When I was in fifth grade, I tried out for the school choir. When I didn’t make the cut, my music teacher told me I probably shouldn’t sing anymore. I went from loving to sing to mouthing the words in the back row, worried I was throwing off the angelic voices of my classmates. To this day, I only sing in large, loud groups, where I’m sure no one can hear me.
Shame comes in many forms and spans a wide spectrum. My shame (which would be more on the embarrassment end of the spectrum) doesn’t compare to someone’s shame of childhood trauma or abuse. But, the root of shame, the feelings of inadequacy, of not being enough, are similar.
Christine Caine is no stranger to shame. As she tells stories of her childhood in her new book Unashamed, I wonder at how amazing her journey is. Growing up, she was told again and again that she wasn’t good enough because she’s a girl, because she’s smart, because she’s a leader. She endured sexual abuse from a young age. She was even adopted from a place of shame, not one of joy and expectation.
And yet, she overcomes. Through friends who are daring enough to be honest, through counseling, and through years of work and recognizing that life isn’t about arrival but about journey, Caine learns to reconcile her shame. She learns strategies and attitudes that help overcome the deep-rooted shame.
While Caine’s experiences may be on a different end of the spectrum than mine, her wisdom and encouragement are for anyone. She offers solutions rooted in scripture that speak to anyone who has ever felt shame.
I gave this book 3 stars because, while I was inspired by her story and appreciated her advice, the style was a bit too charismatic for me. I also felt that there was an assumption that we all have experienced extreme levels of shame, and that simply isn’t true. (Thankfully.) But, overall, this was an encouraging book.
And maybe, I need to get over my shame and join the choir again…
Have you ever had an adult tell you to stop doing something you loved? How did you overcome that?
GIVEAWAY! I am giving away my copy of Unashamed. Leave a comment about why this book speaks to you and I’ll randomly select a winner on Friday, June 10, 2016. (United States addresses only.)