My own hypocrisy scares me more than anything else. I looked back at my Facebook page posts from previous years and I feel like I’ve lost credibility with myself.
It occurred to me how much I hid behind what I posted on Facebook. Under my real name you’ll find lots of religious posts over the past several years along with silly pictures and smiling family photos. I wanted so much for people to think everything was fine when it wasn’t. The one I wanted to convince more than anyone else was me.
I wanted so badly to believe I was OK when I wasn’t. I listened to a lot of the same sermons I listen to now, read the same blogs and books, and posted a lot of it on Facebook, but there was something I was hiding from everyone.
I was clinging to the hope during that time that God’s grace was enough to save me, which it truly was – if I’d have died I have no doubt I’d have gone to Heaven, however I lived in so much fear. Fear that kept me trapped and unable to live the life of freedom God intended for me. I didn’t trust God with the decisions I was making. I chose to trust another man more.
Over and over again we had the same conversation about the times we’d messed up. My former pastor kept saying that God didn’t condemn me and that we could begin every day new. God’s mercy was new every single morning. God had forgotten all about my sin. I wanted to believe this so badly. But the problem was I couldn’t forget the worst of my sins. I carried them around day after day. My former pastor didn’t seem to struggle the way I did. On the surface he appeared to trust that God had forgiven him. He’d get up on Sunday and preach without missing a beat.
My mom used to say, “There’s is none so blind as him who does not see.” I really understand what that means now, because my own blindness terrifies me. I actually believed my former pastor had more faith and trust in God than I did. I look back and am blown away by just how blind I really was. The one thing that brings me comfort is that no matter how hard I tried to hide behind religion I was never able to feel at peace about the deception. I don’t know how I carried those secrets around for ten years, but I know time and time again I desperately wanted to be able to tell someone who would understand and help me heal. But I didn’t believe there was anyone who could handle the truth. Maybe I just didn’t want to find anyone badly enough, or maybe they were hiding behind their own Facebook posts.
The first time I heard Zach Van Dyke talk about shame in a sermon I was amazed by the freedom he had. My heart yearned to sore in that kind of truth. As AA says, “You are only as sick as your secrets,” and I knew I was very, very sick.
I sent Zach an email a little while after hearing that sermon confessing my sin for the very first time, and he sent me the shortest reply. Come out into the light, he advised. I thought he was crazy, but I knew in my heart of hearts he was right.
So I kept listening to the gospel from Zach, Tullian and Steve Brown and the words began to take root. God didn’t want me to live in the darkness of my secrets. He wanted me to be free.
I look back on that that time and wish I’d been more careful about who I told and how I let them use my confessions, but as Joseph told his brothers what the enemy meant for evil God has worked it for our good. And here I am now. It’s been so very hard, but finally the secrets are gone and I’m getting better.
Those of you reading this blog and sharing your own stories here, I admire you so very much. You guys aren’t hiding and you’ve given me the courage to be myself. So thank you so very much. You have and are making a difference for me and others, so please don’t stop!
This song is a wonderful reminder of God’s Sovereignty over every aspect of our lives. I’m so thankful.