Overcoming the Shame of Broken Relationships

How do we respond to the pain and shame of broken relationships? We don't have to stay there; we can overcome the shame of broken relationships. Biblestudy #John #WomensBibleStudy #GoodMorningGirls

Shame causes us to hide.

Shame began in the Garden of Eden.  After Adam and Eve sinned —they hid from God.   They went from feeling safe and secure to feeling over exposed and so they hid.

Shame is an unpleasant self-conscious emotion typically associated with a negative evaluation of the self, withdrawal motivations, and feelings of distress, exposure, mistrust, powerlessness, and worthlessness.

In today’s video,  I share about a time in my life when I did some “hiding”.  It was only after I uploaded the video to youtube – that I realized I left out an important detail.  So please let me clarify, that when I shared that I was dropping my children off for youth group and then driving away to be alone with the Lord —  I neglected to clarify that I was only skipping Sunday School and I DID return to church for the Worship Service.

Please join me on this video as we discuss the Woman at the Well from John chapter 4 and Overcoming the Shame of Broken Relationships.

{If you are reading this in an email or feed – click here to view the video}

The Woman at the Well had 5 broken marriages and her shame caused her to hide. She went completely alone to the well in the heat of the day – rather than with the other women, in the cool of the day.  Her failures – along with what others had done to her, said about her and the choices she had regrettably made – led her to hide.

BUT it was at her rock bottom – when she was all alone –  that Jesus met her and completely changed her life!  Jesus freed her from her sin AND shame and then she ran back into town to tell others about Jesus.  She completely stopped hiding and became an evangelist and it says:

Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony.
(John 4:39)

Many believed because of the woman’s testimony.

And Jesus wants to do the same for us today.

He wants to set you free and use you!

Perhaps you have hurt others in your past and caused a relationship to be severed or maybe  you have been hurt, rejected, or abandoned by someone who is supposed to have loved you.  Maybe a mother or father, sister or brother, spouse or close friend  has done unthinkable things to you and that relationship is now broken.

You see many of us hide in different ways. Some hide in good books, movies, Netflix binging or continual scrolling on-line.  Others of us hide in our work, our kids, our homes, our food or in our busy schedules.  But there is only one hiding place where we can become completely healed and saved from our sin and shame — Jesus.

Jesus is our safe refuge.

He is our living well!

Look to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
(Hebrews 12:2,3)

Look to Jesus – He loves you so and he wants to restore you and remove all of your sin and shame.

He died so you could live free!

Let him be your refuge and strength today.

Keep walking with the King,


  1. Hi Courtney. That was such a beautiful, authentic message. I cried along with you and I rejoice with you. Thank you for your powerful vulnerability! It is rare and so inspiring. Your faith is a huge encouragement to me and I can only imagine, many many more people. With love, Michelle (Sydney, Australia)

  2. Courtney, this was a wonderful video. I know you’ve been through terrible heartache but I’d like to say three things to you.
    1. You have been transformed by the Lord into such a strong woman now. I can hear it in your voice and see it in your face. Yes, there are scars hidden away in your heart that only you (and God) know about. Now you can really speak and minister from the heart because you understand deep pain and grief.
    2. You shouldn’t feel ashamed because the sin was not yours. You have a loving and tender heart but you didn’t do anything wrong.
    3. The Lord is already using you and your heartache to help and encourage others. Keep going as you have continued to do. You’re strong and brave and a bright light for God.
    Thank you for your ministry. Proverbs 3:5&6
    Hugs, Karen xx

  3. Courtney, thank you for sharing something so personal and hard. Thank you for letting the Holy Spirit use you and your mess/test as a message and testimony to others to the goodness and glory of God. I am so thankful that you are teaching again. It is because of your teaching and the method you use that I am in my second year of leading a small group of women at my church using your template. I pray for you and your family that the Lord will continue to bless you and guide you.

  4. Thank you Courtney for sharing the message and love of God. I so deeply appreciate your teaching and videos. It is so clearly evident you have a true joy and love for God, it shines thru you. It is so wonderful to see! I have followed GMG and WLW for years and appreciate your honesty and heart. You have helped myself and so many others thru your story and Christs love and redemption. Bless you

  5. It’s hard to go to church after a divorce. A lot of people think you can just work anything out in counseling. My pastor supported my divorce but it’s still hard-going alone, ,having people ask where is your husband or when your kids are with their dad “where are your kids?” And in the time of huge grief I mostly cried in church. Other divorced women have told me they cried too.

