I would like to thank Joanna Lynn for nominating me for The Valiant Blogger Award. You should visit Joanna at Dipping Into the Heart – Rising From the Ashes! as she is a beautiful example of what this award is really all about! Visiting her blog is like visiting a friend. She is a strong and courageous survivor who openly shares her journey to freedom.
The Valiant Blogger Award is for the blogger who is brave and courageous. It is dedicated to someone who, despite being faced with the most difficult obstacles in life, chooses to fight on and never give up. It is for the lion-hearted, one who faces fears and challenges, who has become an inspiration to others along the way.
RULES For Accepting This Award:
1. Post the award on your blog.
2. Provide a link to the Hall of Valor.
3. In 200 words or less, share about the greatest challenge in your life and HOW you got through it.
4. Give one piece of advice to people who are struggling with something in their life.
5. Thank the person who nominated you, and nominate a new blogger for the award.
My greatest challenge
My life’s story is riddled with challenges ranging from childhood abuse to surviving the suicide of my husband. Through therapy, I truly thought I had overcome the childhood issues. To to some extent I had. However, any new trauma had a way of adding brick and mortar to the childhood issues I had tried to demolish. There was a common thread running through my greatest challenges. That commonality was intense shame. I cloaked my shame in silence and retreated within. However that didn’t stop the voice of shame. It continued to echo within. It coursed through the core of all the beliefs I held of myself for as long as I could remember. Shame is more than emotion. It isn’t like guilt. Guilt is about our behaviors. Shame is about who we are. The majority of shame researchers agree that the difference between shame and guilt is best understood as the difference between “I am bad” and “I did something bad.” Psychologist John Bradshaw portrays shame as a hopeless spiritual bankruptcy and describes it as:
“A state of being, a core identity. Shame gives you a sense of worthlessness, a sense of failing and falling short as a human being. Shame is a rupture of the self with the self. It is like internal bleeding…An inner torment, a sickness of the soul. A shame-based person is haunted by a sense of absence and emptiness.”
My greatest challenge has been overcoming shame. I was like the broken dolly in the land of misfit toys. No one could see what was broken, because what was broken was so deep within me. Shame had filled my core beliefs with warped lies. Shame became part of my identity rather than a traumatic experience. I repeatedly heard the lie loud and clear, that something was inherently wrong with me. How did I begin to overcome it? I realized the Bible was right. That our beliefs, our “faith” REALLY “comes by hearing…” That realization was the catalyst for change and I began to fight the good fight of faith. I decided to cast down the thoughts and shame that filled my heart. I began to renew my mind with positive affirmations I found in the Word of God. Have I succeeded? There are still quite a few broken pieces remaining in my life. I am still a work in progress.
For I am confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will continue to perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. – Philippians 1:6
One Piece of Advice
Life doesn’t always go as planned. Bad things can and do happen to good people. My faith in God may not have prevented negative things from happening. But this I know, my faith in God has seen me through each difficult experience. It is how I have patiently endured life’s bitter afflictions. It is why I am a survivor. My advice is…
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. Proverbs 3:5
Mary Perez at Reflections from the Heart – This is a blog written by a beautiful survivor! Mary openly blogs her story and has published a wonderful book. Her book “Running in Heels” is more than a memoir. It exemplifies hope and survival for anyone who is overcoming neglect and abuse.