July 25th 2023
#27: Before and After: The Transformative Power of Jesus’ compassion
Imagine being able to replace shame with a more empowering word, acknowledging its role in your life, and recognizing that the story has changed. We’ve crafted an episode that brings light to this transformative process.
Drawing inspiration from biblical stories such as Jesus and the new wine and the old wineskin, the Prodigal Son, Martha and Mary, as well as insights from Aundi Kolber ‘s “Try Softer“, we reflect on how to practice compassion and safety in our journey towards sexual wholeness.
Step onto the path of self-discovery as we delve into the power of tapping and speaking truths over ourselves to integrate our belovedness further.
Scripture, like Psalm 23, serves as our guide in this transformational exercise. We unwrap the profound significance of Jesus’ death and how it continues to manifest in our bodies.
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The conversation culminates with a heartfelt prayer, seeking restoration and regeneration of thoughts with more love, less criticism, and more grace. This episode is more than just chatter; it’s a toolkit for honoring your journey from where you’ve been to where you’re going.
So, tune in and give your past its rightful place – a stepping stone to a brighter future.
Transcription: Before and After: The Transformative Power of Jesus’ compassion
On this episode of Sacred By Design. As we get started, I want you to think up one of these commercials. They’re all over TV, all over our phones, but specifically a before and after of a woman on her weight loss journey. Okay? So think of the before. What does she look like? Can you imagine her drab outfit, the bad lighting? She probably looks sad or upset. Now, what do you think about her? Now? Think of the after. Suddenly the sun is shining and this woman is smiling and she’s wearing a pretty cute outfit, right? What do you think about her? I mean, did you even notice the change in my voice as I talked about the before and the after? I’m really intentional about talking about this woman who’s on a weight loss journeys, before and after versus, say, a home makeover. Because on a home makeover, when you see the before of the house, you say, oh, that was our starter home.
Or do you remember that time? Or we were doing the best we could. There’s almost like an endearing quality to that before. And then the after for sure gets all the oohs and the Oz. But there’s something about that woman and the before. And I hear this within my own head and heart. I hear this within conversations with friends and within coaching sessions, that we want to dismiss our befores, that we’d rather not look at her, that we would like to maybe even forget her. On this journey towards sexual wholeness, you’re doing the work of learning new techniques. That involves your head of unpacking feelings and that involves your heart.
But now your body, your body is key to this. And you’re before what your body was involved with before, the practices that you engaged in before. What if here’s the invitation. What if you could consider her your before without criticism, without contempt, without shame, and maybe even bring up your voice when you talk about her. This is integrating your belovedness, internalizing your belovedness. And if we were to look through scripture, there are a bunch of different stories we could look to. How about Jesus talking about the new wine and the old wineskin? Do you remember when Jesus said you can’t put the new wine in the old wine skin because the old wineskin would burst and you would lose both? Or how about the prodigal son and say that you’re before is the lost son at the beginning of their driveway, just trying to make his way back towards the father. Can you imagine if the father had put his hand on his hip or even like wagged his finger like, I told you so? I knew this was going to happen, but that’s not what happened.
The father ran towards his son, ran towards the before. Or Simon, the leper. This is one of my favorites. Simon, because of his leprosy, was condemned, was isolated, lonely and in pain, sick. These are a lot of the adjectives that we can use to describe our before, right? And Jesus heals him. Yes, jesus, heals him. But beyond that, later in the Gospel, we hear that Simon is the homeowner, the party hoster, and Jesus is reclining at his table. Do you see how Jesus bridged the gap between the before and after? But as we consider being women on a journey towards sexual wholeness, and even considering the idea of being more kind and more honoring of our before, I want to settle in on the story that I know you’ve heard before of Martha and Mary.
