The Hidden Reason Behind Many of Your Struggles

For my primary years, I attended a private school, since my mother was a teacher there, and we got a huge discount on the fees. It was a good academic education, but I struggled socially. Every single person in the school was super wealthy! We’re talking golf courses in their back gardens. I had a couple of friends who didn’t only have their own room, they had their own floor! They had their own private servant, and needless to say had whatever material possession they desired at their fingertip.

My family on the other hand were the only ones who lived in an apartment building in a questionable part of town. I shared a room with my two sisters, and we literally scrounged for every penny.


When I was 9 years old, my mother very generously threw me a birthday party and invited several of my classmates. All I remember from that event was them snickering and pointing at me, and when they weren’t doing that, they looked bored out of their minds. I felt utterly humiliated to the very core of my being.

I’d like to tell you that that incident had no affect on me

But that would be a lie.

Let’s just say that from that day on, I literally had not a single friend over until I was 28 years old! Never through all my years as a teenager, young adult and newly married woman, did I have a single friend step into my house!

God has brought me such a long way, and my husband and I host hundreds of people a year now, but it is only because of His healing and transformation that I am now able to have people (and friends, in particular) over.

When I was recently introduced to a book, I knew that it held the secret to what I had experienced all those many years ago.

It’s not unusual to get a recommendation for a good book. We’ll either invest in buying it or borrow a copy, and we will agree that it was a “good” book. But when was the last time you read a book that was so challenging, so deep-searching, and so profound that it’s very words effected change in you?

A book in which the author holds nothing back as her words cut to the very heart, confronting who you are, where you’ve been, how your life experiences and choices have and continue to affect you, and most importantly, what to do with one aspect of yourself that you most probably don’t even realise you are carrying:


Whether it’s related to relationships, body image, or a secret sin…

We all experience shame at some point in our lives. Click To Tweet

In Unashamed: Healing Our Brokenness and Finding Freedom From Shame, Heather Nelson Davis shines the life-giving light of the Gospel on the things that leave us feeling worthless and rejected, giving us courage to walk out of shame’s shadows and offering hope for liberty.

The author places a magnifying glass in your hand and helps you to hover it over hindrances, hardships, and hangups up in your life. You will immediately identify, based on several examples that she lays out, some areas of shame that you thought were just part of your personality or temperament. In other cases, you’ll finally be able to give a name to issues that have held you back for years (as I did in my long standing struggle with hospitality). Freedom here we come!

Issues such as body shame, shame in marriage, shame-free parenting, and social shame are covered, among others.

I could tell you story after story of little and big ways that God used this book in beginning a work of freedom in my life. I find I’m no longer wearing shirts that will hide the left over baby-tummy I feel I should have shed by now. I no longer find myself rushing hysterically when someone comes to our home to have it all perfectly neat and tidy. I find I’m acutely more aware of the way I speak to my husband and children – stopping myself abruptly of things I would usually have said to them, now realizing how I was shaming them L.

It’s mind blowing just how much the Bible speaks about shame. And while we usually glaze over this hidden hurt that is behind many of our struggles, it is to be swept under the rug no more as we pray with the Psalmist:

In You, O Lord, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame;

in Your righteousness deliver me!

Psalm 31:1

‘Unashamed’ Giveaway!

I am absolutely delighted and honoured that Heather Davis Nelson and Crossway have most generously offered to give away 3 copies of Heather’s beautiful, newly released Unashamed: Healing Our Brokenness and Finding Freedom From Shame


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Can only be shipped to U.S. and Canadian addresses

 Can’t wait to get your hands on Unashamed?

Purchase as a gift for yourself and a friend 🙂


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Tehila is an Israeli, God-loving, husband-serving, child-nurturing mom of five sweet little ones whom she homeschools. She resides in beautiful New Zealand from where she blogs at Women Abiding – Encouraging women to abide in God and His Word.

