Women reveal their imperfections

Event brings the female population of Biola into a new light.


Eliana Park/ THE CHIMES

Kiera Price, Writer

As the bright lights in the Sutherland Auditorium illuminated the scene, the shame, fear and guilt faded away as women of Biola were able to be open up and reveal their imperfections.

A safe haven of grace

What was just a heartwarming dorm event in Alpha Hall last year is now a public event, allowing all women at Biola to come together and break away from their shame. Only in its second year, Shed the Shame continues to grow in popularity, as it allows women to be more honest about their difficulties than they have ever been before. Not only does it encourage women to take a bold step, but it creates a safe haven — a place where women can admit their struggles and seek redemption through grace, hope and love.

When the doors opened promptly at 7 p.m., women from Biola were welcomed by loving faces of their peers, who bravely wore red-colored shirts that stated their flaws on pieces of tape. Printed in small white letters, the shirts introduced their flaws with a statement of “Hello my name is.” The leaders encouraged guests to get shirts of their own before entering Sutherland Auditorium.

An honest conversation

“It’s an opportunity for us to just engage in an honest conversation for students,” said Megan Okada, senior Christian ministries major. “Particularly women at Biola that we know are carrying around shame but are too scared to talk about [it].”

After a couple of worship songs relating to God’s grace overcoming shame, the environment transitioned into a period of confession. As a video was displayed throughout Sutherland Auditorium, students set free tears and whimpers as it revealed the struggles each went through. Inspired by the leaders releasing the truths of their own situations, others no longer felt the need to hide away their imperfections.

“I think there is a standard that is set for what a perfect Christian woman looks like. Unfortunately, nobody looks up to that and the standard is so unrealistic. So I think this event brings us together and reminds us that we’re all broken and it’s okay,” said Courtney Schmitt, senior Business Management major.

Once the video ended, many students broke off into groups or went by themselves to write their imperfections on their shirts. It was a very emotional time as students released their feelings of shame.

An embrace of freedom

As leaders encouraged students to not feel defined by their values, women of Biola awoke in a brand new light.

“I feel like, at Biola, there is this mold of Christian perfection that we try to maintain,” said Kayla Bumpass, senior intercultural studies major who coordinated the event. “We try to pretend we have it all together when in reality, we are all sinners, we are all flawed. The purpose of this event is step out in boldness and say, ‘No, I am not perfect. I am going to claim what it is that I struggle with and I am going to rest in the freedom that Christ gives me.’”

As female students of Biola were honest about struggles such as pornography, sexual impurity, anxiety and depression, their feelings of shame melted away. As several students ripped the tape off their shirts, which revealed “redeemed,” they were no longer afraid — they were saved.

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