we all have our secrets. the parts of ourselves that very few people, if anybody, know about. some of us keep them for decades, never telling a single soul, and others confide in their spouse or close friends. many of us have a secret right now – one that we can’t bear to bring into the light of day for fear of what might happen. if i tell, i will be judged. or if i share this, someone i love will be hurt and maybe even walk away from me.
i’ve carried secrets like this. for years i carried some secrets completely on my own, never telling a single soul. i was so afraid of what people would think of me, that i stayed isolated, trapped, and alone. but what i found was that when i revealed my secrets to close friends and family, they didn’t judge or abandon me, but rather embraced and supported me. it was in telling my truth freely that i found true freedom.
part of my truth is that i used to struggle daily with a battle against lust. i struggled with keeping my thoughts and private actions pure. i struggled with what i watched and read. and i struggled to stay physically pure in my dating relationships. and though its something i’ve been free from for about five years, that freedom only came after telling my secret to others.
as much as i tried to get free on my own – just me and God – it never worked. i’d make a new commitment to him and promise to only watch and do and think about things that were pure and lovely, excellent and praiseworthy. but before i knew it i’d be sucked back into watching that same crap and thinking those same selfish thoughts and acting on them both alone and in my dating relationship. it was an endless, discouraging, frustrating cycle and i saw NO WAY OUT. i began to lose hope. i was filled with shame.
until i began to reach out. first it was to a friend at camp who compassionately offered to hold me accountable in my journey for purity. every month she called or emailed and asked me how i was doing, if i’d given in, and how she could pray for me. having this consistent accountability was the #1 thing that helped me break the negative patterns and habits i’d formed.
and then as i limped along towards freedom, i began to share my struggle with a few other close friends. i was shocked to discover that others shared the same struggle and had also been feeling isolated, alone and full of guilt and shame. but because i took the step to tell my truth, they felt the freedom to tell theirs too. and telling the truth to each other was another step towards freedom.
now i tell my story whenever God leads me to. its not always told in the same way or with all the nitty gritty details, but whenever i share, others come out of the woodwork who have also be secretly struggling. and as they do, they take a step towards finding their own freedom.
what about you? have you been hiding for fear of what man or even God will think of you? do you struggle with a secret so big you feel no one could ever love or accept you if they knew? do you wonder if its really possible to EVER find freedom from this pattern of thinking an behaving?
please know you are not alone. in fact, if you are struggling with lust, or any other secret sin, please send me an email or leave a comment (anonymously if you’re more comfortable) and i would love to talk to you and pray for you. take a step. just one foot in front of the other can bring you that much closer to true and lasting freedom.
God didn’t come and live and die for us to remain trapped, stuck and alone. He came to set us free. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” (Galatians 5:1)
it’s time to come out from the shadows and into the light of truth. tell your truth and the truth will set you free. and who the Son sets free is free indeed.