To The Sister Who’s Disappointed In Herself

May 11, 2022

by Joelle Jensen

Several years ago I was telling a family member how terrible I felt about my past and all of the terrible decisions I had made. Even though I had grown up in the church, I didn’t embrace a relationship with Jesus for myself until later in my teens. In the meantime, my actions had done a lot of damage – damage to relationships primarily. It was a burden I couldn’t seem to let go of.  This very wise family member listened with patience as I spewed out all the ways I had felt like I had failed people in my life – people I cared for deeply. And then with a simple statement, she gave me the permission I needed to let go. 

I wonder how many of us when we are reminded of blunders from our past, have a visible cringe appear on our faces. Anyone? I can think of something I did even yesterday that could easily cause my thoughts to spiral into condemnation, disappointment in myself, and, ultimately, my feeling like a failure. Maybe you hold onto a deep pain from the past that you can’t seem to forgive yourself for. Or perhaps it’s more elusive than that for you. Instead, just about everywhere you turn in life, you have this gnawing feeling that you are failing. You believe that you don’t have what it takes to measure up to the expectations society is placing on you. Expectations like eating healthy, exercising, being successful in your career, keeping your house in pristine condition at all times, and having glowing skin while accomplishing it all.  This may sound silly but most of you know exactly what I’m talking about! 

If you find yourself feeling frustrated, maybe what was shared with me that day will help you release your burden as it did me.

These freeing words are actually a verse from Philippians 3:13b-14 (ESV): 

“But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

As Christians, we have permission to forget our past and embrace Jesus. This doesn’t mean that we don’t acknowledge what happened or learn from it, but the guilt, pain, and feelings of failure don’t have to stay. We can receive the grace of the Father that He offers us so freely. It is no coincidence that Satan is called an “accuser of the brethren” (Rev. 12:10, KJV). Why would He want to accuse us? Feelings of shame aren’t fun. The enemy knows that they tend to keep us from approaching God (the only one who gives us victory over our shortcomings). 

I want to offer an alternative. Next time you experience shame, allow those feelings to instead thrust you back into the arms of Jesus who knows every mistake, big or small, you would ever make, and yet still died for you. 

Joelle Jensen is the founder of First Love Ministries, an organization that gives women tools to live confidently in Christ. Her heart is to challenge and equip women to encounter Jesus in their everyday lives. In a world where consumerism has invaded even our Christianity, she encourages women to take ownership of their walks with God and truly seek Jesus as their First Love. She does this through Encounter Conferences and online teachings. Joelle and her husband, Samuel, currently live with their four kids in Central Florida.



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