Redeeming Shame in Our Nurturing Communities
In this week’s chapter Dr. Curt Thompson focuses on the family and education (or more broadly learning communities!). Was there ever a ton in here to ponder!
READ: Chapter 8 in The Soul of Shame. As you do so, highlight the key things that stand out to you.
PROCESSING: I highly recommend taking time to answer the discussion questions at the back of the book and share your key thoughts generated by them with a friend – or a learning community! ;0) I benefitted so much from this.
If you’d like to see a creative way of doing this, check out the following video:
CONSIDER: Psalm 51:6. While this verse isn’t mentioned in the chapter, the Lord highlighted it for me this week – and I was blown away by how it applied. Feel free to focus on another verse He may highlight for you but I wanted to share this one as it really brings home not only the importance of what we’re doing, seeking to process the truth God is teaching us, so it goes from our heads to being embraced in the depth of our being – but it also highlights the delight this brings to God! How neat is that?!!!
CREATE: An art journal page processing through and highlighting the key thing that stood out to you.
RECORD: Your application on a special page in your journal!
My final application from this week began with this quote from chapter 8 that gripped my attention, “Life with God is not about being right, but about being loved.”
Now the Lord laid it on my heart to re-read one of my favorite books, Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss. Here is an excerpt that literally jumped off the page at me:
Feb. 7.-After writing that, I do not know what made me go to see Dr. Cabot. He received me in that cheerful way of his that seems to promise the taking one’s burden right off one’s back.
“I am very glad to see you, my dear child,” he said.
I intended to be very dignified and cold. As if I was going to have any Dr. Cabot’s undertaking to sympathize with me! But those few kind words just upset me, and I began to cry.
“You would not speak so kindly,” I got out at last, “if you knew what a dreadful creature I am. I am angry with myself, and angry with everybody, and angry with God. I can’t be good two minutes at a time. I do everything I do not want to do, and do nothing I try and pray to do. Everybody plagues me and tempts me. And God does not answer any of my prayers, and I am just desperate.”
“Poor child!” he said, in a low voice, as if to himself. “Poor, heart-sick, tired child, that cannot see what I can see, that its Father’s loving arms are all about it?”
I stopped crying, to strain my ears and listen. He went on.
“Katy, all that you say may be true. I dare say it is. But God loves you. He loves you.”
“He loves me,” I repeated to myself. “He loves me! Oh, Dr. Cabot, if
I could believe that! If I could believe that, after all the promises
I have broken, all the foolish, wrong things I have done and shall
always be doing, God perhaps still loves me!”
“You may be sure of it,” he said, solemnly. “I, minister, bring the gospel to you to-day. Go home and say over and over to yourself, ‘I am a wayward, foolish child. But He loves me! I have disobeyed and grieved Him ten thousand times. But He loves me! I have lost faith in some of my dearest friends and am very desolate. But He loves me! I do not love Him, I am even angry with Him! But He loves me! ‘”
I came away, and all the way home I fought this battle with myself, saying, “He loves me!” I knelt down to pray, and all my wasted, childish, wicked life came and stared me in the face. I looked at it, and said with tears of joy, “But He loves me!” Never in my life did I feel so rested, so quieted, so sorrowful, and yet so satisfied.
Now I’m still struggling with the toxic self talk, and many times it is rooted in truth, for I sure can be self focused, selfish and independent which are all sin. But instead of beating myself up, what was on my heart to do this week was to complete each statement about my failings with “but He loves me!”
Can I just say it is already making a huge difference in my life?
Have I ever loved the way this ties right in with the quote from The Soul of Shame that gripped my heart this week! And yes, I’m still celebrating!!!