Today’s Brave Post is written by Karen Asbra.
Shame: the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, ridiculous, etc., done by oneself or another
Brokenness comes from many circumstances in life. Sometimes it is the hardships we go through that happen to us and sometimes it is due to the choices we make and sometimes a combination of both. Many times I find that we don’t move into healing because of shame.
My husband and I were recently at a conference at a church in Las Vegas. The church held several thousand people. At one point the pastor was sharing testimony on how the church was making an impact on the Sex Trade Industry. They had a group of people committed to change legislation on sentencing of Sex Trade crimes and to abolish the Sex Trade industry all together. As the pastor was introducing the team and telling the massive audience of how important each member was he highlighted one of his members.
Her name was Sarah Jane.
Sarah Jane was a missionary from France. She had felt a call from God to come to the U.S., specifically Las Vegas, to help make a positive difference in the Sex Trade Industry as well as in the lives of the girls caught up in that industry. She had raised her own financial support and would often spend three hours in prayer for a 15 minute opportunity to enter a brothel to minister to these girls. She had worked with this ministry in this church without ever asking for favors or without asking anything for herself. She was a faithful servant.
We were all impressed with her, I was impressed with her.
Then the pastor asked her a question. He said, “Sarah Jane, why did you join this ministry?”
Silence, dead silence.
In an instant it was as if we all knew what was coming next and now this massive audience was silent.
She answered, “Because I was a victim of Sex Trade.”
It seemed as if the pastor’s jaw hit the floor. Here she had been faithfully serving in this ministry and he had no idea. Sarah Jane had only told a few people who kept her secret.
It was one of the bravest acts I have personally experienced.
Here, in front of thousands of people, she was brave enough to take a risk, push through her shameful past, and speak out her experience. Yes, Sarah Jane was no longer in the Sex Trade Industry but I couldn’t help but wonder if shame kept her from telling her pastor and others and somehow still kept her captive.
But today she broke free.
She gave us a brief look at what her life had been like. It was as if the floodgates opened and she was no longer bound by that wall of shame. Right in front of us we saw freedom released. Sarah Jane was not received with judgment but with love and support and a standing ovation. You could see that there was a renewed strength in her. There was a light coming from here that was beautiful to look at.
There are times in our life when we get afraid to speak out the areas of brokenness because we are afraid of and feel a deep sense of shame. I know I have had those times. Depending on our past we do need to be careful who we divulge our deepest hurts too however, there comes a time to let go. We all need to in order to get to a place of healing.
What area of brokenness has brought you shame? Shame keeps you locked into yourself, keeps you locked into your own prison. Sarah Jane is a perfect example of taking a broken shameful past and through the power of speech broke through to freedom. You too can do the same. I encourage you to pray and ask God who or where would that safe place be for you. He will guide you to that safe place, that safe person. Be brave enough to just make any small move so you can find your healing.
Karen Asbra is a writer, song writer, and worship leader and enjoys bringing people into the presence and intimacy of God.