Psalm 90:8 - You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence.
Secrets. Are you good at keeping them or does your “inside” knowledge sneak out from the edges of the wall you’re trying to hide behind?
Some secrets are important to keep – like when a friend tells you something in confidence. Others only hurt you by hiding behind them, as I discussed in a previous post - keeping a mental health issue secret.
But today I’m not writing about your mental health, though it could certainly affect your mental health if you hang onto the secret. I’m talking about things we have done in the past or have been done to us in secret.
On thefreedictionary.com you'll find an article titled, “Secret.” It lists the definitions of the word such as something being done without the knowledge of others. See if your actions fit into any one of the categories.
A way for you to heal from wounds is to bring them into the light. It will be difficult; but wouldn’t it be harder, if someone else finds out on their own, and brings the secret into the light?
I’m not speaking of a secret shared with you by someone else. We must keep things that are shared in secret or we will be known as someone who can’t be trusted.
Yet, as the Bible verse above says, our secrets will come into the light of God’s presence ultimately. It’s not too late to even share your secret with one person, but make sure that person is trustworthy first.
You may find out when you finally open up that what you feared by exposing your secret can help someone else have the courage to share theirs and receive help.
Do you find it hard to keep a secret? Are you a trustworthy person? Is there something in your life that would be easier to carry if you had someone else to carry it with? I look forward to hearing from you.
Isaiah 29:22 - Therefore this is what the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, says to the house of Jacob: “No longer will Jacob be ashamed; no longer will their faces grow pale.”
She limped down the hallway keeping her head down for she didn’t want to make eye contact with anyone. How could this have happened to a believer in Jesus? This wasn’t supposed to happen. If only I’d had enough faith, she thought.
But she didn’t know at the time that she was judging herself. No one else would be cruel enough to do so in such a deep way. But she pulled her cloak of shame tighter around her body as she headed for the door.
It was the first time she’d left her home since she returned home from… returned home from, a place where others with PTSD, depression and attempted suicide go.
They say that no one can know the heart of another person, but that person. Yet, she knew when she looked into the faces of those around her that they saw the truth – she was broken merchandise. How could she ever be of use again?
But then the strangest thing happened.
Someone looked into her eyes and said, “It’s going to be alright. We’re here for you.” And to her surprise she saw no judgment in their eyes or the words they spoke.
Each day it got a little easier to go out of her home and face the world.
Dear friend, there is no need to feel ashamed if you need help. There are people around you that hold pain inside and battle emotional pain also.
As I stated in a previous post, one in four people have a mental health issue. And there are many sources ready to help if you just reach out your hand toward them. The shame that is felt from struggling with emotional pain can at times be worse than the pain.
Let’s face it. There will always be people out there that feel emotional pain isn’t real. It’s just an excuse to get attention. But when it’s their turn to be sent into the sea of anguish they will be reminded of how their judgmental attitude hurt others.
For those of us who have been hurt by others, it would be easy to ignore the needs of someone who used to criticize us. But it’s up to us to dig down deep inside and help the one who’s now suffering.
You’ve learned a lot during your journey through the dark valleys. And what you thought about yourself, being broken merchandize and of no use can be put back together with grace.
The Bible verse above talks about not having to be ashamed any longer. Remember that Jesus will take that coat of shame off your back and turn your face towards the sun.
Now you will be ready to share the light with someone else in need. You can be the one to turn judgmental attitudes into compassion. Will you be that light?
Isaiah 48:17 - This is what the Lord says--your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.”
Sometimes in life we get lost. The way ahead is shrouded by the clouds of fear of failure and loss of direction. The way used to be so clear. But now. Now we’re just not sure.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I spoke about decisions and how when we’re trying to make a decision we have to weigh the cost of our choices. But loss of direction is a little different.
You’re not just unsure about a decision you’re trying to make, you’re unsure of what your choices even are. One path leads up a steep hill and climbing is difficult. Another leads down into a deep valley, with the grade being so sloped, that you easily lose your footing and tumble down a ravine.
What’s a person to do? Maybe you could just sit still until somehow an easier way will make its way known. The hours tick by as you wait. And then the day slips by. And then another.
Then one morning you wake up and think you see something ahead. But the way is covered with smoke. Should you head that way? Wouldn’t it be a risk to go where there might be a fire? Then you hear a loud crash; as two trees, now engulfed with fire, fall across the path up the hill and the other across the slope downward.
Fire quickly surrounds you. Just as you think you’re not going to survive, another path can be seen in the midst of the smoke. It’s a bumpy road with many boulders and jagged rocks. But the way ahead doesn’t look steep or sloped downward toward a ravine. And with the fire surrounding you, you must make the only choice available to you.
But you must give up your fear of failure and try. You must pick a direction to go.
This is a picture of what life looks like. Life is hardly an easy climb on a smooth path. And it’s not one where you can see a long ways into the distance. It’s only one step at a time.
Yet, as you walk ahead, be aware that you’re path is going to run into people who want to tell you what to do. They can also criticize you when you don’t follow their suggestions. Listening to wise counsel is important. But I’m not talking about that. This is blatant controlling. And they can make you doubt your choice of direction. Listen respectfully. Yet, don’t just follow their blind led either. Thank them for their opinion and make a choice; even if you make some people angry with you.
But don’t let making decisions a chore you have to do, worrying about failure, or worrying about displeasing others. There’s a measure of excitement when trying something new. Yes, it can be scary, but it can also be fun.
Take a look at the article, “How to find Direction in Life,” on wikihow.com to find suggestions on finding your direction in life such as take small steps to start and make a commitment to grow.
I would also add: God can teach you what is best for you if you ask him. He will direct you in the way you should go. And not only that, he will walk with you and even carry you when the road ahead is bumpy and has jagged rocks.
Have you ever gone through a period of time when you weren’t sure of your direction? I’d love to hear from you.
1 Corinthians 14:40 - But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.
People often say that I’m very organized, but there are also people who say I try to control things. For me, if things are in order I feel more at peace than when things are cluttered.
When my kids were growing up, I did use control to keep them on task while doing their homework, and I monitored the things they wanted to do. I wanted to know if the activity was directed by people I knew. In this way, I caused my kids to do what I wanted.
But now that they’re adults, I no longer try to control their actions. But, I’m there to listen should they need me when they are making a hard decision.
What I use now is self-control. Using self-control helps me remember that the things out of my control are being handled by God.
Let’s take a look at the definitions for organize and control from Merriam-Webster online dictionary's article, "Organized."
To arrange and plan (an event or activity): to arrange or order things so that they can be found or used easily and quickly: to put things into a particular arrangement or order: to gather (people) into a group that will work on something together.
And Merriam-Webster online dictionary's article, "Control."
To direct the behavior of (a person or animal): to cause (a person or animal) to do what you want. To have power over (something). To direct the actions or function of (something): to cause (something) to act or function in a certain way.
Looking over the definitions I see myself doing a little bit of each. For instance, making lists. I usually make a list of things that need to be done the next day before I go to sleep at night. I also try to stay caught up on the clutter that grows in my home. If I sort the mail right after it’s delivered, I’ll throw away the junk mail and open the rest. In this way, I prevent mail from piling up.
Of the definitions above, I like the one for control that says, “to direct the actions or function of (something).” Thinking back over raising my kids I wish that I had controlled less and directed their actions instead. I know my stress level would have been a lot lower.
How about you? Do you tend to be more organized, in control or a little bit of both? I’d love to hear from you.
In addition, you will find a link below that has tips on being organized.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.