On these days it's hard to see anything past the heavy weight pressing against me. Shame, I can't help thinking, is insufferable. So I sit on my bed, my white comforter rumpled beneath me, my eyes burning bright and hard, shooting straight to the back of my skull.
The shame washes over me, crashes like a wave -- and I am the girl in the centre of the ocean with no means of traction, no way to stand. I dissolve beneath it.
It surprises me, always, the disgrace I bring on my own self, after tirelessly believing that we are enough, that we are brave. But when it comes to me? Well, I have a hard time convincing myself of this truth. I believe it for you, desperately. But on these sorts of days it seems impossible to believe that for me. The shame feels too fresh. Too raw. Too wrapped around me.
I force myself to call out to Jesus. It's easier to roll into myself, to focus on how how I feel instead of what is true. There's a difference, I know, between feelings and truth. My feelings don't dictate what's true. It's just much harder to remember that when I'm in the midst of feeling things strongly.
So I say to Jesus, I need you. I need you badly. I need you now. Here. Badly. Now. Here. Please. I need you.
In between my staccato prayers, I hear voices, mine maybe, or a thousand others. And they say to me: how can you tell people that you think they're brave and enough and worthy -- and then your shame crowds in, and you don't believe that for yourself?
I don't know, I think. I don't know.
Jesus, I say softly. Take away my shame. Take away the waves. Paint me courageous. Make me brave.