Shame is a new word to me. Oh, I've been experiencing it for years, but have only named it in the last few months. We've been getting acquainted as I realize what a constant companion it has been for much of my life. Brene Brown has made this word famous, of course, but I love what Aubrey Sampson, fellow Redbud, does with it in Overcomer. Her book comes out today and I couldn't be more happy to have her share with us here. Stay tuned for my personal shame journey on Friday. ****************************************
Too many women have allowed shame to condemn and confine them for far too long. If you’re ready to break free, regardless of the shame experience that is holding you back, Aubrey Sampson--a pastor’s wife and an advocate for at risk women—invites you, like her, to be an overcomer. Sampson courageously shares her own history with shame, ranging from sexual assault to everyday imperfections and laughable mistakes. But it doesn’t end there.
Sampson identifies seven major lies of shame, such as, “I cannot experience freedom from shame,” “My past is unsalvageable,” and “Shame is experienced only in traumatic situations.”
Written with a strong biblical theology and a humorous authenticity, Overcomer equips readers with the spiritual understanding to overcome shame.
Through her personal experiences and true-life stories shared by women of all ages, Sampson deals directly with the shame that comes from the humbling moments in life, as well as from the tragic—sexual abuse, eating disorders, addiction, abandonment, and more. Then she empowers women to transform their life’s story into ministry, creating ripple effects of hope and healing that can change the world.
Written for any woman whose self-worth has been stolen, Overcomer gives you the courage to kick down the walls of shame and embrace freedom and a future in Christ.
AUBREY, CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT SHAME?
Shame encompasses such a wide range of emotions it can be difficult to define. Perhaps the simplest way to understand it is to think back on a moment when you experienced it. You may have felt embarrassment, discomfort, or self-consciousness (I was a middle schooler with pink and purple braces and bangs up to the clouds, so yeah, I know self-consciousness!). Shame can also express itself in much weightier emotions, such as when we feel humiliated, inadequate, injured, or abused. Another difficulty with shame is that so many of us live under the weight of it without realizing it because we’ve been conditioned by culture and life experience to accept that feeling as normal. Shame is simply always there; it’s that familiar yet profound feeling that we don’t measure up.
Add to all of that, the pressure in our Christian culture to operate above reproach all the time, we can feel ashamed when we make even the tiniest of mistakes. We may even believe that if we aren’t shaming ourselves, we’re in danger of becoming prideful. So we beat ourselves up as the “better,” more Christlike option. It’s a vicious cycle. At its core, an identity of shame is the belief that, in whole or in part, I am not enough.
Throughout Overcomer, I share my own history of “not-enoughness,” along with stories from others who’ve overcome shame in their lives— ranging from situations of abuse to struggles with body image and eating, to everyday laughable imperfections.
The ultimate message of Overcomer is this: in spite of the overwhelming nature of shame, there is good news. The promise of Scripture is that when we look to Jesus, our shame is transformed into sparkling, beaming joy (Psalm 34:5). There may be moments in life when we feel condemned, but when our identity is centered in Christ, we can discard the dark covering of shame and rise in radiance.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Aubrey Sampson is passionate about empowering women of all ages to experience freedom from shame. An author, speaker, church planter, and member of the Redbud Writers Guild, Aubrey lives and ministers in the Chicagoland area with her husband, Kevin and three young sons. Connect with Aubrey at www.aubreysampson.com and @aubsamp.
Overcomer: Breaking Down the Walls of Shame and Rebuilding your Soul, www.aubreysampson.com, is available TODAY on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christian Books and will be available wherever books are sold.