We have all heard the saying "the truth shall set you free", and I know without a doubt that the only 'truth' that frees is the Word of God. However, the enemy wants to keep us shackled as much as he can to keep us from enjoying the freedom we are given through Christ. I was thinking about this over the weekend as I was asked to post on a blog called "family secrets", and I couldn't help but remember one secret I held tightly to out of fear. I was so afraid of what I imagined would happen if I revealed my secret, I couldn't let God work in my life. I praise God that He pressed in and made the His word a reality in my life. Here is the story of my secret revealed:
There was a time in my marriage when I carried a secret for several years. We were facing a financial crisis due to an undiagnosed medical issue in my husband that limited his ability to provide the same income we had become accustomed to. As financial issues tend to do, it created great strife in our family which was exasperated by his helplessness from not having a diagnosis or cure to his condition.
As a result of verbal abuse in the early years of our marriage, I found myself responding to Darius with much fear. It became my goal to allow my husband to come home and not have a care in the world. I learned how to minimize or ‘control’ the anger by taking care of things. This meant I controlled the finances. Anything to keep the calm, including using credit cards. At first it was to buy the groceries and diapers. Soon I was using one credit card to pay the minimum payment due on another credit card. Eventually I was running to the mail box to get the bills before Darius so he would not see what was going on. I would run to answer the phone every time it rang so Darius would not be surprised by a bill collector calling. I kept my secret to keep peace in the family.
Along the way, Darius was diagnosed with Panic Disorder and over the course of about a year he found the right treatment. This brought physical relief to Darius. The physical had been fixed, but our relationship was a mess. As I cried out to God for help and direction from the terrible financial mess I knew we were in…He was giving me answers. From scriptures laid on my heart, to sermons put in my path….God was telling me to tell Darius about the ‘secret’.
I would argue with God…telling Him that this was not the solution. I would remind God of the fits of anger that I was so afraid of. I would ask Him over and over…isn’t there another solution? I wanted a miracle of financial relief…But God wanted to give more…He wanted to provide a healing balm in a surprising way.
One day I didn’t beat Darius to the mail box and a bill gave him a glimpse of what was going on.
I came home from the grocery store that day to see the bill sitting on the counter. I was terrified.
Providentially, Darius was scheduled to go out of town that day and had to leave before I could tell him just how bad the debt really was. We had to postpone the discussion for 3 days. As I drove him to the airport, the tension was high; conversation minimal. He looked at me as I dropped him off and said, “I want to know the whole story when I get back”.
I spent the next 3 days in tears, crying for forgiveness from God; fearful of the yelling and the blaming that I knew was coming; dreading the day I would have to face him at the airport again.
When the day came, he opened the door of the car, looked me in the eye and said “before you tell me anything, I need to say something. I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I was not there for you for the last 2 years. I am sorry for leaving you alone to raise the children, make all the decisions and even keep the peace for my sake. I am here now and I take full responsibility for the situation. I will do whatever I can to bear the burden of getting us out of it”
I will never forget those words. It was the first time I had truly experienced in an earthly way, unconditional love and forgiveness that I did not deserve. The gift that I received that day was a deeper understanding of the unconditional love and grace given to me on the cross. God knew that I was not walking in full relationship with Him and He desired to bring me closer. I wanted to hide my secret, but He wanted to bring it into His light.
That was the day that Proverbs 3:5-6 stopped being a memory verse and became a life guiding verse for me.
I can't help but wonder if others have those moments when memory verses become guiding lights. When has God taken hard times in your life to show you the power of His word? Maybe you can share in the comments below...
God Bless and Keep You,
P.S. Sometimes family secrets can shackle us from living in the freedom of salvation. Family Secrets blog (linked here) lets you share secrets anonymously. Or, if you have been healed from the wounds of a family secret, this blog is a place where you can encourage others who are needing a healing touch.