Women share their secrets with me. It is a natural part of my work - they share things with me they feel they cannot share with others. They do this, I suppose, because they feel I am someone they can trust. I am an outsider; I am not someone who knows them, their family, their friends, their boyfriend, their husband or their life at all. It is easier to share your secrets with someone who is not woven closely into the fabric of your life.
A woman emailed me once, opening her heart to share a very heavy burden she carries. It is a serious situation about something that happened long ago, and she has never told her husband. She is carrying a burden that is far too heavy to carry alone, afraid to share it, terrified to bring it to the light. My heart ached deeply at the knowledge of this, and the knowledge that she is not the only woman in the world enslaved by secrets.
Secrets - when given power - can lock you in a house of great despair and loneliness. Secrets kept in the dark keep hearts in the dark. Carrying around secrets feels like carrying around a bag of bricks - they don’t let anyone feel free.
There is no way to feel the fullness of life deep down in your bones when you don't feel free.
As secrets pour into my email inbox from all over the world, I think about the why, the how, the reason behind why humans lock themselves in these dark houses…and the answer is always shame. And what I have come to find shame to be is the devil’s music. It is the awful, ugly noise the evil one projects into our hearts. To the evil one it is like a symphony…he makes it sound like it is good and true and convinces us that it is what we want to be hearing… that there is no other song to listen to.
It is the enemy who whispers to us that we should keep secrets, shame, and pain locked away…that we should remain bound in chains that keep our hands and hearts tied. It is the enemy who convinces us that we should not burden others, that we should be able to work it out ourselves, that nobody has time to listen, that sharing it would ruin everything. It is the enemy who magnifies our shame and causes it to spill over into many areas of our life, who tries to get us to believe that repulsive falsehood of a sentence…I. am. alone.
The symphony of shame...The more you listen to it, the louder it gets. The more you listen to it, the less you can hear the song the Father is trying to sing into your heart…the song of truth and goodness and a love that runs like a river and has no beginning and no end. It is the song at the core of each soul, the song that reminds you that you were created as a child of light.
The God I know sings this melody of light into darkness. The God of the universe sets captives free. The God I know heals and transforms and destroys the little houses of shame we build…but we have to let Him.
It is in the light of God’s face that we find healing, it is in the light that we find that we are not alone. But setting oneself free requires incredible vulnerability, with God and with ourselves. Vulnerability and surrender are essential keys to freedom from secrets and shame. We must surrender to God’s love and mercy and allow Him to transform shame into freedom with His mighty hands. But if you’re anything like me, vulnerability and surrender are uncomfortable and on most occasions, quite painful.
Experiencing pain to get to the beauty? We only got to the Resurrection by way of the cross.
The Resurrection broke the chains that bind us and God always offers a path out of the darkness. He shows His face in trustworthy friends, family, husbands and wives, doctors, professionals, counselors to open our hearts, our pain, our burdens to. Perhaps you find yourself with burdens, with heavy shame, with secrets that you have stored and locked away in the cellar of your heart. Has the Creator of the galaxies - the one who intimately knows every fiber of your being - prompted you to lay them down?
God only asks us to do things that will bring us closer to the fullness of who He created us to be. Let Him sing a melody louder than the symphony of shame into your soul. Open up and receive the healing that comes with hearing this melody and letting it penetrate into your soul, into the core of who you are.
Shame is a prison. The Resurrection unlocked the doors.
Walk out of the prison and into the light. Set yourself free.
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light. Those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them light has shined. Isaiah 9:2