I was excited to read and review Un-Ashamed, Healing our Brokenness and Finding Freedom from Shame by Heather Davis Nelson this month. It is a book that has been a part of a theme going on around me – and in my life this past 10-12 weeks.
So to tell you why I wanted to read it, I have to back up. And to express why I know it’s a great book – you have to hear more about my story, than the book’s contents. Ha.
It started about 12 weeks ago, when our church was going to use Daring Greatly by Brene Brown as a lady’s book study. I read it, even made some personal notes about it – but I couldn’t figure out why we would devote several weeks to the book chapter by chapter, answering the questions at the end. Where was God? Where was the Word? Where was the big picture that we are free from guilt and shame? (Daring Greatly points out that everyone has guilt and shame and needs to live a life of vulnerability – the book does a lot of chatter about what it is, but not how to conquer it – besides – be courageous and know it’s there.)
I’ll write a longer more personal post about the last 12 weeks – but flash forward – I switched to a bible study teaching us how to break free – and live the life of Freedom Christ intended, and at the end of that study – I heard about Unashamed.
I shouldn’t have been surprised, but some of the first words in the book are that this one was started because of the author seeing the TedTalk from Brene Brown. I almost just closed the book, however, I was already hooked to see what Heather would say. I wasn’t disappointed.
After chatting about what shame/embarrassment/and guilt looks like – she directs the reader through 9 chapters of how to be free in your community, body image, social settings, performance, marriage, parenting and church. Free.
A lot of the theme of both books is that, strangely enough, people don’t seem to know that they do not have to live a life in fear of what man thinks. Christian women, I am learning – even after years of walking with the Lord – have not been told this enough either.
If you have listened to Brene Brown and was left flat, as I was – or even offended that there was no real solution – then this book, Unashamed, is the one that you have been looking for. Over 140 verses were shared to help you see that through the Word – Christ promises to set you free. And here is the apparent big secret – SPOILER ALERT – He already set you free. He continues to set you free. He loves you!!
Diving deeper, I was looking for my next study, and noticed I must have started one in Romans 8, and didn’t finish. What is the first verse of Roman’s 8?
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of Sin and Death.
If you are one of the hurting, who knows this verse as a promise, but have been having difficulty letting it bring you freedom to your every day life, marriage, job, church role, and friendships – Unshamed may be the perfect summer read for you.
Unashamed: Healing Our Brokenness and Finding Freedom from Shame offers hope to those struggling under the burden of shame. This book shines the life-giving light of the gospel on the things that leave us feeling worthless and rejected, directing our attention to the God who promises to forgive and restore us—no matter what.
Heather Davis Nelson (MA, Westminster Theological Seminary) is a writer, counselor, and speaker. Heather writes regularly at HeatherDavisNelson.com and has been a featured writer at the Gospel Coalition, as well as a contributing author to the Journal of Biblical Counseling. She and her husband are parents to twin daughters and live in southeastern Virginia.
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