It was dark outside, it was just me and my piano. My bible lay to the right of me and pad of paper and pen to my left. I asked God what He wanted me to write about that night and all I felt was shame.

My heart had shifted in a way that I longed so deeply to be in ministry sharing God’s love through worship, but how could a sinner like me with a past like mine ever be in ministry? The shame that was wrapping itself around my body like a blanket was keeping me from the life God was calling me to live. It was keeping me from stepping out to do what I knew God was asking me to do and it was holding me back from sharing about the healing and hope that God had so graciously given me.

Shame is a heavy burden and I had been carrying the load for years.

That night desperate for freedom through Jesus the Lord led me to Isaiah 53, “Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering… he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”

As I sat there that night reading Isaiah, I wept. I wept because it was that night the Holy Spirit revealed to me that Jesus actually paid the ultimate price for me. He took on my pain and bore my sin and shame, so that I wouldn’t have to. When he died that day on the cross for our sins, he did that to show us how much he loved us. He did that so that we wouldn’t have to live in our shame or be bound to our past any longer. The price has been paid in full. You see, shame tell us we’re guilty and insufficient but Jesus says we’re guiltless and promises that his grace will be sufficient for us in all our weaknesses.

The things we once said, did or experienced have been forgiven.

In Christ, we are a new creation.

God’s love frees us to let go of the mess of the past and move forward in confidence, knowing “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”. God wants to redeem you and heal you of the shame that holds you back from living the life he’s called you to. Romans 8:28 tells us that ‘God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.’

I pray that as you lean into Jesus you will find freedom through the one who promises it. Your story isn’t finished, God is taking your past and as you surrender your life over to him and seek his love and redemption I believe God will use what you’ve been through to point people to Him. That’s been my own prayer for my life since that night at my piano. The things that once held me captive and embarrassed me are actually being used to bring people into relationship with Jesus.

I pray for freedom over the things that hold you back, that keep you hidden in the dark and surround you in shame. Jesus paid the price for you – you were bought by the blood of the King and He laid his own life down for you, so that you can live in freedom.

Your redemption story will be one that God uses, surround yourself with his presence as he heals you from the inside out.