Me and My Shadow

To live by grace means to acknowledge my whole life story, the light side and the dark. In admitting my shadow side I learn who I am and what God’s grace means.  ~ Brennan Manning

I remember so clearly sitting in a women’s Sunday School class in my church. As the sun streamed in the windows, I studied the other 50-60 women in the room. I was a young mom of two and eager to grow and learn from those who were older and wiser. I can’t remember the topic that particular morning, but I can still see her lips move as the woman leading the group said these stunning words: “Of course, none of us would ever do anything like that.”

I remember the grievous sin she was referring to and I remember thinking  How could you possibly know if any of us has done that or not? And what if someone has, how must she be feeling right now?

I learned a lesson in class that day. This was a place for saints, not sinners. For the next 25 years, I maintained my sainthood and shared only church-acceptable struggles, most of which had to do with someone else: Please pray for my…  who is sick, suffering, lost.

Denying my shadow side in public, helped me deny it in private as well. What a joyful day when I finally realized that God’s grace had already covered it all!

As I accept His unbounded grace toward me, I become a safe place for others to share their despair or anger or longings. It’s in that tender, vulnerable place that we become a fellowship of sinners saved by grace, rather than a gathering of saints, afraid to share their sins.

Author: Debbie

A former counselor and public speaker, I'm grateful for many, many things - God's grace most of all!

6 thoughts on “Me and My Shadow”

  1. I have been thinking of what to say to this but It seems no words will come out, really. It brings a heaviness to my chest. Oppression I guess.

    My only answer is the words from the song Healing Begins by 10th Avenue North. I don’t know how to get them here Debbie. I believe they have the song and words to it on You Tube. I love it !!! Part of the words are. ” sparks will fly as grace collides with the dark inside of us, so please don’t hide this coming light, His blood can cover us, His bloods will cover us”. Anyway….

    1. Cathy – I’d never heard this song. Really beautiful and so appropriate. I’ll definitely use it for one of my Sunday Songs! Thank you so much!
      ~ Debbie

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