My bare ring finger and bulging belly were a dead give away. At church the inevitable side eye and behind the back whispers crushed my tender and hormonal heart. I knew the side eyes and whispers existed, because I would have done the same to someone else in my circumstance.
I advertized my secret in 3D wherever I went.
The first time someone noticed my secret at church or work, I saw their internal gasp. And the surprise on their face said it all. What kind of Christian is she? She really blew it, huh?
Some actually said it to me. “Wow, what were you thinking?”
At the time, I attended a great church. People weren’t trying to be mean; shock is just a normal reaction. So I left church.
Other secrets aren’t so obvious. And we hide them well. In fact, we get so good at keeping secrets that we almost forget about them. Almost.
But secrets haunt us and sever us from authentic relationships.
We hide those shameful parts of our lives from our friends and hinder deeper connection. Or we avoid people all together like the woman at the well. (John 4:6-26)
But Jesus wants us to come out of hiding and experience a full life.
In this famous story, the Samaritan woman walks to the well alone at the hottest part of the day. Typically women perform this chore together during cooler hours of the day. Like all women they multitask, tackling chores while getting in some needed girl time.
But not this woman. She is alone and vulnerable. Good thing it’s Jesus she runs into that day.
In her dialogue with Jesus, He reveals that He has living water for her. His water quenches not only her natural thirst but every thirst of her spirit, soul and body. I believe our greatest thirst is a longing to be enjoyed for who we are. His offer is our solution.
But she has a secret. And secrets separate us from deep connection.
Jesus gives her a chance to tell her secret. He knows it will not only heal her, but it has the potential to create a cascade of healing in her community.
Already knowing the answer, He asks, “Go call your husband to come here.”
She comes clean. “I have no husband.”
“Well said,” He responds.
When someone describes something to us in the most beautiful profound way, we respond, “well said,” and we tilt our heads in awe.
Even though she didn’t confess the whole truth about her multiple marriages and new boyfriend, she didn’t lie. And Jesus calls it beautiful.
Your honesty is beautiful. He can work with that.
Give Him access to your secrets and He will reach in an heal that whole thing. Little by little and at a pace you can handle, He will heal you.
But His track record reveals otherwise. (Hebrews 4:16) God will absolutely accept you. He loves you and wants to meet with you in the dark fractured places of your soul and make you whole again.
Unfortunately, some won’t, but many will. I have a few friendships where I am completely honest to my core. Those are my deepest and most valuable relationships.
In the story above, my secret was obvious. But I was so hurt and angry I barricaded God from access to it. Eventually, in that season of my life, I surrendered myself to His love. I had to trust in it. I took a chance and experienced His love in ways I never imagined.
Today, with my permission, God is still reaching into some dark places of my heart to heal and restore me. Its never easy, but its always worth it.
What secrets are you keeping from God?
Come clean now and let His love hug you close today. The path to healing starts by cracking open the gate of forgiveness.(John 10:9-10)
Forgive yourself and let God forgive you too. Your secret is safe with Him. He will transform it into something beautiful if you let Him.
Jesus, this sin has haunted me all my life. I keep doing it over and over. I am afraid of the path ahead, but I trust you to lead me in the way of Love. Here is my heart.