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  • Julie Busler

Shame


Our pastor showed an image of a man being rescued from jumping off a bridge as a reminder that we need other people, but as it flashed on the screen, my own brush with death flashed in my mind. Shame filled me with horror as if everyone in that sanctuary was staring at me naked. In reality I was not on a single mind in that room, but shame made me believe a different narrative. My body impulsively slumped forward and my eyes looked down - my body automatically revealed the painful urge to hide that consumed my mind.


Shortly after, the Lord would give me the opportunity to begin learning about publishing, which gave me the nudge I needed to step out in faith and begin talking about mental illness. I still look at this community that God is building and scratch my head. How did I go from a master at concealing to lover of confessing; from one who was terrified of vulnerability to one who celebrates it? It was God opening my eyes to the shame that controlled my mind, activated my slumped posture, stifled my creativity, and hindered my ministry. I had no idea that shame controlled me. No idea.


Guilt believes that I did something bad, but shame - the emotion that made its grand entrance when Adam and Eve ate the fruit and hid from God because they realized they were naked - believes that I am bad. Shame is the product of deception and from the pits of hell.


God is a shield around us and He is the lifter of our heads. He illuminates our faces with radiance as we look to Him in the shame we feel. Choose vulnerability, knowing with confidence that shame has no place in the redeemed child of God. Shame wants to disgust you by yourself and chain your ministry away. But God. He can use what you deem shameful, and use it for His glory as others see His ability to make all things now. Let’s stop shame from stunting the creative and liberating work God has for us.


Tell you story. Vulnerability is a way to fight the enemy who wants you hidden away. “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death” (Romans‬ ‭8:1-2‬).

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