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Hiding Shame - by Matt Beckenham



When I wrote Eden's Blueprint, there were some chapters that were harder to write than others; "The Problem of Shame" was probably the hardest. It was also the one I received the most feedback from. It seems we all struggle with it, and we all want to be rid of it. The revelation that some of you had was "I'm tired of hiding from my shame."


I found sharing some of my own story about shame was helpful in me unpacking it and discovering its source. But it was merely the beginning of a much longer road that has brought me into a much greater understanding of what shame can do to a person. If I said I was free from it, I would be lying to you. Some days are better than others, and those better days are growing.


Then I began to write Three Trees and some powerful moments opened up in front of me. In reagrds to my shame, I found a way of expressing and processing it in a way that helped me explore it. In the fiction of the story, I was able to place my story in the midst of many other characters and engage with how my shame would have affected those I loved. It helped me find the real me. It helped me discover a profound truth about healing from shame: I don't heal in the shadows; I heal in the light.


But it's not just any light, or because someone tells you where they found their light. It's a very unique road to journey, and it's also a very courageous one. In Three Trees, I've attempted to show that not everyone picks the "right" one or does it at the "right" time. What would confound Eagle would make sense to Adam, and what would be obvious to Eve was hidden from Cain. But through it all was a Designer who has carried a love for their whole story, and not just the moments they chose to be "right" or "wrong."


Here's an extract from the book:


"That night, I sat high in a tree and pondered everything I had witnessed. So much had changed in such a brief space of time. I was remembering brilliant times when I would watch the Designer walk and play with Adam and Eve. Their laughter would fill Eden, and their joy affected every part of His creation. Nothing was withheld from them, and everything thrived with life and abundance. But I will never forget that strange lizard and the words that it spoke… those words needed to be remembered for when that strange lizard, or whatever form it took next, would dare to speak again.


But what I will remember most is the grief of those moments when shame flowed from a voice, and then it became a choice. I would soon learn that once it became a choice, their identity would be next to change. That could be one of the hardest things to heal.


If shame had seeded itself in my life and I had killed that lizard, my identity would have changed. Maybe I would have been known as the bringer of death. Maybe all my friends would have feared me and what I could do to them. Maybe I, too, would beg for somewhere to hide from the shame that filled me."


Shame wars for your identity, and the more you hide, the further you are from your true self; the self that God has designed you to be. Shame forced me to hide; it forced me to reject who I really was. Everything I believed about myself was reduced to the sum total of the poor choices I had made. I was so judged by myself that I didn't want to see anyone else. I was so ashamed that hiding seemed to be the only choice I wanted to make.


Choices...


Love is the most powerful choice you can make. Love has a way of healing, and love has a way of bringing you back into the light. You can't be forced there. It's not a place someone can demand you to be. It is an invitation to be loved for who you are. Long before I could find that in others or even in God, I had to find that in me. My first invitation to heal came from me.


In Three Trees, I had the Designer offer Adam and Eve this invitation. He didn't rush it or demand a responce; He simply offered it and allowed them to make their choices. Their choices continued to affect those they loved; somtimes in a good way and sometimes in a challenging way. But through it all the Designer would not leave them and would not judge them.


May I always be a friend who allows you to make your choices and stand with you in them. May I carry the love of the Designer in such a way that when you are ready to heal, I will be ready too.



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