Freedom, Guest Posts, Life

My Shame Story, by Elle Cardel


Photo credit: Glenai Gilbert Photography

Hey Friends! I am so excited to introduce you to Elle!
I met Elle through writing for her online ministry, Daughter of Delight, and have always found her personality and writing to be so authentic and inspiring and I know you will too!
Elle is a 24-year-old, sweet home Tennessee kinda gal who is fiercely passionate about chasing the call of her Creator. The breathings of her heart led her to launch her online women’s ministry, Daughter of Delight, in 2015.In her free time, she enjoys spending quality time with her besties, snuggles on the couch with her hubby and pup, listening to #girlboss podcasts, writing, and drinking Fair Trade coffee in its purest form…black!
You can find Elle on Instagram as @Elle_Cardel and be sure to check out and to follow @DaughterofDelight on Instagram.


Shame hates it when we reach out and tell our story. It hates having words wrapped around it- it can’t survive being shared. Shame loves secrecy. When we bury our story, the shame metastasizes. ―Brené Brown

In a world that is constantly trying to tell us what is and is not acceptable, shame prides itself on the fact that we cannot keep up. So let’s talk about shame for a minute. Specifically, as women in bodies of all shapes, sizes, color, and beauty.

Did you know that your self-worth does not depend on someone’s acceptance of you? There, I said it. Do I believe it? Not always. Do I wish this truth was instilled in my being in ways I could always count on? Absolutely.

There are days I have been known to take one look in the mirror and refuse to look at myself again for the rest of the day because I didn’t like what the mirror showed me; freckles in all the wrong places, pimples related to stress, boobs that are too big (yes, that’s a thing and I’m still learning how to love mine), that stubborn 5 pound slice of flab that refuses to leave the place it simply does not belong, you get the picture. If I’m being completely honest, it’s still a challenge at times to look at my naked self in the mirror without wanting to look away.

I was extremely active in high school. I ran cross country and I was in the marching band. My body was strong and I was proud of it. But you know what? I was also ashamed. I was proud of how it functioned on the inside and ashamed of how it appeared on the outside. In my mind, how hard I worked meant that I should have looked better than I did. This mindset led me to diet pills. I was so obsessed with looking a certain way that I failed to acknowledge how healthy I really was. I treated my body as an idol instead of His temple.

I’m glad my mother found my diet pills when she did. I thought they were hidden in only a place I knew existed, but let’s be real, mom’s know everything. I’ll never forget the way she looked at me when she found them. I felt so ashamed of myself for resulting to something so dangerous in order to combat my insecurities. The truth is, the pills only fueled the fire. The better I started to look, the more obsessed I became. And the better I felt on the outside, the worse I felt on the inside. It was a vicious cycle that I am extremely grateful to be out of.
This was before social media was as popular as it is now, so I would be lying if I told you I didn’t fall into the trap of comparison all by the scroll of my thumb at times. It’s so easy to do, which is why we have to be intentional about remaining guarded.

God did not design our bodies to be shame-filled. He had better things in mind. Our bodies are temples that are to serve as His dwelling place. We cannot successfully perform this honor if we are not filling ourselves with the truth.

So here’s some truth for ya…
You were made in the image of God. This image is full of beauty, grace, and redemption. It empowers, encourages, equips, and shapes us into who the Father has called us to be.

God never intended for shame to have its way in you. You are loved, whole, and redeemed in His sight. Who we are in Christ was accomplished on the cross when He took His last breath for you. Nothing else matters but this truth.
Instead of letting shame whisper false nothings in your ears, come to the table and feast on God’s Word. Listen to what He has to say about you. Believe you are who He says you are.

You are precious and invaluable to God. (1 Peter 3:3-4)
You are the salt of the earth. (Matthew 5:13)
You are a daughter of Light. (Thessalonians 5:5)
You are His purpose-filled beloved. (Ephesians 2:10)
You are righteous and holy. (Ephesians 4:24)
You are saved by grace as a gift, not based off of performance. (Ephesians 2:8)
You are accepted. (Romans 15:7)
You are completely forgiven. (Colossians 1:13-14)
You are a victor. (Romans 8:37)
You are a co-heir with Christ. (Romans 8:17)

You are loved in a way you will never be able to comprehend, and nothing can separate you from the Father and His deep, deep love for you. It’s unconditional and undeserved. And it’s real. (Romans 8:37-39)

Friend, do not let the shame monster keep you from losing sight and living the life you have been given to honor and fulfill. Because what a beautiful life it is. And it’s all for His glory!

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