  6. I echo the comments above— you are so brave, authentic, loving , innocent and Christ-filled! Thank you for sharing. You have given me a path on which to walk after an ex DIL made me feel shamed by preventing me from contacting my grand daughter. I accept God’s freedom from that shame and I will no longer hide! Bless you Courtney!????????????

  7. Courtney,
    I am so proud of you for sharing your heart felt pain along with the Word of God. It’s so obvious that your love for Him is real & powerful. Your raw honesty is helping so many women to let go of guilt & shame from broken marriages. One of those women is my precious 41 year old daughter. Her husband left her & their 2 year old son this past year. It was such a shock to everyone. She keeps asking the questions you mentioned about why am I not good enough & what did I do wrong. It is heartbreaking as a mother & grandmother. We keep wrapping our arms around her, praying & helping her as best we know how along with God’s help. Her son was truly a late life miracle for her but he has issues of delayed development & is in therapy several times a week. Since she lives 3 hrs from family it has been extremely difficult for her. She can’t afford help because she had to stop her teaching job when Isaac was born. She also wants to hide & can’t get back into church. She is now reading your posts & doing your Bible study so we are encouraged. Because her husband left her for another woman she feels so rejected. Please pray for her & Isaac as she faces hard medical decissions for him and we are encouraging her to move where we can help her. Just always remember that you are a blessing to more people than you could ever imagine. You and your family have been in my prayers & always will be.

  8. This verse comes to mind.

    And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’”
    Zechariah 13:9

  9. Thanks for opening your heart to us, once again. I cried along with you as you were doing this video. I know that God has used you mightily by continuing to do these great women’s Bible studies. I know I have learned alot from you the past few years. Continue to stay strong in Him. He will NEVER leave you nor forsake you as you stated in the video. Thanks for all you do.

  10. I feel a lot of shame and embarrassment and I’ve become a bit of a hermit because of it. I appreciate this video. I’ve always liked this woman and Leah’s story. Have a good day!!

  11. Courtney, thank you so much for sharing this!!! I literally cried at my desk as your pain was my pain many years ago. We have both walked the “walk of shame” and have felt that emptiness as that shame consumes our hearts. But you are so right! Shame can actually turn to strength, it just takes healing and faith! Only the Lord can do that! He refills our hearts with hope.

  12. Thank you so much for sharing this. I’m recently divorced and as I was praying yesterday I remembered “there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus”. God forgives and restores, maybe not the relationship but I am excited to see what He has for my future. I like how you explained the living water and that not only are my sins forgiven but he has taken my shame to the cross too. God bless you for persevering and encouraging women to stay in the word regardless of how messy life gets.

  13. Thank you for sharing your testimony. We all have our stories and no matter the circumstances, Jesus loves us. I am grateful that with all my sin, I am still forgiven and loved. He makes the difference in my daily life.

  14. Thank you for sharing this. Your messages inspired me to look for the restoration that only comes from the word of God. I went through something similar and started following you doing every study you have posted .You have no idea how much it has helped. Thank you so much .God bless you.

  15. What kind of peace can I find in this post? What kind of grace can I find in this post? It is something beyond I can ever express. It’s so strange how I am commenting on your post today as I did the same kind of my heart pour-out back in April 2016 (for which I am pretty sure you and all the women on here must have prayed for my help). Before that, I was way too confident of myself to have never made any relational mistakes in my life for the longest time. I was way too proud of the values I have carried in all the relationships in my life until I knew I could ever mess up. Till this day it haunts me to death about how I could ever stomp on my own set of regards I have for self and others. Till this day I question, how did I do anything like that and find my reasons to have done so. Till this day I try to reason how things have turned out to be the way they have turned out to be back then. I might find some rest in some sort of justification to the circumstances I was living in and the things that were happenning to me at the time, but I leave myself unexcused and unpardoned for the missteps I have taken as a result and the way I have acted to be unaffected and cold.
    If it is not for Christ and the new salvation He has given me and His unreasonable Love and Grace that He showed upon me, I would have left myself chastised for the rest of my life.
    To this world and their judging eyes(including my own) I could never have a convincing answer for how and where I stand then and now, except a teeny-stupid one that I have lost my life and heart over someone who never knew how to give back and over the one who was never even to be given to in the first place but did it anyway.
    If all it takes is still that same shame for me to stand here and be the display of God’s mercy and the grace of the living God, then I wouldn’t choose to go back for anything…
    I am just too glad to be loved,wanted and chosen by my own author and my Living God.
    Please pray for me and my two lovely children that God gifted me (a girl and a boy in that order).

