Fear, Shame and Remorse – Breaking the Bonds

 

woman in maroon shirt with black chain on her body

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Have you ever been held captive by one of the big three…Fear, Shame or Remorse? I spent years in captivity by these three. People can look at us and never see the invisible chains that are holding us back, refusing to allow us to go free. 

I think for me the worst of the three was Fear. I left my ex-husband and took my six week old baby with me. He wanted us back and threatened me. I lived for years with the fear that at any time he would come and take me or my son. Finally, several years later, when he remarried the fear began to subside, but it still wasn’t gone.

If carrying around the chains of Fear wasn’t bad enough, I was also shackled by Shame. I had been raised in a small conservative town and after college moved in with my boyfriend…soon to be husband. It was at a time when that just wasn’t done and gossip flooded the town and I was at the center of the deluge. At the time, it didn’t really bother me, but several years later when I came back with my baby in tow, I felt the scourge of that Shame.

Add Remorse to the equation and you have a girl who was in bondage. I was really sorry for what I had done, but I could not change it. There was no magic time machine that would take me back and undo my bad decisions.

So there I was, full of Fear, Guilt and Shame and there was nothing I could do about it. I did not have the power to break the bonds that were shackling me…and then I met the Bondage Breaker – The one Person, the God-man-Jesus, who sacrificed his life for someone like me; someone broken and held in bondage by her own bad decisions. What a day that was for me. He walked into my invisible prison and unlocked the door and broke the chains that were holding me.

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It was a great feeling…He had set me free. But was that all that needed to be done? Was there something I was supposed to do? Yes, yes, there was. I had to make the decision to get up and leave the chains behind and walk out of the prison. 

Was it easy? No. Every day I had to choose to believe that I was free and I had to rely on the truths in his word. Truths like…”For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”( 2 Timothy 1:7) when I would start to feel afraid. When Shame started to hem me in, I knew that I needed to focus on “For you will forget the shame of your youth” (Isaiah 54:4).  When Remorse started to overwhelm me, I needed to focus on Romans 8: 28: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” I had to believe that I was forgiven and nothing could change God’s love and mercy towards me.

Set free…Yes, by the Bondage Breaker…once and for all. Learning to walk free…that was another matter…step by step, day by day, until I could truly say, “I am free!”  

 

Sharing this again for those that might be struggling with these issues!

62 thoughts on “Fear, Shame and Remorse – Breaking the Bonds

    • Take them to the Lord. We don’t have to carry all of that heavy stuff. We have all made mistakes and blown it. Some of us have blown it in a bigger way than others but basically it is the human condition. We are all flawed. Period! Blessings to you and your son!

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  1. Valerie, thank you for sharing such a personal story. It took courage. God is with you as you have grown stronger. We all have stories. Thankfully, our loving Father offers grace and mercy. He knows my shame. Not many others do. No matter. It’s by His written word we all may claim healing. I fully believe and trust Him. Blessings to you!!

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      • I was a Protestant too until my baptism in ROAC 2,5 yrs ago. I received true orthodox sacraments abt 5-10 times since then. I was not feeling free, when still a Protestant. There was still “spite” in my freedom (towards the church). It took some reading up, especially on church history. I found your blog via your Posts on Agia Pareskevi Gerakas. They are an RTOC (Russian True Orthodox Church) parish. Much to discover in Orthodoxy. Just Sayin… 🙂 Nice Day! For starters the “The way of the pilgrim” probably makes any list…

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      • Yes, we are very detached in the West from the church… But where there is a will there is a way. I went here in Germany to a world orthodox parish, and was glad to be found by my godfather from Russia, who then led me to my baptism in the true orthodox Church instead.

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      • I received sacraments yesterday from a visiting hieromonk. Tomorrow he will bless my appartment. It is very difficult in these days, everything tends towards Ecumenism… they throw out more and more from the old church. And in the end,… if one reads Revelations,… they will throw out Christ too.. And talk of one universal “god” only,… who of course will be the Antichrist. Uniting all religions into one. Because differences are so mean and hurtful…
        Do you know the 1983 ROCOR Anathema Against Ecumenism? Here it is:

        “Those who attack the Church of Christ by teaching that Christ’s Church is divided into so-called “branches” which differ in doctrine and way of life, or that the Church does not exist visibly, but will be formed in the future when all “branches” or sects or denominations, and even religions will be united into one body; and who do not distinguish the priesthood and mysteries of the Church from those of the heretics, but say that the baptism and eucharist of heretics is effectual for salvation; therefore, to those who knowingly have communion with these aforementioned heretics or who advocate, disseminate, or defend their new heresy of Ecumenism under the pretext of brotherly love or the supposed unification of separated Christians, Anathema!”

