame is also used as a tool of power by people who seek to subject others, shaming them into submission. And again, shame is in our culture, so it is fairly invisible. We just accept it as part of life, which can cause us to unintentionally continue in the shame culture.

Q: How is Shame Off You set up and designed to be used?

Shame Off You is the story of a girl who shrunk her shame. It is a guide for recognizing the shame all around us and how to rid ourselves of shame biblically. There is a biblical lens of Truth, Humility and Grace that we view shame through, as well as Cycles of Shame and Redemption, a Shame Spectrum and Shame Quiz so we can evaluate how shame is impacting our lives. There is also a resource guide in the back of the book that covers 40 different common shames we might encounter along with Scriptures to combat that shame.

Shame Off You systematically covers everything from feeling shunned and rejected, to being shy, to worrying about what others thought or said about me to traumatic shame that paralyzes us.

Q: What are the steps to overcoming shame?

Shame distracts us from the mission of God and keeps us from living on mission for Christ. It causes us to focus on self and limits our worth. It hurts our relationship with God and others and causes us to live defeated, discouraged lives. It has to be dealt with. Recognizing shame’s presence is necessary to be able to deal with it effectively.

From recognition, we need to discern whether we are dealing with condemnation or conviction. Condemnation is based on works whereas Conviction is based on relationship. Once we know what we are dealing with, we need to consult God’s word and use a biblical filter to evaluate our shame and then let it go. We defeat shame not by mere words. And hiding shame does not heal it. We have to face shame and deal with it biblically to be set free. We don’t get rid of shame because it humbles us—but because it prevents us from living the abundant life Christ promises, reaching those around us.

About the author:

Denise Pass, author of Shame Off You, is an award-winning CCM recording artist and singer-songwriter, accomplished writer/blogger, speaker and worship leader at women’s conferences as well as a worship leader on staff at her home church. After a crushing discovery of her former husband’s hidden life and surviving a painful divorce, she now shares an inspirational message through her ministry, Seeing Deep Ministries, about seeing the deeper truth in God’s word when life hurts.

Denise also founded and directed a home educational co-op for 12 years and engaged in many educational pursuits, including forming and directing a classical children’s choir. A graduate from the University of Maryland, Denise now resides in Virginia, with her “Kinsman Redeemer” husband and five children.

Learn more about Shame Off You at https://shameoffyou.life/the-book. You can also find out more about Denise Pass at DenisePass.com. She can also be found on Facebook (Denise Pass – Author/Speaker/ Worship Leader) and Twitter (@TheDenisePass).

Sunday, August 18, 2019

The Plagues

The Plague Song
To the tune of “This Old Man”

Then God sent, plague number one
Turned the Nile into blood. 

All the people in Egypt were feeling pretty low; 
Moses told Pharaoh “let them go!”

Then God sent, plague number two
Jumping frogs all over you. (Chorus)

Then God sent, plague number three
Swarms of gnats from head to knee. (Chorus)

Then God sent, plague number four
Filthy flies, need we say more? (Chorus)

Then God sent, plague number five
All the livestock up and died. (Chorus)

Then God sent, plague number six
Boils and sores to make you feel sick. (Chorus)

Then God sent, plague number seven
Hail and lightening down from heaven. (Chorus)

Then God sent, plague number eight
Locust came and they sure ate. (Chorus)

Then God sent, plague number nine
Total darkness all the time. (Chorus)

Then God sent, plague number ten
Pharaoh’s son died so he gave in.

All the people in Egypt were feeling pretty low; 
Finally Pharaoh let them go.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Hanging 52 pictures

My task for the weekend was to hang up all my travel pictures in my hall and in the guest room. The guest room was the catch all for the past few weeks.

My motivation to get it done was put on fast forward when I found out Grandmother was coming to town to see the house on a few hours notice. I hung 52 pictures on the walls and put out a lot more.

With this, I can say that my house is now done, at least until I get to paint something else.

Eventually, I'd like for this bathroom to be painted turquoise over the chair rail.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Finishing touches on the office

This week, I finally, I say finally because it felt like an eternity since this is where I spend most of my time, got everything hung up and put away in the office.

My desks didn't fit the way I had them before, but I like them better this way anyway. It desperately needed the flowers and other decorations on the walls. 

The lights hanging in the corner used to be in my craft room but work perfect in here.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Weeping May Last for a Night

*Be sure to enter to win your own copy of
Shame Off You at the end of this blog post!*

Weeping May Last for a Night

Excerpted from Shame Off You by Denise Pass, ©2018 Abingdon Press

What is it about crying that makes us feel shame? We are shamed for being less than perfect, then doubly shamed for crying out for help about it. Sounds like a serious plan of condemnation from the enemy! But what looks like weakness becomes a secret source of strength for those who know and trust in God.

For the record, crying has been given a bad rap. Weeping in cultures all over the world is deemed something to be embarrassed by. Goodness, we even apologize when we do it. Showing emotion is often seen as a sign of weakness, sometimes associated with mental or personality disorders. Add the sting of shame to the feelings of inferiority for just expressing emotions, and the overwhelming humiliation begins to paralyze us and affect our ability to function. Getting to this place of crying out is made even more difficult with the lingering shame for doing so.