About womenabiding

Tehila is an Israeli, God-loving, husband-serving, child-nurturing mom of five sweet little ones whom she homeschools. She resides in beautiful New Zealand from where she blogs at Women Abiding – Encouraging women to abide in God and His Word.
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52 Responses to The Hidden Reason Behind Many of Your Struggles

  1. Ruth Campos says:

    Sounds like a really good book; I’d like to read it one of these days. I’m definitely going to keep a closer look out for shame being mentioned in Scripture! 🙂

    • womenabiding says:

      I was amazed, Ruth, by how many times “shame” appears in Scripture. If you do a search for it in a concordance, I know you’ll enjoy reading all the verses where it’s mentioned. I love how the psalmists cried out for God to deliver them from their shame! Our cry, too… Blessings to you today and always xoxo

  2. Thanks for this review. I’ve seen this book and am curious about it since I also read Christine Caine’s book by the same title. Clearly, we need to be reminded that Jesus suffered shame so that we can cast ours upon Him and receive His confident righteousness.

    • womenabiding says:

      Well put, Michele! The fact that He was willing to make that exchange for us is mind blowing! Wishing you a beautiful week ahead. Always love having you stop by, dear friend xoxo

  3. Jennifer says:

    This sounds like a great book. I definitely want to check this out.

  4. This certainly sounds like a wonderful book! Shame is such a Huge issue in our society, and especially as women/mothers. 🙂

    • womenabiding says:

      Too true, Kendall. There is a great chapter in the book about shame-based versus shame-free parenting. I’ve started being so much more aware of the shame that has crept in as a woman and a mother. Being aware of it really is half the battle.. Have a blessed day! xoxo

  5. Tehila, I cannot imagine what you must have felt as that young girl. When I read that you hadn’t invited a friend to your house until you were 28, my heart broke for that young woman. I am so glad you found freedom from reading this book. When something good like that comes along, you can’t help but share, right? For me it was Robert McGee’s (I think that was his name) Search for Significance about 2o years ago. It set me free from the performance mentality and the desire to be accepted by everyone. Unashamed looks like a good read that can help many. Your neighbor at Sunday Stillness, Mary

    • womenabiding says:

      Thank you so much, Mary, for your empathy and for sharing about a book that helped you as much as Unashamed helped me. God truly brings the right resources into our lives in His perfect timing to aid us in our journey. He is to be praised! God bless you, beloved sister xoxo

  6. Thanks for sharing! Isn’t in crazy how things from our childhood can hang on to us for so long!

    • womenabiding says:

      Yes! Wish they didn’t, but the effect that certain experiences from our childhood have on us can definitely hang on and even cripple us till well into our adulthood until God reveals them and frees us. Thank you for stopping by, dear Gabrielle! xoxo

  7. Thank you so much for sharing a review of this book.

    It made me pause for a moment as I realized that “shame” is not a word I think of too often, especially concerning myself. But as I read your post, I realized that indeed, I have shame in my own life from my own background that I never named as such. It really is freeing when you finally recognize a part of yourself for what it is, for it is in that recognition that healing can begin.

    • womenabiding says:

      You couldn’t be more right, Karen! It was only through reading this book that I realised how much shame I was carrying in several areas of my life. I’m so blessed to hear that this post made you stop and think about your own life… loved having you hear again, lovely and faithful friend xoxox

  8. This post hits home. I wrote about the social shame I’ve allowed to plague me through comparison. I’d love to win a copy but will put a copy in my Amazon cart just in case I don’t. I love the heart of this post. Thanks for sharing it with the gathering at #GiveMeGrace

    • womenabiding says:

      Such an honour to have you here at Women Abiding, Lisha! Shame is a secret, often unnamed enemy that does indeed plague us in so many ways. I hope you win a copy of the book 🙂 God bless you, beautiful sister! xoxo

  9. I’m so sorry for that experience you had as a child. It hurt me just to read about it. Thank you for shining a light on the definition of shame – that which makes us feel worthless or rejected. This books sounds like a wonderful resource showing what God says about shame and how He is the one who can heal it. Thank you for linking with #overthemoon

