Welcome to Shame to Grace! Everyone has a story to tell. Your story will be different from everyone else’s and it absolutely matters to God. My story (or journey) has been a difficult one with every chapter telling a story of its own. Some chapters have been so dark that I have questioned God’s very existence. Some chapters are about valleys so deep that I could never have climbed out on my own. These dark chapters are especially difficult to tell because of the debilitating fear and shame that always follows and contributes to a never-ending cycle of bondage and isolation. But neither my story or your story is complete. We must resist seeing ourselves or other people as a finished product. Jesus certainly has something to say about that. He says the best is yet to come!
There are also chapters where I have never felt closer to God. How could I not? From where I stand the grace of God is as magnificent and extravagant as anything I have ever seen.
So, my story so far has been one of struggle, hope, joy, grace, suffering, restoration, and redemption. It is a story about my journey from shame to grace and all the messiness in between. It may be similar to your journey or it may not, but either way we can share our experience, strength and hope with one another and with others who also are fighting for their lives or just simply struggling. I would like to encourage you to tell your story as well in the “Tell Us Your Story” section. Your testimony deserves to be heard and it could be an absolute life saver for someone else that is watching!
I am hoping that Shame to Grace will provide some answers to the hard questions of life, and I pray that it will inspire, encourage, challenge and be a resource that will lead to spiritual healing and strength in a world full of division, pain, messiness and hopelessness. As part of my personal spiritual discovery and healing I will also be calling out some of the spiritual abuses that run rampant in our churches today and how they handle the messy side of their faith. There will also be times in which Shame to Grace will be a voice for the outcast and marginalized in our society. I love what Carlos Rodriguez had to say, “Whenever we draw lines to separate ourselves from the oppressed, Jesus will go over to the side of the oppressed (stand with them) and invite us to join Him there.” It is healthy to talk about such things and get our hands dirty. I do not have all the answers, but with your input, maybe we can start a new chapter in our lives that leads to transformation, healing and find a new love for ourselves and others. Remember that when the world looks at us and sees sin, “Jesus looks at us and sees need, the potential of God’s work.”