• Julie Busler

Jesus is Stronger Than Your Shame

“Shame’s healing encompasses the counterintuitive act of turning toward what we are most terrified of. We fear the shame that we will feel when we speak of that very shame. In some circumstances we anticipate this vulnerable exposure to be so great that it will be almost life threatening. But it is in the movement toward another, toward connection with someone who is safe, that we come to know life and freedom from this prison.” -CurtThompson

There were many hours spent on the particular couch of a friend. In the same spot I sat every week, in the safety of spirit-filled and grace-laden connection, I slowly emerged from the stronghold of shame that I didn’t realize had captured me until she pointed it out. Engulfed in shame, I had no capacity to see how it ruled my affections and thoughts, eventually producing allegiance to wrong and sinful actions. Shame had turned my face from God. He didn’t turn his face from me; it was my bowed down face and slumped shoulders that kept me from running into His embrace.

It was through consistent human connection that I gained courage to be vulnerable, even admitting that I doubted my salvation. Through her safety, a reflection of Christ’s, I started to see the danger of the fortress I was trapped in. God used a tangible human refuge to show me the perfect refuge that He is. My vulnerability with her led to my vulnerability with Him. I was blind, but now I see.

He is a shield that surrounds us and the One who lifts our heads. When we look to Him, our shame is replaced with radiance. A mentally ill Christian imprisoned in the stronghold of shame, where the belief that “I am bad” becomes the lens all is seen through, is more likely to entertain suicidal thoughts. A mentally ill Christian held safely in the stronghold of God, where the belief that “I am weak, but He is strong” becomes the lens all is seen through, is more likely to live in freedom and purpose.

The illness is the same, but shame affects how the life is lived.

If you are struggling with shame, be honest with someone. If you are the friend or family, welcome vulnerability with love, knowing your actions can lead the struggling to freedom in Christ.

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