Children and Shame

“Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

She wiggles her toes into the “comfiest place on earth” (between my knees) and we cozy up to each other to talk about the day.

We giggle and chat and I ask her questions. I feel a prodding in my spirit, so I ask, “Is there anything you need to tell me?”

She hesitates.

“No, mommy.”

But I can tell there is something. So I dig gently.

“Baby, you know mama is on your team, right? Nothing you could ever say will make me love you any less. You are safe with me.”

She looks at me with large eyes, unsure if what I’m saying is true.

“There is something, but I’m afraid to tell you.”

“Darling, I will never discipline you for confessing to me or telling me something you need to be free of. I want you to trust me. I’m here for you, okay? You can tell me.”

I can see it. Shame. She sits up, covers her face, and just keeps repeating, “I’m so scared you’re going to be mad at me.”

She’s six, and my comforting words barely break through her fear. Her unfounded fear. I am wide open to be arms of grace, but she balls up and covers her nervousness between giggles and sad eyes.

I take her hand and tell her again that I’m on her side.

She speaks into the pillow that is over her face. She tells me her secret. And then,

she cries.

And I hold her and I tell her how much I love her. I tell her that I did the same thing when I was her age, and she uncovers her face and looks at me with surprise. “You did?!” “Yep. And I didn’t like it either.”

Confession is good for the spirit. We smile and hold each other in grace. We pray. We kick shame out the door.

I’m her mama, and He’s our Father, and shame is not invited into our family. 

We cozy up again to giggle and chat some more.

We are unveiled, and we are

free.

 “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18

Sarah Mae

Sarah Mae spends her days home-making, home-educating, writing, reading, and drinking salted caramel mochas. Her family embraces life in the beautiful Amish country-side of Pennsylvania. She is the owner of the community site Allume and the co-host of the national Christian women’s social media conference.