    1. Stay strong. Don’t judge…everyone makes their choices anD you are no different. It happens, put now it is time to show how strong you can be.

  16. Thank you Courtney for this video…I am beyond words but this much I can say is that God uses our brokenness to bring His love to us and all those around us..Know that you are loved and appreciated.God bless.

  17. Beautifully done, with courage and conviction! You are a Daughter of the almighty loving God and were already pre-approved by Him. I find that sometimes we are placed into circumstances designed only by Him for reasons we may fully never know. You stand tall in his loving embrace and your ways and word are a lamplight to others around the world. May his love and blessings be with you and yours, always.

    Sisters in Christ ~

  18. You are so precious, Courtney. I can’t even express how much my heart went out to you (then and now, and in this video message.) Jesus will NEVER leave us, nor forsake us. His burden is so light.
    In Good Faith, ~Toni

  19. Thank you! I’ve watch this several times, I cried with you as I felt your pain. I will watch it again and use it to help me heal. Again, thank you.

  20. Thanks for sharing, May the Lord continue to strengthen you and every other women going through the same challenge, keep working with the king!

  21. Courtney thank you so much for this message. I really loved your video. Thanks so much for being brave enough to share your story. My husband and I have been through some very hard times. Our marriage almost split up last year. We have a young premature child. And a lot has happened to make me want to hide. Actually I have been hiding since my mom died 2 years ago. Please pray for me that I can stop hiding and pray for healing in my marriage. Also pray for our son James.

  22. Hi Courtney! This is my first time commenting but I wanted there to tell you that this heartfelt message of yours touched me. Because of numerous failures on both my part & others I’m a single, never married, mother of a 2 year old boy. I have shame from that sometimes. I have also struggled with a couple friends turned sour at my church. I have shame from that. I needed your message without even knowing I did. Thank you for being God’s messenger today!

  23. Courtney, thank you so much for your testimony and your honesty. God has used you in a mighty way to speak to all of us. I found your ministry back in the fall when you started the study of Ruth. I had been looking for a way to get back to my bible on a daily basis. These studies and your videos are wonderful! Thank you so much! God bless you, my Sister in Christ!

  24. Sweet lady your message was so authentic and beneficial for the kingdom. Thank you for being vulnerable for Christ’s sake. And for the ladies who get to hear you.

  25. I have shame. I have pain. I am hurt. I have been abandoned by 2 husbands. I have caught myself thinking “Do I need 3 more husbands for Jesus to pardon me and save me?” I laugh. No! I don’t. I just have to let Jesus in but my hurt and shame prevail. I listened and read your words. I cry because I feel for you. You have courage to go to one part of your church meetings. Me. I completely left church too hurt by it’s power and influence… It’s preference to it’s one sided view that not only encouraged but helped fund my first husbands desire to divorce me and literally steal our children from me. He remains in ultimate control of me even in divorce more so if I return to church. My hurt can’t deal with that. I have neither funds nor support to gain legal help. I have faced so many trials and cried so many rivers. I really feel like the woman at the well. I am abandoned and hated by 2 husbands. My second husband refuses divorce because he doesn’t want to be a failure in his life yet I haven’t seen him in a year and it makes 2 years since we have lived in the same country. I can’t divorce him without funds. Lol My life is a mess. A wicked mess. Still I am standing in strength with weakness trembling below me as I learn of God’s love for me. Faith – testimony – obedience etc… Takes time. Everything good comes from God in it’s proper time and place. I believe I will have my miracle in the right time and place just like some of you wonderful women have had yours.
    Thank you ladies for being open. God is healing us all!!! ❤

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