William, Penny, friend, and Marilee sit on a large rock with a forest far below them.

When Shame Becomes Joy and Guilt Becomes Gratitude

Sometimes our sources of shame and guilt can become sources of joy and gratitude.

It happened again for me recently, when my aunt and uncle took our kids to Acadia National Park. 

So first, my shame and guilt: I’m kind of embarrassed to admit (aka ashamed) that I am not someone who enjoys camping. I like regular hot showers and meals provided for me by a restaurant when I’m on vacation. Also, I kind of feel guilty when I need time away from our kids. 

So I was feeling a little bit ashamed and a little bit guilty when we dropped our kids off at my Aunt Jane and Uncle John’s house so that they could go camp in tents at Acadia while Peter and I celebrated a belated 23rd wedding anniversary in a hotel in Kennebunkport.

But then the photos started coming in. Of Marilee and William taking selfies. Of all three of them setting up camp. Of Penny triumphantly celebrating the end of the hike she’s worked all summer to prepare for. Of climbing and laughing and being apart from us and together and learning skills we can’t teach them and exploring places we don’t know.

And then I settled into those rhythms of grace that come when I’m away with Peter—the long walks on the beach, the hours and hours of sleep, the quiet mornings, the rest and solitude and connection and laughter and the hard conversations and the reminders of why we are in this together. 

So my sense of shame and guilt turns to joy and gratitude. And once again I become grateful for my limits, because often limitations lead us to more love.

More with Amy Julia:

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to receive regular updates and news. You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Goodreads, and you can subscribe to my Love Is Stronger Than Fear podcast on your favorite podcast platform.

Share this post

Leave a Reply