The Word Weaver
Deb Weaver ~ Communicating God's love, grace, & truth
Letting It Go: The Bondage of Guilt, Regret, & Shame {Book Giveaway}
by The Word Weaver, Deb on June 12th, 2015

​Our older, beautiful home is a precious gift from God.  It even came wrapped in paper.
​Wallpaper. 

Busy, busy, floral wallpaper. 

And lots of it.  

Needless to say, painting has been a significant priority since we moved in last November.  This past week I decided to finally tackle the guest room.

My courage failed me as I brushed the odorous oil-based primer over the patterned walls.  It didn’t seem to make much of a difference.  I could still clearly see the dark green leaves.  Plagued by fumes and doubts, I continued to prime. 

Would this work?  Would it be enough?  Would the pattern still be visible once I added the color?  Should I roll another coat of primer?  
​Hubby assured me that it would be fine.  One primer coat would cover it sufficiently.  I needed to trust the process. 

I could have worried.  I could’ve given it another coat, but I didn’t.  I waited and let it dry overnight. 

Then I added the coat of color.  And guess what? 

Hubby was right.  (Shhh.  Don’t repeat that too loudly.) 

It turned out beautifully.
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*****Side-note to painting purists (niece Staci included):
 
I know it’s not “right” to paint over wallpaper. 

We did it anyway.  It might not be perfect, but it’s definitely faster, and it looks pretty darn good. 

Besides, according to decorating guru and author of The Nesting Place, Myquillin Smith, “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.”

I realize that you may be hyperventilating by now. 

Let me encourage you to relax.  Would it help if I got you a glass of water? 

Breathe.  I promise that it’s going to be okay****

 
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​Painting is a procedure that leaves you a lot of time to think and pray.  Here’s what I’ve been pondering:

This old house and I have a couple things in common besides advancing age and creaking steps.  I, too, am wrapped in patterns.  Patterns, old and busy. 

Three particular patterns—guilt, regret, and shame—have dominated my thoughts and beliefs.  They’ve held me in bondage—nearly smothering and paralyzing me—even as I’ve struggled against them. 

Choices made long ago have haunted me.  I’ve pummeled myself over sins—especially ones I’ve made as a Mama—long after I’d asked for and received forgiveness from the Lord and from those affected by my actions.  

It’s no way to live, but I wanted to punish myself.  I believed I deserved the beating. 

My friend, Christin Ditchfield, understands.  In her excellent book, Letting It Go ~Breaking Free from the Power of Guilt, Discouragement, & Defeat, she relates,  “. . . I’ve experienced the kind of guilt and shame and regret that sticks with me.  Shadows me.  Haunts me.  Hinders me.  I’m so preoccupied with it, so paralyzed by it.  I just can’t get past it, can’t get free of it . . . For some reason, we keep replaying the fateful scene over and over—that humiliating mistake, that terrible decision, those awful words, that grievous sin.  Wincing, cringing, sometimes even weeping over the things we said or did long before we knew better—before we knew Jesus—as well as things we’ve said or done since, when we absolutely did know.  If only we could click ‘undo’ or ‘delete’ in real life.  But we can’t.  So, instead, we verbally flog ourselves . . .”  (pp. 28)

See why I love this gal?!  She gets me! 

And she also understands how this bondage holds me back: “As long as we continue to carry the weight of it on your own shoulders, we will stagger and stumble through life—rather than running free.  Dancing with grace and courage and strength.  Becoming the women we were created to be.”   (pp. 29)

Trying to carry the weight of my sin has nearly killed me (not an exaggeration, not just figuratively).  This self-abuse is unnecessary.  It’s not how grace works.

Yes, I’ve sinned—sometimes gravely.  Made mistakes.  Hurt people I love. 

And though I may experience natural consequences for my sin, I do not have to beat myself black and blue over it.  Jesus already paid for it.  He has forgiven me completely.  
​I know—I absolutely do not deserve such grace.  That’s what makes it amazing. 

Letting go is less about emptying my hands of regret, guilt, and shame, and more—much more—about grasping hold of this gift God offers.

Christin agrees that this is key:  “It’s not just about letting it go; it’s about what we choose to hold on to.  First and foremost, we need to hold on to grace.”   (pp. 47)
Life is messy, but God’s sovereign grace is beautiful. 