  10. Beth says:

    I’m so sorry that you had that shameful experience in your childhood, Tehila. I can relate to a degree. Up until I was about 11 my family lived in a fairly poor part of town, but then we moved to a small house in a affluent community. So I remember noticing the extreme difference in my life–clothes, car, house, etc–compared to many of my wealthy classmates. It was quite an adjustment for many years. I probably felt some level of shame over it. And that book sounds like an incredible read! Thanks for being generous enough to give it away to some blessed soul! 😉

    • womenabiding says:

      Oh wow, Beth… well, I can relate to *you* too! God has allowed these situations into our lives for the purpose of our growing in Him, and I can only give God the glory when I see how far He has brought me, and no doubt, brought you, too! It’s Crossway, the publisher who are the generous ones giving three copies away! Amazing, aren’t they? Love and hugs and amaaaaazing to see you here at Women Abiding! My door is always open to you 🙂 xoxoxo

  11. Valerie says:

    The book sounds like something I should read. Shame is such a big issue in our society and everybody experiences at some point in their lives.

  12. Sandi says:

    This sounds like a lovely book, Tehila. I can certainly relate to you as I experienced something similar at the only birthday party my mother ever gave me. I can honestly say that God has been so gracious and loving to heal me and wonder of wonders, He threw me into Ministry with my hubby where I was used to host hundreds of Bible Studies and meetings in our home over the years. I feel very blessed and honoured to work for His kingdom here on earth. Thank you for sharing and have a lovely rest of the week.


    • womenabiding says:

      Oh wow, Sandi! I have almost exactly the same testimony, as I shared briefly in my post. My husband has a ministry in which we host hundreds of people in our home each year. It’s mind-blowing how God turns around what Satan tries to steal from us, for His good and glory!!! Thank you so much for sharing that with me xoxo

  13. Ann says:

    Thank you for answering questions. I wanted to let you know I gave my heart to Jesus!

    • womenabiding says:

      Oh Wow, Ann!!!! My mouth literally dropped open when I just read your comment! I’m speechless!!! I’m amazed! And I am sooooo thankful to God for revealing His Truth to you!!! Please please please get in touch with me again if there are any more questions you have, or if you just want someone (on the other side of the earth :-)) to talk to and/or bounce things off of… Have you found a church to go to? How have your family/friends reacted to your decision? Would love to hear from you! Praying for you, Ann!! xoxoxo

  14. Thanks for reviewing and recommending this book it looks like it will be very helpful to gain freedom from past experiences that hold us back.

    Bloggers Pit Stop

  15. Carol says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience and this book. Looks like a good one for personal growth.

  16. Laura Davis says:

    Thanks for reviewing this book. I will definitely put it on my to-be-read pile!

  17. Shame really does lurk in dark corners, ready to pounce, doesn’t it? I am so glad you moved beyond your past!

  18. This book sounds like it is right up my ally! Thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to get a copy. #BloggersPitStop

  19. Katy says:

    I’m visiting from #SmallVictoriesSundaylinkup. Thank you for introducing me to this book! I think God meant for me to learn about it as this time in my life. 🙂

  20. Leslie says:

    Thanks for sharing your personal connection to this book. I have a good friend who, like you, went to an extremely wealthy private school only because her mother was a teacher there. Her testimony is that her faith really grew when she later transitioned to the public high school and had to own her own faith.

  21. Hi Tehila,

    I’m so sorry for the shame you experienced in your childhood years. It had to be so painful. I am praying for you and praising God for the work He has already done in you in the area of shame. Now, you are sharing messages of hope and encouragement to help other women step away from shame and claim their true identity as a beautifully and wonderfully created woman of God with an incredible plan for the next chapter of her life!

    Thank you for sharing this hope with us at #MomentsofHope!

    Blessings and smiles,

  22. Lisa notes says:

    I so appreciate you sharing that story. But what a blessing that you’ve given yourself God’s grace to release any shame that you once felt and instead live fully in the Lord’s wholeness. We all have pockets of shame and I’m thinking about some of my own shame spots right now that I need to let God shine his light on. Thanks for the prompt! Sounds like a great book.