But there is another type of crying. Set aside the helpless, I’m-so-ashamed crying. Instead, there is a sweet place of brokenness where we cry out and look to God for comfort. And it is in crying out to God from our place of shame that we obtain victory. Admitting our need is not a display of weakness, but a testament of relationship. But it can be so very hard to admit that aching need. God made us for relationship, to know Him intimately. We were not made for independence, but dependence upon our loving God. There is no shame in that. When we cry out to God, He helps us to recognize the oppressive presence of shame, so we can rightly deal with this stigmatizing emotion.

In Scripture, Hannah felt the scorn from shame in being childless. She knew all too well the taunts of those around her, especially from a rival wife. She wept at the altar. She was not enough. She could not bear children. And there was nothing she could do about it. This is a classic situation of shame. Circumstances we cannot control, yet we somehow accept the shame as if we earned it. But Hannah had a weapon. She cried out to God—the only One who could truly remove her shame. And God answered. Sometimes we have to wait for the Lord to restore. We may have to walk through shame to be able to appreciate the shame being removed from us. Hannah’s tears were counted that day, and the priest serving in the church saw her too:

Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord. And she made this vow: “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the Lord, his hair will never be cut.” As she was praying to the Lord, Eli watched her. Seeing her lips moving but hearing no sound, he thought she had been drinking. “Must you come here drunk?” he demanded. “Throw away your wine!” “Oh no, sir!” she replied. “I haven’t been drinking wine or anything stronger. But I am very discouraged, and I was pouring out my heart to the Lord. Don’t think I am a wicked woman! For I have been praying out of great anguish and sorrow.” “In that case,” Eli said, “go in peace! May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked of him.” “Oh, thank you, sir!” she exclaimed. Then she went back and began to eat again, and she was no longer sad. (1 Samuel 1:10-18 NLT)

There is so much to learn from Hannah when we are surrounded by shame. She did not try to fix her situation. She did not try to cover up her shame. She simply went to the only One who could. And she wept before her great God, surrendering to His will. But she also did something astonishing in her prayer—she was not merely looking for the release of shame. She wanted to honor God for His removal of it. She would give her son back to Him. Our shame never really is about us after all. It might feel like it, but we feel shame until we come before God. Like a magnet, shame draws us either nearer to God or propels us away. Hannah knew where her help truly came from. She clung to God and let go of her shame. She also knew that the one who commands armies—El Shaddai—could surely remove shame off her soul. She demonstrated this by leaving her shame there at the altar. She did not carry it anymore.

There are many such altars every Sunday where people have the bravery to come up out of their seat and lay their burdens and shames down. The very public transparent display of my shame on that altar initially hurt so deeply. Like Hannah, I did not hold back. It led to confessing the secrets hidden within, the very thing I never wanted to mention again. There I shared what I had been prevented from sharing before. And instead of finding shame and pressure, I found acceptance and compassion. Somehow, I had thought concealing my shame would make my own unwanted testimony disappear. Surely the scorn and condemnation I felt would someday be removed. But hiding shame does not heal it; it makes it multiply. Shame has taken on many forms in my life and colored my world with guilt and humiliation. Shame screams out “condemnation” to a weary soul too tired to fight the accusation. It tries to define us, but we can rise above shame. Shame impacts us all, but it is how we deal with shame that determines the lasting impact shame has on our life.

Shame seems insurmountable and hopeless to us when we listen to it. But that’s what shame does. It makes it seem like there is no way out. Trapped within the walls of our own mind, we don’t even recognize all the shame we are bound by, but we try to combat this shame through our own devices, nonetheless. We might not even be cognizant of our own approaches to deal with shame. Maybe we rationalize it or try to ignore it, but underneath we let shame chip away at our worth. We consider and turn the matter over in our mind a million times, trying to cast off the yoke of shame. Perhaps we allow bitterness to overtake us as we seethe at those who hurt us or who are judging us. Self-made strategies and techniques lack sustaining power to remove an entrenched, invisible force such as shame. Nice anecdotes and willpower cannot extinguish it, either. In all our struggling with shame, could it be that God has a better way to remove shame and that He can even use its presence in our lives for good?

About the author:

Denise Pass, author of Shame Off You, is an award-winning CCM recording artist and singer-songwriter, accomplished writer/blogger, speaker and worship leader at women’s conferences as well as a worship leader on staff at her home church. After a crushing discovery of her former husband’s hidden life as a repetitive sex offender, and surviving a painful divorce, she now shares an inspirational message through her ministry, Seeing Deep Ministries, about seeing the deeper truth in God’s word when life hurts. Denise also founded and directed a home educational co-op for 12 years and engaged in many educational pursuits, including forming and directing a classical children’s choir. A graduate from the University of Maryland, Denise now resides in Virginia, with her “Kinsman Redeemer” husband and five children.

Find her online at DenisePass.com.