Ashamed











By Daniela Aguilar

Purity + Peace participant at City Wide Church

When I first came across Purity + Peace I had been searching for a sense of community for a long time.


I had been out of church for a couple of years and had finally become a member at a church that felt like home. I was eager to make new friends and build relationships with other women, but had no idea what to expect.


I remember flipping through the study materials a couple of days before the first session and feeling nervous:


the reflection questions inside the guide were raw, real, and extremely personal.

ON SECOND THOUGHT...

If I’m being totally honest, I started having second thoughts about attending the first session.

I was crippled by the thought that I would be asked to share some of these answers with other women, women I often saw at church but didn't really know.

I feared that:

maybe I would be judged,

that my personal stories would cause the women to look at me differently,

and that my flaws and weaknesses would be exposed to a group of women who seemed to have it all together.


In short, I was terrified.


HERE IT GOES...

For the next eight weeks I heard stories from women who came from all walks of life.

The diversity amongst us made for incredible conversations and the opportunity to share different perspectives. Week by week I saw women open up and share their deepest secrets;

I saw them cry,

laugh,

pray,

and lift up one another.


I usually sat back and listened most of the time, reveling in their stories and the lessons they provided.

And then I shared.


I opened up to the group regarding my experience of childhood trauma.

I remember feeling my heart beating so fast, I swore the other women could hear it in the room. As I spoke, I felt fearful.


I feared having to share this experience because I was afraid to expose the broken state that I found myself in and ashamed to admit that I was in desperate need of healing.

I looked up to meet the eyes of all the women in the room, nervous to see their reactions.


Instead of finding shocked faces, I was met with

warmth,

empathy,

and understanding.


I felt the atmosphere shift at that moment and suddenly found myself talking more about my experience and being transparent about the way it had affected me. After I was done, I was bombarded with encouraging words and testimonies from other women in the group who shared a similar experience to mine.


Needless to say, I ugly-cried throughout that entire session.


My first session of Purity + Peace served as a conduit for God to show me all the areas of my life that He wanted to touch and heal,

including the deepest, darkest parts of my heart

that I often tried my hardest to ignore.

Up until these sessions, I thought I was in pretty good shape-figuratively speaking.


I didn't think of myself as someone in need of healing because I thought I had done a pretty good job of compartmentalizing my traumas and considered myself a “happy person.”

But each week I felt God peeling back the layers that I had so carefully wrapped myself in.

He used every question,

every Bible verse

and every story as a tool to kickstart a real work of healing in me.


The second round (yes I came back for more!) was about taking accountability for my healing.

With love and encouragement from the Purity + Peace leadership,

I started seeing a therapist and came to appreciate the importance of finding healing through my relationship with God.


I still have a long way to go in this journey, but I remain eternally grateful for Purity + Peace and all the women that helped create a safe space for me to be my most vulnerable and authentic self.


Sign up for a Purity + Peace session here.



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