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“It is the emotional weapon evil uses to corrupt our relationship with God and each other,” writes Dr. Curt Thompson in his book, The Soul of Shame.

This week was full to the brim with a whole lot of truly wonderful things here at Biola!


First, the sheer fact that it was the most delightful autumn weather was worth celebrating. Now, when I say autumn, keep in mind, I mean California autumn. This essentially means that it's about 70 degrees, and as a result, every person you pass is in a sweater or flannel with a pumpkin spice chai or London Fog in hand. So, basically, it was a dream.

Second, all classes Wednesday through Friday were cancelled. ‘Nough said. (Well, actually, you should probably know that the second wonderful thing is contingent upon the third wonderful thing, so keep on reading –– you’re nearly there!)


Third, it was Torrey Conference! Torrey Conference is a student run conference held here at Biola every autumn that highlights a topic that encourages and challenges Biola students in the midst of semester.

Shame: Misdiagnosed and Oh So Sneaky

This year the theme was Released to be Known, Set Free to See.

I was given the privilege to sit with this year’s Graduate Director, Tessa Robertson, and hear her heart behind this conference.

As I sat across from Tessa, her passion soaked every word she spoke, and it was abundantly clear that this was more than just another Torrey Conference. “Our generation is being offered an opportunity to walk into light that past generations weren’t,” the former high school English teacher, current graduate Torrey Conference Director shared as we sat across from one another in a strikingly comfortable cubicle in the Spiritual Direction offices on campus.

Tessa continued elaborating upon her desire to, “educate souls, holistically, and grasp what a lot of students would be able to resonate with. I wanted to use the resources that we’ve been given well in a way that would actually benefits students.”

“Shame had been a huge part of my journey, personally, in college. It’s often misdiagnosed, it’s so sneaky.” Tessa vulnerably shared after being asked why this year’s topic of shame was chosen. “My journey has been learning to walk into freedom and recognize that I don’t have to create my own worth and that I’ve already been given it.”

Tessa paused, and thoughtfully continued, “Our culture’s offer is so empty because it’s all up to you. No, God is the one who already created us, He already knows us and we get to walk into being our true selves, with Him and defined by Him. What a relief!”

It is truly a privilege to be given the opportunity to sit, reflect meditate upon a topic that is hard, yet necessary to address in light of desiring to seek and follow Jesus in every aspect of our lives! As I sat in the seats, listening and learning, I couldn’t help but process what role shame has played in my personal day-to-day life. Each speaker asked hard questions that enabled me to reflect upon some previously disregarded realities and gave me the opportunity to answer those hard questions honestly with the community around me. Me oh my, how I am grateful for such an uplifting community.


I hope your week is treating you well, that you’re finding time to rest and refresh, however you do that best. Listen to some good podcasts, read a good book, treat yo’ self to your favorite thing with your favorite person.

I’m really glad you stopped by and spent some time here; you make this little nook of the big wide web a lot more wonderful.

Another huge thanks to Jennifer Hahn, Biola junior, who served as the undergraduate director. Douglas Smith, Biola junior, and Gabby Tjandra, Biola sophomore who both served as Torrey Marketing Coordinators. Tiffany Mata, Biola junior and Karina Bodemeijer, Biola senior, who both served as Torrey Creative Coordinators. Reann Lopez, Biola junior and Joey Aguirre, Biola senior, who both served as breakout coordinators. Samantha Miller, Torrey Logistics Coordinator.

*Cover photo and photo of Dr. Virginia Johnson, taken by Biola Sophomore, Isaac Bayne.