I come from a family of secrets, just as most others do. Perhaps a few of those secrets should be taken to the grave.
“You don’t talk about being sexually abused. You don’t talk about your addictions. Some things are just better left unsaid.”
Have you ever heard these words? Maybe you’ve said them yourself.
Secrets make you sick.
That’s an old saying – from AA maybe? I followed that advice most of my life until my secrets almost took me to the grave – literally.
It started with a Cholecystectomy (removal of the gallbladder). I’d literally “stuffed” my emotions so deeply the secrets were trying to find another way to escape, and they did, through physical illness. Then it got worse. I couldn’t hold on anymore, or so I thought, and suicide seemed to be a great option.
The good news? I chose another path besides taking my own life. The bad news? My body still pays the price of holding onto so many secrets for so long.
You need to share your secrets.
What does that look like? I don’t mean run up to the checkout lady at the grocery store and tell her you were sexually abused as a child and you’ve been keeping it a secret for 20 years. You don’t need to tell the mechanic changing your oil about your pornography addiction.
But you need to tell someone. Someone safe.
As a teenager I shared with someone close to me that I’d been sexually molested. I trusted her and knew it was the right time to tell her. All these years later, she’s still a safe place for me.
Later on, I tried to share with a friend and it backfired on me. She turned it into gossip and it broke my heart. I wanted her to be a safe person, knowing she probably wasn’t, but I told her anyway. It would be years before I let anymore secrets out.
Then I met Jennifer at church. She tried pursuing a friendship with me I wasn’t really interested in. I didn’t trust people and I had no reason to trust her. But she was persistent in showing me grace, sticking around, investing in our friendship, and proving over time she could be trusted.
So I told her a secret. Then I waited for her head to spin around and tell me to get out of her house forever. She didn’t. Instead, she embraced me, empathized with me, and prayed with me.
After time, I shared a bigger secret with her. The same thing happened. She didn’t run. She didn’t judge. She embraced.
There’s not a secret about my life she doesn’t know. Boy is that freeing.
Your secrets need healed.
There was definitely a freedom in sharing my secrets with someone else. It started a healing process in me I’d longed for but didn’t really know I needed. However, it was just the beginning.
Those secrets had taken a toll on me emotionally I didn’t know how to deal with. I had to take the next step – getting professional help. That involved some intense counseling and prayer.
I’ll be honest. Some of it really sucked. It was hard. It wore me out at times. I had to deal with emotions I’d spent my life trying to push down. I faced facts I didn’t want to face. I was angry. Sad. Overwhelmed. Scared. I wanted to quit.
But God gracefully walked me through each step, as painful as it was, and on the other side of that pain is a freedom I’m forever grateful for.
You, my friend, have access to the same freedom. God is waiting for you to say, “I don’t want my secrets anymore. I don’t want to hold onto the shame I’ve been living with all these years. I want something more.”
Oh.. it excites me to think about the freedom journey you’re about to embark on, despite how hard the journey may be.
I encourage you today to ask God to show you who that safe person is. Be still and listen. He will show you.
Here’s to freedom.
Question: Do you have a safe person in your life to take your secrets to? You can leave a comment by clicking here.