So Jesus shows up at Martha and Mary’s house, and as you know, Martha is running around making sure everybody has snacks and drinks and is comfortable, and then she complains to Jesus. Does Jesus criticize her? Does Jesus condemn her or shoe her away? He says, Martha, Martha, he calls her by name. Mary has chosen what is best, so he’s redirecting her towards a better option, and what she’s chosen won’t be taken away from her. Do you see that? Do you see how Jesus gives us this beautiful example of what it looks like to honor our before, to acknowledge her and to treat her with compassion and even invitation, because this is so important. If Jesus had chewed her away, we would never hear from her again. But we do, right? Because Jesus offers this bridging, and that creates safety and confidence within that relationship. You’re doing that. You’re building confidence and safety within this relationship with Jesus as you bridge the gap, as you move towards healing and wholeness.
So later on in the Gospels, we hear from Martha again, but this time her brother’s dead, and she is in a crowd of weeping and wailing people, and Jesus comes on the scene, and she tears away from the group, sandals pounding the dirt, arms pumping, tears streaming down her face. And because of that confidence, because of that safety, because of that compassion, she moves towards Jesus again with her grief, with her frustration, and with her anger even, right? And then she gets to witness a miracle. Jesus wants to bridge the gap between our before and after, and he offers us the example. Another person today who does this really well is Andy Colbert. I don’t know if you’ve heard of her, but you should know her, Andy Colbert, and we’ll link to her books and her website. She has written this book called Try Softer, which doesn’t that sound so consistent with what we’re trying to talk about here? And she is a survivor of complex trauma, and she addresses her shame with a note, because shame is what shame was a tool that helped her get through to where she is today. So right now, I’d like to read a note because I think this is really simple and yet profound practice that we could probably do, you could do on your own. Okay, ready? She wrote this note to her shame, shame.
I see how you’ve tried to serve me paradoxically. But this is not the story anymore. I am a 47 year old woman with resources and support and I am beloved. Thank you for your service. I get where you are coming from, but that’s not the true story for me anymore. What word would you sub out for shame? Would it be pornography? I see how you’ve tried to serve me or masturbation. This is not the story anymore. I am a 47 year old woman with resources and support and I am beloved.
Thank you for your service. I get where you are coming from, but that’s not the true story for me anymore. Andi also offers different practical tips throughout her book. And one of them is tapping. I love tapping, especially because it brings in my heart, my mind and my body. And so what you do is make your hand nice and flat and thump it against your chest. Can you hear my voice even changing? Can you do that for yourself? And you start to speak truths over yourself. You could look up Psalm 23, you could read this letter to yourself and sub out the words that were true for you before, but are not true for you anymore.
And start to incorporate words as you pound your heart just to really seal the deal that you are worthy of compassion, that she was worthy of compassion. That you are worthy of honor, and she was worthy of honor. Do you see that? It just kind of brings all of you in to one simple exercise. One last scripture that I want to leave you with, because it’s a before and after that we cannot overlook is two Corinthians 412. It says we always carry the death of Jesus in our body so that the life of Jesus may also be displayed in our body. We always carry the death of Jesus in our body so that the life of Jesus may also be displayed in our body. That is a before and after. Thank you Jesus for being the bridge and everything in between and before and after to get us to this point of acknowledging this example of compassion and honor and care.
Because through suffering our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. Where is it seen in our bodies? I just want to pray for you that the restoration would begin in how you treat your before were and so that you can love your today better. I want to pray that the regeneration of your thoughts begins today with more love, less criticism, more grace, because you are worthy. She was worthy. Amen.
- How does tapping, specifically thumping your hand against your chest, bring together heart, mind, and body? Have you ever tried this technique?
- Andi suggests using Psalm 23 or a letter to replace old truths with new ones. How can incorporating biblical references or personal affirmations help in the process of becoming whole?
- The episode emphasizes accepting the past without judgment, using examples like the prodigal son’s father. How can we apply this concept to our own lives? How does it impact our journey towards healing and wholeness?
- Jesus’s response to Martha creates safety and confidence in their relationship. How can we model this kind of non-judgmental response in our own interactions with others?
- In relation to weight loss journey commercials, how do the before and after images impact our perceptions? How can we challenge our own biases and see the worthiness of individuals in their “before” state?