It’s stronger, farther-reaching, and deeper than I’ve ever believed.  It covers every inch, every moment of my life. 

I’m learning to more profoundly trust the God of the process.  He is faithful from before the beginning, through the middle, and beyond the ending.  The Alpha and the Omega has got this.  He’s got me.

Through the blood of Jesus Christ, the coverage of His grace—over my sins, failures, errors, dreams, hopes, happiness, detours, over my everyday life—is more than sufficient.  It is complete.  As He proclaimed on the cross, "It is finished!"  (John 19:30, NIV)

It frees me to live abundantly. 

Forgiven.

Beloved.  Not broken.

Grateful.

Righteous by faith.

Passionately.  Playfully.  Prayerfully.  Powerfully.

Full of joy.

Free.

Indeed, it is beautiful. 
****BOOK GIVEAWAY:  Submit a comment on this blog post and be entered into a drawing for one of two books:  Christin Ditchfield’s Letting It Go or Myquillin Smith’s The Nesting PlaceEntries close and winners will be chosen at noon (Central), Friday, June 19, 2015. 

For more affirmation, hope, and help, please check out Christin’s website or Facebook page.

For encouragement to decorate your own nest beautifully, be sure to stop by Myquillin's website.
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Copyright 2015, The Word Weaver, Deb Weaver


Posted in Let's Talk About Books!, My Journey with God, Hope & Healing    Tagged with God's Grace, Letting Go, Shame, Regret, Guilt, Freedom, Decorating, Painting, Book Review


10 Comments

Ashley - June 12th, 2015 at 11:30 AM
I truly enjoyed what you had to say. Miss you on Tuesdays, God bless!!
The Word Weaver, Deb - June 12th, 2015 at 11:36 AM
Hi Ashley! I miss you too! Your smile and exuberant care for each person is a gift! Thanks for reading the blog.

*You're entered into the book giveaway! Yay!
Deb Weaver - June 19th, 2015 at 11:24 AM
Ashley,
Congratulations! You won the book giveaway! The Nesting Place by Myquillin Smith is a wonderful book; I think you'll enjoy it tremendously. I'm waiting for it to arrive from Amazon. When it comes, would you like me to get it to your Mom for you? Or would you rather I mailed it?
Cheryl - June 12th, 2015 at 7:56 PM
A couple years ago I too did the unthinkable and painted over wallpaper. It turned out GREAT. I have been quite happy with the results of that project.
I love reading your written words. Even though I am sure you already know, I just have to say, you have a way with words!
The Word Weaver, Deb - June 13th, 2015 at 10:25 AM
Aw! Thank you, Cheryl! I'm so happy the painting went well--I don't have the time nor the patience to remove all the wallpaper. Isn't it funny when we do something that everyone says can't be done?! I'm getting braver the older I get!
The Word Weaver, Deb - June 13th, 2015 at 10:29 AM
I forgot to mention in my last comment: *You're entered into the book giveaway! Yay!
Lisa - June 13th, 2015 at 10:20 AM
Wow, I feel like you spoke directly to ME! I've been carrying around a huge truckload of guilt, regret and shame - which has lead to debilitating fear, panic and constant, nagging anxiety. Fear of the punishment I know I deserve and fear of letting myself "go" and trust in Jesus. I'm afraid that if I do let go and trust Him, that I'll be tested to see just how strong my faith is. Basically, I've gotten myself into a corner where I'm damned if I do, and damned if I don't.
Thank you for sharing - it's comforting to know that I'm not alone in my struggle. I need help and direction to lift me out of my pit.

The Word Weaver, Deb - June 13th, 2015 at 10:28 AM
You are not alone! I think this affects more of us than we know. I'm learning that He is so for me and that He's Lord over the past. (Not an easy lesson, not a fast lesson, but I'm walking down that path.) I heard something the other day on the radio that encouraged me. The gal said that though we sometimes do experience hard consequences, they're never the full weight of what we deserve. I think that's true, and I'm grateful for grace.
The Word Weaver, Deb - June 13th, 2015 at 10:29 AM
I forgot to mention in my last comment: *You're entered into the book giveaway! Yay!
The Word Weaver, Deb - June 19th, 2015 at 11:26 AM
Lisa,
Congratulations! You won the book giveaway! Letting It Go by Christin Ditchfield is an incredible source of encouragement. I'll contact you by email for your mailing address.
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