    • womenabiding says:

      Lisa, you are such a beautiful encouragement, as always! It is truly amazing the way the Lord uses one person’s new journey of freedom from shame, to have areas of shame in one’s own heart illuminated. The Unashamed book did it for me, and now, the sharing of it has done it for you… The Lord truly works in wondrous ways! Love and hugs to you xoxoxo

  23. Tehila, this sounds like a powerful book! Thanks for your honesty in sharing your testimony and how it impacted you. I hopped over from 3-D Lessons 4 Life today. Blessings!

  24. I can’t imagine being in your shoes as a child, but I can say that I have felt loads of shame in my own life that were similar but yet very different. Shame has been a huge hindrance for me as well for a long time. I got to read and review this book as well, and found it to be a wonderful read as well. A different book about body shame helped me a bit more ONLY because I could relate the author more because she honed in on the VERY topic that was near and dear to me.

    Great review and thank you for sharing your story with us too.

    Thank you for sharing this with us on the #HomeMattersParty. We hope to see you again when we open our doors at 12 AM EST on Friday.

  25. Jamie says:

    I loved the Unashamed book – it was such a great story and a blessing to hear that God loves all of us no matter what. I so wish the women of the world would join together for help, instead of bashing each other as you see in the news daily. It would be such a better place! Thank you for sharing this with us at the #HomeMattersParty

  26. Dawn says:

    I love that you were able to share a hard piece of your past in order to show the beautiful way He has redeemed it. Thank you. I can identify with so much of what you mentioned with a fear of hospitality. It has taken me a long time to get to the point of being able to open doors w/o a huge meltdown before the hinges creaked, and yes a dose of unkindness to those I love the most before people came over. The funny thing is that we didn’t paste on smiles like nothing was wrong afterwards because we were spent trying to be perfect and it limited my desire to want to be hospitable. 🙂 But God… He changes us and heals us and loves us and we learn to love others through it, right?! The book looks amazing, it will be added to my list. Thank you!

  27. Tara says:

    I need to check this book out. Thanks for your honesty. Blessed to be your neighbor at the RaRa linkup this week.

  28. Karen says:

    The enemy will always point out someone with whom to compare ourselves or bring up past mistakes or whatever to make us feel “less than.” Too often we believe those lies rather than the truth of who we are in Christ and what we have because of Him. This is way we need to constantly be in the Word to renew our minds with His truth in order to allow them to be exalted above our feelings.

  29. God so wants to heal us of these hidden places of shame, and I know from my own life, sometimes we need help not only recognizing them but also connecting the dots for how they are affecting our life and our relationships. Huge lesson for me, and I’m sure for others! So glad you are sharing this message on Fresh Market Friday:) Crystal~

  30. Sandra says:

    I have obviously missed the deadline for the giveaway but I will have to look into this book as the topic resonates with me. Shame is something everyone deals with to a certain extent but for some of us, it can be down right debilitating!

  31. Leah says:

    Your experience is heartbreaking! I’m so glad that the Lord worked in your heart.

  32. It’s sounds like an interesting book. Shame can be a powerful emotion to overcome.

  33. Lux Ganzon says:

    Aw, those hurtful and traumatic childhood memories.

    Sometimes I wish I can erase them but then I think I wouldn’t be as strong and brave as I am now without them. It’s bittersweet.

    What’s important is how we choose to become after them.

    Thanks for sharing this and baring your soul. You’ve been inspiring.

    • womenabiding says:

      I agree with you, Lux! The hard parts make up qualities in us that we need, and wouldn’t have otherwise developed! So much appreciate your comment xoxo

  34. I am featuring you today at Women With Intention Wednesdays! 🙂 Thanks for linking up!!

  35. Jann Olson says:

    Kids can be so cruel! It may have taken you a long time, but good for you for overcoming that fear of having friends over! It saddens my heart to hear of stories like this! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

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