Tag Archives: shame

Madame Giorgio in Atlanta breaks free from the chains and comes to Jesus

As a madame in Atlanta, Pamela Hillman had a mansion and drove a Hummer.

“I always had a lot of money,” Pamela says on a CBN video. “It was a very big business.”

Pamela was a small town girl, whose mom was a free-spirited Playboy bunny and whose Dad was an abusive alcoholic.

Trouble started for her when she was 5 years old and begged her dad to be able to keep a stray puppy she brought home.

“If you come upstairs with me, you can have him,” her dad told her.

When she ascended the stairs, she was violated. “Something happened that day. It planted a seed that I could get what I want by going upstairs.”

The horrific happenings altered Pamela’s life forever. She went from a happy-go-lucky girl with dreams of growing up to becoming a PTSD-warped automaton whose emotions were guided by the sordid underbelly of American sin.

She DID tell mom what dad had done to her, and mom got him kicked out, but other members of the family picked up where dad left off. The curse had spread.

At age nine, Pamela found marijuana lying around the house and discovered she could be free from her room, from restrictions, from pain — all by smoking.

“When I discovered pot, I just went somewhere else,” she says. “I felt free from being trapped in that bedroom.”

Soon she was progressing through harder drugs and found cocaine.

But sex was her major coping mechanism in the quixotic quest for love. She was married and divorced three times before she turned 20. Prostitution, drugs and being in and out of jail became a way of life.

The men who consort with strippers and prostitutes while using and abusing them, denigrate and antagonize them. They would echo to her the dehumanizing words from her own self-condemnation.

“I was a whore. I was a slut. I was never going to amount to anything.”

Now she’s happily married.

The never-ebbing undercurrent of her life was shame. “That was all that I knew. Filth.”

Fortunately for Pamela, not every influence in her life was bad. If her mom and dad contributed to her downfall, her grandmother was a voice of reason and Christian love.

A friend of her grandmother prophesied over Pamela when she was young. “This one here is special. She’s going to do great things for God.”

Many times those words of hope would come back to Pamela. They especially reverberated powerfully when Pamela, at age 26, decided to kill herself. With enough cocaine in the needle to end her life, Pamela heard those words again as she held the syringe, ready to jam it into her arm.

“God, if you’re real, help me, rescue me,” she cried out. “I need you.”

The voice spoke. “You don’t belong here. You’re going to do great things for God.”

“In that moment, I heard my grandmother’s voice,” Pamela remembers. “I heard so many of her prayers.”

Instead of committing suicide, she committed her life to Christ. She got off drugs, abstained from extra-marital sex and went to church for two years.

But Pamela had one slip-up, one moment of weakness in which she fell into sin again. She was overcome with grief, shame and hopelessness. She thought there was no recourse but to dive headlong into full-blown sin.

“I relapsed because I couldn’t deal with that shame and guilt,” she says. “I was unworthy to be in His presence, to be a child of God.” Read the rest: God saved the madame.

Shame’s power

young-pip

Pip

From the moment Estella despised his coarse hands and thick boots, a shroud of shame hung over Pip’s life, in Charles Dicken’s Great Expectations.

And that’s how Pip came to despise his dad, Joe Gargery, and his life’s destiny as a country blacksmith. Pip strives to become a “gentleman” but instead becomes a snob and a spendthrift. When his sham of a life implodes, it is the humble blacksmith, Joe, who pays off his bills.

Estella great expectations

Estella

Shame is dynamite to blow up family, loyalty and values. When we live for others, we lose ourselves.

Shame entered the world with the first sin and continues to rage, a byproduct of sin. Paul exhorts us to never be ashamed of Christ (Rom 1:16). Only worry about receiving praise from Him.

Shame for the Name

shameThey departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. — Acts 5:41 KJV

Peter and disciples had just been arrested for preaching Jesus. The Sanhedrin whipped them and warned them to stop. Threats and beatings are what made them rejoice.

Are you suffering for Christ? Take heart. That is what the disciples did. They didn’t get discouraged. They didn’t ask, “Why, God?” They praised God for the difficulties and dug in. They prayed for strength to continue.

Don’t give up, if you are fighting the good fight. Rejoice for the opposition, for the reverses, for the trials. Things appear to be spiraling out of control. In reality, God has everything under control and will work it all out in ways you can’t imagine.

But I admire her fortitude

ScarletLetterBasically, they find grist to throw stones at the Puritans — and by extension, consciously or unconsciously, at all Christianity — from The Scarlet Letter. But I think they’re missing the major plot focusing on the minor theme.

Hester Prynne is a heroine. She reversed her fortunes by overcoming. When they branded her an adulteress (she got pregnant, not by her husband, who was traveling away from her for two years), publicly shaming her, Hester made the extraordinary decision to stay in the same town and bear the stares.

strength from weaknessInstead of running away, she confronted her detractors. Instead of meeting with open rebellion the unjust and hypocritical reviling, she quietly and unassumingly dedicated herself to help the poor of the town. After 7 years, the red “A” on her bosom came to mean “Able” in the eyes of all the town. She journeyed from sinner to saint.

I can’t throw dynamite sticks at the Puritans. Instead, I want to live the life of Hester. I want to quietly show the work God is doing in my life. I want to do the works of God and demonstrate fruit of repentance. No, I haven’t committed adultery. Her example transcends one sin and speaks about the human virtue of overcoming adversity and the triumph of change. She shows how strength can come from weakness.