Christine Duncan

Precepts & Life Preservers

More Rescue, Less Shame

More Rescue, Less Shame.

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.

Linking up today with some fab communities! Will you join us?



  1. Hey neighbor from #RaRaLinkup!

    This is such a wonderful post, Christine. I am sad to admit I was and still find myself being the kind of person who has a hard time admitting their need. Why I try to be so strong all the time gets me. Maybe it’s because of the kids and all we’ve gone through, and I am trying to protect them. But sometimes what they need is just to see me needing help and gratefully accepting it. As I write this I am thinking in terms of crying out to God but mainly to my church family. I don’t have a hard time going to God, but keep a lot to myself in person for reasons that are revealing themselves slowly over time. Thanks for the reminder that it IS ok to put up our white flag!

    • Christine Duncan

      May 17, 2016 at 3:46 PM

      You know, the church family part is often my weakness too… we tend to hold one another to higher standards maybe? I need to really think about it more. And in a more medical way, I often believed my doctor was somehow going to blame me for my own condition, when it is a trauma-triggered genetic disposition. But man, if your doctor doesn’t get it, who will? lol
      Comforting to know I’m not alone on working on this! Thanks, Meg, love your honesty, comments, and encouragement! Hugs, and still praying!

  2. Well said Christine! I have learned to ask for help since the stroke. It has been both a humbling and growing experience. Especially for someone who would always “find a way” to get things done. God has shown me during this process of my need for others and most importantly my need for Him. I still struggle at times asking for help. However, my relationships have grown stronger and I hope to be a better brother, friend,uncle, and son with God’s help. So nice to visit you via Jennifer’s site. have a wonderful week and may God bless you and yours!

    • Christine Duncan

      May 17, 2016 at 7:12 PM

      Horace, so nice to meet you here on the blog, and over at the FB page too! Thank you so much! I love your perspective on this, what you’re learning on your journey of healing, and that will encourage so many others who read your words too! Thank you for taking the time to connect, appreciate it greatly. Lord bless!

  3. So true, Christine. When it comes to invisible, personal struggles, we don’t so easily reach out for rescue. Shame can be so strong and hold us back so much. I’m glad you found out the problem. That is sometimes half the battle, I think. We can be so hard on ourselves by telling ourselves, “What’s wrong with you? Be strong! Have faith!” May we together keep kicking out shame and clinging to rescue in Jesus! Blessings and hugs!

    • Christine Duncan

      May 17, 2016 at 7:03 PM

      I was the queen of being hard on myself in the past, Trudy, I so totally relate to your words. So grateful that He has grace and mercy for us in abundance. Learning to lean on that! lol
      Love being your neighbour in the linkup today, thanks for connecting again, friend!

  4. Oh, Christine, you’ve made me laugh (“said no stranded crew ever!”) and brought a lump to my throat all in a couple of paragraphs. The comparison between how we act when we need to be rescued in various ways to the guys in the boat or by the side of the road is really powerful. That relief you speak of is so real and amazing … I’m so glad your doctor was finally able to find the diagnosis that gave you such relief and hope. Wonderful post today, my friend!

    • Christine Duncan

      May 17, 2016 at 6:56 PM

      Thanks Lois, am truly thankful for my doctor, and also for my hubby who finally walked in with me since I was too overwhelmed to go on my own steam at the time. I can’t believe that was 3 years ago, and God has been so faithful through it all. Even my harder days are livable, and I know it’s all Him.
      I hope others will be encouraged to change their view too! And gosh, grateful for dear friends like yourself who cheer one another on, and who write His truths! Hugs, and heaps of blessings, m’dear!

  5. It’s so true that we’re quick to ask for help in situations like being stranded or in a fire but it’s much more difficult to do so with the invisible personal struggles. Your post challenges me as I have a tendency to push on and try to be strong, even though I know that really it’s okay to ask for help. Probably a mixture of pride, shame and not wanting to bother other people. I need to remember that “when we become okay with our need, we recognize our rescue.”

    • Christine Duncan

      May 17, 2016 at 6:52 PM

      Carly, so true. The being strong part holds this kind of sway over us in the natural. The world would love us to associate getting help with being a failure, being too weak. The deepest part of me wants to shout, “I can do this!” to anyone watching. So with you on that!
      And to be honest, my own reach for help makes me now treat others in the same boat with so much more grace than before too… another benefit of His rescue.
      Glad to connect with you, Carly! Blessings upon blessings for your week!

  6. Christine – You are so right – shame is a nasty little thing that robs us of so many things and wants us to be isolated and alone…Shame makes us want to keep things hidden in the dark, because it knows that once it is out in the light, it has to leave. I am so very grateful that doctors were able to diagnose what was going on with you and that you are able to ask for help and not feel ashamed. thanks for sharing today at #TeaandWordTuesday

    • Christine Duncan

      May 17, 2016 at 7:17 PM

      Debbie, you hit it right on… bringing things into the light where they have no power over us! Yes! And I love that there is no shame when in His presence. And we carry that with us when we then have to ask for help. Love connecting today through Meg’s page… thankful for you, today!

  7. Spot on, friend. Shame is such a lie. It keeps us from crying out to a God who already knows how desperately we need rescue and gave His son to provide it. Turning our cheek to His help truly diminishes the price He paid to provide it, and the lengths He’ll go to give us all we have need of. So grateful for His tender care.

    • Christine Duncan

      May 17, 2016 at 7:36 PM

      Agreed, friend, agreed. And we also can’t dwell on all the times we should have asked, in the past, either. Wouldn’t shame have a field day with that??? So grateful for His grace that rushes to our situation and for His faithfulness that provides for us, even when we’re not sure how to even ask Him.
      Have a lovely week, Tiffany, we keep shining for Him, amen!?! 🙂

  8. Love this: 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.

    Love how God rescues us and does not rebuke us, but rebukes the storm. You are so right about shame. It has held me back so many times. God has brought me through quite a process to begin walking free from shame. I have learned and continue to learn that what is brought to the light can no longer shame me in the dark. I’m thankful that our struggle, when brought in the light, can help so many and actually becomes a gift. Thank you for being genuine Christine! Blessings!


    • Christine Duncan

      May 17, 2016 at 8:54 PM

      Joelle, grateful to have you stop by, friend! And love your perspective, that it becomes a gift, too! This is so very true. I see others who need help with so much more love and grace as well. Banishing shame is possible wherever His presence can be found! Blessings and hugs!

  9. Thank you Christine <3

  10. Oh my stars, Christine, this is so beautiful. So hope-filled. So shame erasing. Thank you for blessing me and so many others today. I’m so glad I found you at Jennifer’s! I would like to invite you to share this on my link-up, Moments of Hope, as well. It’s a new link-up and my prayer is that God flood the page with His hope. Stories that point to Him and His redemption and love … and hope. This post is drenched in all of that!
    Blessings and smiles,

  11. My mouth was on the floor and my heart was at peace from the moment I landed on this blog post, dear Christine. Your quote graphic — WOW! What a beautiful truth. I’m putting that quote on my fridge! <3 <3 <3 Rescue is beautiful. Your story is beautiful. YOU are beautiful, sweet friend!

    • Christine Duncan

      May 18, 2016 at 3:59 PM

      Okay, now, tearing up slightly, cut that out! lol I’m so glad this is resonating with readers and friends. Mainly because He uses these lessons to keep speaking into whatever my own current struggle is too. I’m so grateful for you that grateful doesn’t even feel like the right word, Lauren. Seriously. Thanks hun, hugs!

  12. Shame is like cancer to the soul. We need to get rid of it by God’s love. Then we can be rescued. 🙂 #tellhisstory

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