This is one of my favorite childhood pictures of me. I don’t think I have one childhood photo where I am not “picture perfect”, as my mother always dressed me well. Even when we were sick and had to go the doctor, we showered and dressed up for the appointment. I am not kidding.

When I was little Vacation Bible School (VBS) was held during the weekday. I loved it! I always went with my aunt Bea to a little country church called “Blue Door” for VBS. Don’t ask me why they called it “Blue Door”; they did not have a blue door. Their real name is Mitchellville General Baptist Church, and they always had the BEST VBS (and the best cookies and kool-aid)!!!

I had a traumatic incident at this church, and to this day I have not forgotten it. It was the first real challenge I had to overcome. Our class rooms were in the basement. While going down the concrete steps, I slipped and fell (darn those slippery patent leather Mary Janes!). I hit my back so hard I actually blacked out.

They sent for my aunt Bea. She and another teacher then did the unthinkable – they raised up the back of my dress! Yes.They.Did. They raised up the back of my dress to look at my back in front of the two little boys in my class. I was mortified!

Needless to say, I made up my mind right then to not return to VBS – my underwear had been exposed for heaven’s sake! My mom and aunt eventually talked me into returning the next day, and I am glad they did. I overcame my embarrassing moment. I overcame by deciding to not let that moment keep me from doing something I really enjoyed with people I really loved.

Is there an embarrassing moment that is keeping you from doing something you love or hanging out with people you really like? You CAN overcome it.

If I had not returned, then my VBS memories would have become about that embarrassing moment. But, when I decided that that moment was not going to be the “last word” on my VBS week, it quickly became a distant memory. Had I not returned, it’s possible that embarrassing moment would have haunted me for a whole year until the next VBS, and then possibly hindered me from ever returning to face those two little boys. Truth be told, they were probably more scarred from my expose’ than I was!

That embarrassing moment that has been hindering you is NOT the end-all, be-all of who you are! So don’t let it have the last word.

I’ve had embarrassing moments even as an adult – some caused by others, but mostly brought on by myself. And I have that same attitude that I developed from all the way back to VBS. I think about how I can overcome it. Sometimes I am able to turn things around, and sometimes God gives me a restoration moment where He just does something and because of what He does I am no longer embarrassed over it. I bet God has done the same thing for you at times.

So, my lesson learned from this Throwback Thursday is to not let embarrassing moments define me or my friendships.

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Gina Duke is the author of “Organizing Your Prayer Closet: A New and Life-Changing Way to Pray” (Abingdon Press). She would love to have you subscribe to her blog at GinaDuke.com. Look for her on Pinterest – Gina Duke / Churchtown Ministries. You can also follow her on Instagram and Twitter @TheGinaDuke

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