How do we learn to keep secrets, especially damaging ones? Is it the shame associated with disclosure? Trying to make the pain go away by acting like it isn't there?
I had a recurring dream when I was a kid. I was on a walk with my mom and my uncle, which we did frequently. I was straggling behind, when a Volkswagen pulled up and a man pulled me inside. Try as I may, my voice wouldn't make a peep. I opened my mouth as widely as it would go, screaming, but still ....no sound. My mom and my uncle walked on, oblivious to the kidnapping happening behind them.
That is the kind of effect secrets can have. They make you feel alone and stifled, keeping you at arms' length from those you love. When the secret is sin, it serves as a barrier between you and God.
In life, there are no do-overs. We live with the consequences of our own actions and the consequences imposed upon us by others' decisions. We then become responsible for how we respond. And then life goes on. And on.
There in the shadows.....can you see them? Those are mine. Sure, they've sort of piled up, but I will get to them. They will be brought into the light as soon as I can figure out how to word them in such a way that will be honoring to God.
Secrets can become so overwhelming that they start defining who we are. It doesn't take much to feel like you are actually just a walking, talking secret. I have allowed secrets to control me at different times in my life. They have accused, insulted, and depressed me. I tried praying away secrets to avoid having to deal with them, but ultimately if healing is to take place, they must be dealt with.
Freedom comes when a secret is properly shared. Preferably with God, then a very trustworthy confidante. Even if it has been tucked away for years, just the release that comes with acknowledging to someone else what you have hidden (or tried to hide) is a huge relief. The power of a secret is quickly removed when it is revealed.
"Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him." Dan. 2:20-22 (NIV)