I had a deep lack of self-worth, driven by toxic shame, from being abused beginning when I was a child. The abuse started at age 6-7 when I was repeatedly molested by a male teenage cousin. Then, when I was a teenager, I was raped. Those experiences caused me to be pessimistic, critical, harsh-tongued, condescending, and covered in toxic shame.
I began to find healing through Christian counseling (a beautiful counselor who had me say out loud that I was raped) and a biblically-based curriculum called Mending the Soul, for those who have been abused sexually, emotionally, physically, spiritually, and/or neglected. The book and study guide The Cure by John Lynch et al. have also profoundly impacted my healing journey.
By learning that I am made in God’s image and uncovering/unmasking my shame and bringing it to His light, the lies that had kept me in bondage lost their power.
I feel freer than ever and am beginning to believe I am who He says I am!
Shame is pervasive and insidious. It leads us to protective, destructive, and abusive behavior patterns that we may not even be aware of. God tenderly holds our hearts as He uncovers the lies and hurts that others have perpetrated against us and gently heals them. It’s a beautiful thing.I now co-facilitate Mending the Soul groups once or twice a year. I am 62 years old and God saved me at age 40. It is never too late for God to begin removing the tarnish from our “God-image”! ~ Colleen