14 words that saved my life

I’ll let the secret out up front.  Here are the words that saved my life:  “Shame has kept you from love, and only love will cure you of shame.”  Count ’em.  Fourteen.  If you want to know how they saved me, keep reading.

Some years ago, I was in that strange zone of semi-consciousness right before full sleep takes you under.  I wasn’t thinking about anything sad or unusual or traumatic.  As best as I can remember, I wasn’t thinking about anything at all.  But I had been in a season of struggling through some of the tight corners of my heart constricted by shame.  Like a lightning bolt striking suddenly out of the sky came those fourteen words.  And it wasn’t me thinking these up.  I fell asleep knowing that I had heard God’s voice.

I used to think people who said they heard the voice of God were either of few steps short of a mental institution or deluded, overly-spiritual Christians.  Now I know better.  To have intimacy with anyone means that you know their voice and listen to it.  God is no different.  And he has been speaking to me all of my life.  I just have not had the ears to listen.

So how did those fourteen words save me?  I have been a man submerged in shame for years caused by a complete disconnection from others.  I felt ashamed of my body, ashamed of my gifts, ashamed of the gifts I didn’t have, ashamed of my personality, ashamed of even my name.  But in the last few years, I have seen love heal my shame. Over and over again.  The healing still stuns me at times.

So these fourteen words have proved to be both a laser beam insight into the center of my tangled inner life and a prophetic lamp for the journey out.  The more I think about them, the more true they become.  No human could have known me this well.  I didn’t even know myself that well.  Only God could have given me this gift.

Just today at school, I became aware that I am no longer ashamed of my name.  It just kind of hit me.  For Bill is short for William.  And William comes from the German word for helmet, implying strength.  I like that.  Strength instead of shame.  That’s what fourteen words have done.

Beautiful, isn’t it?

About Coach D

I have been a teacher and a coach for many years. My real name is Bill Delvaux, but my students call me Coach D, hence the user name. This blog is about the journey into the unknown I am walking and the landmarks I am navigating along the way. The destination: becoming who I really am as a man. I invite you to join me by reading along every Monday and Thursday.
This entry was posted in Shame, Walking with God and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to 14 words that saved my life

  1. Jessie Rucker says:

    Yes, Bill. I had a grandfather named Will, a father named Billy, a brother named Bill and a son, as you know named Will. William is strength! Satan is a liar. What was the first thing he did to Adam and Eve after they fell into temptation? He made them feel ashamed! Jesus took our shame and nailed it to the cross! Jesus said my sheep hear my voice. I hear Him often so if that makes me strange, Hallelujah!

    • Coach D says:

      You are so right. Jesus not only took our sin. He took our shame. For me to begin to live in this is so incredibly liberating. And it only happened as Jesus personally coached me and spoke to me. We can be strange together!!

  2. Trey says:

    One of the good things about my job as a therapist is that I abide every day with honest people who talk about their brokeness. It has taught me the truth of the fall, that none of us are good, none of us are well, none of us are right. In Adam’s fall, truly we all fell. But the club of fallen people without hope save for Christ is a large club!

    And great point Jessie, our enemy is indeed a liar.


    • Coach D says:

      Shame is such a huge part of my story. It nearly killed me. Coming out of all of it has been an amazing adventure. One of the things that I have learned in my story groups is that every man is broken and that almost all of them struggle with shame. I just keep giving that shame back to Jesus so that I can receive his love and the love of others. It is such a new motion for me!

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