I remember the day three years ago now, that I sat in my doctor’s office, exhausted, so close to tears. After several sessions of questions and backtracking the ups and downs of my health, mental and physical, we finally knew what I’d suffered from.
I remember the relief that came with my diagnosis for Early Onset Dysthymic Disorder. The understanding that I wasn’t a horrible human being, awful mom, lazy wife. But a brave someone who happened to have a mood disorder for almost her entire life.
And I remember realizing that for much of my life, it was shame about who I was that kept me from seeking help.
Why is shame our go-to reaction to needing rescued?
Why do we wallow in our suffering while an answer waits?
Because in matters of the obvious, rescue is always the desired option, isn’t it?
The fishing crew that becomes stranded after a storm, afloat and un-findable on the ocean, do you think they sit around ashamed that the storm took their vessel and left them helpless? “Yeah, I’m not sure I’m going to send up that flare to that rescue boat on the horizon. I mean, how embarrassing to be found barely alive on this raft after a storm that no one could predict came out of nowhere. We’re a disgrace to the fishing community, guys. I’d rather die than be rescued”
Said no stranded crew ever.
Or the person suddenly with a flat tire and needs roadside assistance. It happens. Do they sit stranded on the side of the road and waiver on whether to get towed to the nearest help? Do they leave their car, which works in every other regard, and head off, head down, and when asked where their car is, pretend it’s fine and that it’s just elsewhere right now?
I think not. We grimace at the cost of the new tire and we move on.
The person who is trapped in a fire, or somehow trapped in a locked space, doesn’t hesitate to ask for assistance. We don’t look around us ashamed that we couldn’t put out the massive fire, or hadn’t the superhuman strength to get out, and so live with the consequences. No, we immediately cry out. Help! Someone come now!
But when it comes to the invisible and personal struggles, alone, overwhelming, scary, and threatening, the enemy loves to insert pride and shame where the desire for rescue should be.
Except, really, we’re that crew in the raft, fighting to survive.
And we watch as shame robs us of the chance to be delivered.
I’m not lecturing. Please, don’t ever think that. I’m spilling out my own life lesson, still being learned, for your benefit. And mine, I’m no longer ashamed to say.
Now is the day to shove shame away, and embrace your need.
Has anyone told you recently it’s okay to acknowledge your need? ‘Cause when we become okay with our need, we recognize our rescue.When we become okay with our need, we recognize our rescue. Click To Tweet
Going back now to a different fishing crew. The storm blowing in from nowhere, the night turned cold and cruel where moments before had been quiet and normal.
The disciples, these weren’t hacks trying their hand at pleasure cruising. Most of these men knew how to handle a boat, knew how to weather a storm. But this weather, it was scaring even the most seasoned fisherman. And scripture doesn’t say anywhere in the accounts of this situation, both in Matthew 8, and Mark 4, that they swayed and tumbled around and despaired that they’d taken the Master out in such horrible conditions, or decided to let themselves drown because, goodness, this was embarrassing for a fisherman.
No they recognized their need for what it was, an opportunity to be rescued, and then, they recognized their rescuer. And a bolder cry for help was never uttered.
“Lord, save us! We’re perishing…!” Matthew 8:25
“Teacher, don’t you care that we’re drowning!” Mark 4:38
No shame. Just a desire for rescue.
And yes, those men following the Son of God should have had some pretty hefty faith at this point. Much like us, they had already witnessed what rescue can do, and who could provide it.
But when our circumstance crashes, roars, violently sweeps our shaky feet out from under us, sometimes all we can do is call out.
And we see Him respond. The save is made. The rescue commences. And the only rebuke? Was to the storm itself. The disciples received mercy and grace. As do we when we find ourselves needing rescued.
“Why, my beloved, were you so afraid? Your faith needs to be found in Me.”
We need to make our peace with rescue and boot shame to the curb.
Shame robs us of our dignity. Rescue restores it.
Shame holds back the solution. Rescue restores it.
Shame denies us the much-needed chance to thrive again. Rescue provides it in the best ways possible.We need to make our peace with rescue and boot shame to the curb. Click To Tweet
And this is not to say that the recovery will be easy. After a rescue there is always the hard work of healing, re-establishing strength, it requires enough bravery to keep asking for help.
And then the thankfulness for what’s about to come.
Please, friend, hiding your hard things in the shadows. Don’t let shame win. Ask for help. Allow rescue to be the right thing again.
And while you do, cling to the real Rescuer, who will be faithful to see you through.
Today becomes the day of more rescue, and less shame.