“I swore I would never do that again, ” I thought as I picked up the brush to load more white paint into the bristles. “How did I let this happen?” On a late Tuesday night my most important task was to paint my apartment so that I could move out in a few weeks. In an effort to add some color to my colorless life in a small town, I had chosen burlesque purple and blue ivy to taint my small living space. Now it was time to cover it all with eggshell.
So much had happened in just a year and it was time to move on. However, all I could think about was the shame I felt from all the wrongs in my past. I believed things could be different in Boone, but I guess you can’t escape yourself.
I continued to pour white onto the walls as circles of hate for myself rounded my thoughts over and over again. “I’ve really done it this time God. I know you can’t forgive me now. I’m a screw up and will always be one.”
Finally I made it to the middle of the room. I was standing on the kitchen counter when I looked over the whole apartment. Half white half purple.
“What if I just stopped here?” I wondered. Then I heard him—the voice I needed to listen to.
“When I died for you I didn’t only cover part of your stains, I covered it all,” he said. “I painted your whole life white.”
Overwhelmed, I sat down on the floor and thought it through. He paid for it all, past, present and future. When Jesus takes a white brush to the wrong color you chose, he doesn’t stop halfway. He goes from the front door to the backcloset and doesn’t skip the kitchen sink.
I let the tears come. “But I don’t deserve it God. I’ll let you down again.” I continued to wrestle with him wanting to hold onto the shame I felt. “I deserve punishment, I don’t deserve anything good.”
At that point I had a choice. I could continue to live my life in purple, or I could live in white. Shame, or forgiveness.
I often go back to that Tuesday night and remember that moment because so often I choose to wear the wrong color.
Most days I look over the course of my life and hate the mistakes I’ve made and tend to re-live the consequences and the hurt over and over again.
I share these feelings on my blog, not because I want attention or for people to feel sorry for me or to shock people with the intimate details of my life…but to connect with other people who might be feeling the same way and point them to the one who can take it away.
I don’t have a huge following of people reading my blog, but even if there is one person who might stumble upon this who is struggling with the same issue, I want to be of some encouragement.
On that day you feel the weight and sting of the sin you committed yet again, the tendency is to wallow—to sit in the shame you feel, to give up hope that you could ever make things right, that you could ever change.
You don’t have to feel shame because Jesus took it on the cross. Your situation is not hopeless because Jesus always gives hope and mercy. You don’t have to believe you can never change because when we are weak, he is strong and can lift you up.
I deserve shame for what I have done—for forsaking my God and chasing after other lovers, for not seeking His kingdom first and for seeking myself instead, for denying him three times until the rooster crows.
But the reality is, we are beautiful letdowns (quoting from Switchfoot here…) We are beautiful daughters and sons of God who continuously let ourselves, others, and our creator down. BUT….
Jesus. Jesus took the shame so that we wouldn’t have to wallow in the morning after.
What I want you to do is take that shame you are wearing, take it off, put it on the cross, and leave it there. Walk away and don’t return. On the morning afters, go to the hill, but don’t stay there. He proclaimed, “It is finished. I covered it all. Everything you have done and will do.”
I don’t want to take it off and put it on my Savior, but he wants to. He delights in saving us from ourselves. He wants to deliver us because he is holy and he would have it no other way.
So let him. It’s painful. It isn’t fair, but it’s necessary. And to be honest, white looks better on you anyway.