Remember when you were little and you would share secrets with your best friend? You would tell your secret only after your friend had pinky-sworn not to tell anyone. Sometimes, it was at a sleep over and you were in the dark under the covers, which made the shared secret seem even more special. There was power in that shared secret that only the two of you had -you had a special, often fragile bond formed by that secret. There was also the potential for betrayal with a shared secret, so you had to pick who you shared with very carefully. Sharing a secret implied trust in the person you were sharing with. Sometimes that trust was betrayed bringing embarrassment and anger. But for the most part, when we were young, secrets were special - something to giggle over in the dark or behind the school.
And then there were the secrets we didn't dare share. Dark secrets that were somehow our fault and we were warned not to tell as no one would understand and it wouldn't be special anymore. The longer a secret is kept, the stronger it becomes and the more the power the Enemy can bestow upon it. Power to make us feel ashamed and guilty. Power to make us feel unworthy of any of the good things life has to offer. Power to make us unworthy of any kind of love, especially the most powerful love there is - the love of God.
We hide our secrets in deep, dark places inside. And they become deeper and darker until there is no deeper, darker place they can go and they have to come out. They come out in anger and rage and bitterness, they come out in control issues, they come out in depression and eating disorders, they come out in addictions and broken relationships. Because we don't deserve any better - we have become the shame of our secret. We have believed the lies the Enemy has whispered in our ear for years. You see, the Enemy thrives in the dark places of our life, the places we have shut out the light.
We may or may not be successful in hiding our secrets from the people in our lives, but there is One we can never hide them from. He is there in the darkest, deepest places we can find to bury our shame and hurt. He is there and waiting - waiting to light the darkness; waiting to mend the broken, torn places; waiting to the expose the lies we have been told and believed and replace them with Truth. But we are the only one who holds the keys to those hidden places and we have the choice whether to unlock the door or keep it locked up tight. We have the choice to accept the love & grace he offers or we can choose to be a prisoner of our past, whatever it holds. He sent His most precious offering, His Son, Jesus Christ, so that we no longer have to be in bondage.
"What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
As it is written:
"For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.", in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, (absolutely nothing - the Message) will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:31-39 NIV- italics mine).
Read that again & let it sink in - if the King of the Universe, the One who set the stars in the sky, is for us - for you and me - then who can dare to bring a charge of shame or guilt against us? He longs for us to give up our darkness and to give it up to Him. Somewhere along the way, amid the lies, we have convinced ourselves our secret is so horrible and so big that He can't handle it! Or, even worse, that He doesn't want to! So, we think we have to handle it in our own broken ways - ways that always harm us and usually those around us, too.
Will it be easy? No - putting broken things back together is never easy. Will it be terrifying? Yes - but "perfect love casts out fear" (I John 4: 18b) Will it hurt? Yes - Light always hurts after darkness until we become used to the light. Will it be worth it? Absolutely - "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy, but I have come that they may have life and have it to the full." (John 10:10)