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  2. Dear Valerie, thank you for sharing your amazing testimony! God has done great and mighty things in your life! And there are others who need to hear your story, in order to believe that God can help them break free, too. Thank you for the honesty – when breaking bonds like this, we have to choose His truth over our thoughts. Daily. God bless you and keep you!

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  3. I thank God for setting you free from fear, shame and remorse! Thank you for sharing your story. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. After all, that was the purpose of His coming, He didn’t come for the righteous (which there aren’t any!) He gave His life for sinners. God loves us with an everlasting love. ❤️

    We can learn from the past but we should not live in the past. His Truth has set us free! 🙂

    ❤️carmen

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  4. Valerie – We are so sorry that you had such a season of fear. It is extremely hard to understand how some can be willing to inflict such fear into the life of another, especially into the life of their spouse who they have promised to love and protect.

    Thankfully, through God’s grace and mercy, you had the courage to, as you said, walk out of that prison. And now you are free. When Christ sets you free you are free indeed!!! – John 8:36 (I may have added some exclamation marks there…)

    We facilitate a Christiain grief ministry called GriefShare at our church, and in so doing we are confronted with the subject of guilt. In fact, one of the 13 week sessions is “Guilt and Anger” and delves into True Guilt and False Guilt. True guilt is when we directly cause a problem. In such cases we have to take ownership and do what we can to mitigate the damage we caused. We are all human and have erasers on our pencils for a reason. God forgives us and then we have to figure out how to forgive ourselves.

    On the other hand, false guilt is when we blame ourselves even though it really wasn’t our fault. If there is any chance you have false guilt, we pray you are able to recognize it for what it is and heal from that quickly.

    Blessings to you and your child. Tell the people in your small town to “Get a life!” (or perhaps praying for them would be a better option…)

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    • Thank you so much for your comment. That season of my life has been over for many years and I wrote that for people who may be struggling with some of the same issues. I was pretty damaged after I left that relationship and it took me years to heal (do we ever heal completely?). My hope is that people will know that I didn’t lead a perfect life and that God was there to help me when I needed Him the most. Our lives are what they are today because of the grace and glory of God! Thank you for your caring and concern!!! P.S. I did see a few counselors when I first left the relationship and they did help me. One just said, “This isn’t your fault.” That helped set me free for sure! God Bless You Both!

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    • P.S. At the moment I work with Stonecroft Ministries as a speaker and have had the opportunity to share my story with women in several states. Women need to know they are not alone and are not the only ones who have gone through something like this, especially now that we have a new generation of people dealing with PTSD from the two latest wars. Praise God He is sufficient!

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  5. Yes, we may think, hope and believe there are those who have never walked in these shoes, but we really never know. It’s between them and those with whom they wish to share, and, of course, God. This spoke/speaks well, Valerie! Thank you for sharing!

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  6. Dear Val,
    Thank you for sharing insight into your life …. I always find your writing flows so well and engages the (oft) distracted reader to stop a while and contemplate. Your advice is anything but fleeting also … it stays with me 💜😊 Guilt in particular, a nemesis that invites remorse close behind. …
    So nice to talk to you this Sunday xo

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Valerie,
    I love it!
    We have to believe we are free.
    We become what we believe.
    So many times God will break our chains only for us to go back and pick them back up.
    God doesn’t want us just to stand up, He wants us to stand tall and free.
    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Shame is the big one for me. Shame and then ruminating on what I should have done differently. The word “should” fuels shame. People often shame unknowingly, and that word is almost always behind it. I started reading Brené Brown last year, and she predominately writes about shame. It was eye-opening for me. The biggest takeaway I’ve had is that shame cannot survive if it is spoken aloud. Shoving shame into the corners of our soul to fester will eat us alive. Speaking it and sharing our stories is healing for everyone involved.

    Thanks for your post. I enjoyed reading it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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