Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Secret Life

Do you have a secret life?

I have a friend who has recently been extremely distraught by the idea of a 'Secret Life'. Distraught because of the ways the secrets and lies have caused destruction and despair. It led to a moment of, 'Is there anyone really seeking after a godly life in this world?' I don't blame her. If I think about the hidden junk too much, I'm in agony as well.

As she shared some of the horrors she's encountered lately, I couldn't really wrap my mind around it. I began to wonder: do I have a secret life? Is there stuff about me that people would be surprised by if they found out?

Maybe. Maybe some people would be surprised if they knew some stuff. But, I don't really think so. The more we talked, the more I was trying to think if there were things in my life that literally no one else knew about. I feel like some of my worst thoughts, darkest moments of shame, grossest sins... that someone knew about them, even if not one person knew all of them. They had been brought into the light at some point.

In my mind, this is how it would be for everyone... right?
But as I questioned others, I found that I was indeed very wrong. One guy told me that there's at least 30% of him that no one else knows.

Now, we may have been talking about different things. I don't tell someone every single thought I have (probably mostly because that feels narcissistic), but I think for the things that matter... there's nothing hidden. And it's intriguing (and simultaneously terrifying) to know how much people can hide and how destructive those secrets can be.

Because while I'm in a place now where I don't feel like I'm hiding any secrets, I know there have been other times when I lived in guilt, shame and fear because of how it would affect me and/or others if anyone ever knew... at least, that's what I told myself.

And so I'm wondering for those of you who are in hiding... how are you sleeping at night?
What secrets are you keeping?
Are they harmless ones?
Or are they ones that affect those around you? Are they ones that bring death and destruction upon exposure? Are you involved in hidden activity that you're ashamed of? Are your thoughts dark and haunting?

I don't think there's room for the secrecy.
If there are things in your life that you know would affect those around you in negative ways, how much longer are you willing to carry out the secrets? Do you think you can succeed in keeping up with the web of lies? Is it worth it?

I know that sometimes the secrets are horrendous. I know you can't possibly imagine ever coming clean, ever being honest, ever letting those things surface into the light...
but I guess I think that at some point they are going to, even if you're the best liar in the whole world. At some point the truth comes out.

And gosh... I just dream of the day when the lies, when the darkness, when the secrets fade away and truth is revealed. And I dream of the day when the light, while perhaps painful initially, penetrates into the darkness and all that remains is good.

I guess I think that day could start today for a lot of you. Maybe it's time for you to expose the secret life, to come out of darkness and walk in the light. To no longer carry the burden of the tangled mess that you've been trying to keep track of and to live in the freedom that is given to you through Christ's redeeming grace.

There's still hope.
There are still second chances.

This might be one of the hardest things you ever do. I get that.
But, it's better. Coming out now is better than waiting, and waiting...and weaving more lies, hiding more things, living secretly in a way that causes further damage to yourself and those around you.

The secret life isn't the way it's supposed to be.
Let people know all of you. Let the Lord in on all of you (because He already knows it all anyway). Then the healing can truly come.

It's better.
It really, truly is. Even if initially it feels harder...

No more secrets, no more lies...
Walk into the light, friends.
It's time for transparent living.

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