Some of you may be familiar with the story of The Scarlet Letter. I never had to read it for school, but I do know the gist of what its about. Here’s a quick summary from Wikipedia:
In June 1642, in the Puritan town of Boston, a crowd gathers to witness an official punishment. A young woman, Hester Prynne, has been found guilty of adultery and must wear a scarlet “A” (“A” is a symbol of adultery and affair) on her dress as a sign of shame. Furthermore, she must stand on the scaffold for three hours, exposed to public humiliation. As Hester approaches the scaffold, many of the women in the crowd are angered by her beauty and quiet dignity.
While this woman, Hester, didn’t choose to wear the “A” she had to bear it as a sign of shame. And everyone knew exactly what it meant…adultery.
What if I told you that I too wear a big red “A” around on my shirt?
A for Anxiety (disorder). And add a “PAG” for Panic Attack Girl.
And no one made me wear it, I put it there. And the enemy has made sure that it’s on there nice and tight.
I’ve worn it around for a long time now. It goes with me every where. When I wake up in the morning and put on my shirt for the day…it’s already stitched on there, good and ready.
It’s invisible to the naked eye, but I know it’s there. I feel it on me every where I go.
At home – I’m better. I don’t need to hide it or think about it. It’s when I’m in public that I feel this deep shame and humiliation and I could swear that every person I talk to can see this big fat red “A” on my chest.
I had no idea I was doing this to myself until God revealed it to me very recently.
And I’m SO thankful that He loves me right where I’m at, but way too much to leave me here.
I think almost every one wears scarlet letters on their chests in one form or another.
A = Abused / Abuser, Anger, Adulterer, Addicted, Abortion
CO = Cheated On
F = Failure
UE = Unemployed
S = Single
D = Divorced, Depressed, Debt
DFC = Didn’t Finish College
NC = No Career
JSAHM = ‘Just’ a Stay at Home Mom
WM = Working Mom
OW = Over Weight
G = Guilty
UA = Unattractive
BM = Bad Marriage
FP = Family Problems
And I could go on and on….trust me, I’ve worn quite a few of those.
When we look at Jesus, we can only come up with all of the good, amazing and precious labels that he has.
But guess what? When He died, He passed ALL of those labels on to US. YOU and ME. We have them ALL. And those old labels we placed on ourselves? They mean NOTHING. We may see them day in and day out, but God doesn’t see any of them when He looks at us. They just flat out don’t exist to Him.
And when we discover and BELIEVE this (Which I’m currently in the process!) those big red letters we wear on our chest become covered, stained and then washed away with His thick, red blood.
So here are my new labels I was given by Jesus:
H = Hopeful. C = Courageous. R = Righteous (made right). LU = Loved Unconditionally. NS = No Shame. NSOF = No Spirit of Fear. P = Patient. K = Kind. G = Gentle. S = Strong. J = Joyful…
And my favorite, F = FREE.
These and ALL of His good labels are for YOU and I to wear proudly. It’s the concrete truth. It’s just up to us to…
1) Believe that these labels are ours.
2) And then to ask God to SEW them on our hearts every morning when we wake up.
It’s no easy task at first. Every morning, out of habit, I still wake up and throw that old letter “A” on my chest. I have to ask God, over and over again – and choose to believe, over and over again, that His Word is true…and to show me my REAL labels again.