When you’re just a young kid secrets seem like the most exciting thing in the world. I still remember the giddy feeling of schoolgirl whispers about crushes that were painfully honest to everyone anyways. There was an air of excitement surrounding the idea that only your closest friends knew something that felt so intensely personal, and that’s why many of these secrets could only be shared in the sacred darkness of a sleepover.
As I grew older secrets became less exhilarating and more embarrassing. Middle school marks a major shift in most kids’ self-confidence, and it was definitely a low point in mine. Are the whispers about me? Are people laughing with me or at me? Suddenly secrets seem to shift from late night giggles to vicious rumors. I really believe that for many of us, that tender age is the first time we consciously figure out how to hide parts of ourselves. “Just fit in; don’t be different” whispers the voice in our head. Suddenly our secrets aren’t about the things we like, but the parts of ourselves that we don’t.
And then comes young adulthood and with it a new sense of confidence, adventure, and a fresh batch of reality that smacks you in the face. I have diplomas as proof that I could lecture you up and down about the history of the Church and educational theory, but I have to call my dad anytime my car makes an unfamiliar sound. I’ve written published papers and yet I still ask my mom if the clothes really need to hang to dry or if the companies are just trying to seem fancy.
And amid the ups and downs of adulthood secrets turn into lies. “I’m doing fine” I tell a friend on the phone as I sit alone, eating take-out on a lonely Friday night. “Work is great” I tell family after a week of wondering if I’m really worthy of the call God has given me. “I’ll figure it out” I tell myself after questioning how I’m supposed to be financially responsible, well-rested, and have a social life all at the same time. This isn’t to say I’m always feeling like this. If you constantly feel less-than, downtrodden, or tired you should talk to a medical professional! Don’t feel like you’re struggling with depression because your prayer life isn’t strong enough (that’s not how that works).
But for those of us just dealing with the ups and downs, the not so perfect parts of ourselves became our most guarded secrets. Because maybe, just maybe, if no one sees the things that are falling apart it’s not really happening, right?
In Luke 8:17 it says, “For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light”. That’s essentially just the Bible reaffirming what your Grandma has been saying all along, “It all comes out in the wash”. I’ve watched families who have said, “I’m fine” for years be rocked by divorce. I’ve watched people who have been ravaged by disease, job loss, or poverty answer the question, “How are you?” with “Good!”.
But there is One who sees through our secrets. There is One who is not fooled by our lies. And He’s calling to you. I don’t know what made you read this today. I don’t know if you’re at school, work, or home. I don’t if you’re happy, tired, or numb. But for some reason God thought you should hear this message today. What are your secrets, friend? What lies have you been telling others, and maybe even yourself? Whatever it is, let me promise you this. Our Savior is bigger than our secrets. And today, He’s calling to you. Lay down your secrets, oh weary sinner. Lay them at the Cross.
“I call to You when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” – Psalm 61:2
Director of Christian Education
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church