Something that’s true about most of us at this time in our lives: We have secrets that almost no one knows about. Even though God’s providential and loving eyes might take in these perhaps-unknown elements of our lives, we may still harbor some ambivalence about revealing things about ourselves that have hitherto remained invisible.
Our possible secrets may live in the past: Real or imagined sins, some of the things that happened while we were serving in the Armed Forces, other places we’ve visited without others’ knowledge, unimaginable roles we’ve had to take on, physical or mental trauma, hurts that persist.
These secrets may also fill our present tense: Persistently harmful thought patterns, self-talk that’s wrong, what happens when we’re alone, vices, habits or addictions that we keep well-hidden.
Granted, most folks hold onto personal secrets like these for years. But as we get older, we may want to answer some necessary questions: How long will we hold onto the secrets? What good might come from revealing these things? What harm? Who needs to know?
Even though understanding and forgiveness are possible, risks remain—the perhaps unintended consequences of telling the truth after all these years. But the guilt that we may have carried all these years may call out for release, so that body and spirit don’t continue to be harmed. The closeted truths about us could stop defining us, our shame could be washed away. We could start a fresh chapter, even as we approach our latter years.
One calming truth remains: God lives in our secret lives. Not just watching with a wagging finger, but fully present in our struggles to be completely transparent, to let the truth out, to confess and ask for forgiveness. We are not alone; God knows us well.
And that’s no secret…
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