We just spent a little over eight weeks learning and growing deeper in a relationship with the God who sees you and me as perfect and treasured. I cannot believe we are at the end of this sweet journey. I feel so incredibly blessed! El Roi has truly guided my heart to a place I am certain I never knew before. I still have moments that I am really down on myself. But He gently whispers in my ear, "Kathleen, you are made in My image.
How many times in your lifetime have your read through 1 John? I would have to say, for me, more times than I can count. And throughout the past few months I feel that the Holy Spirit has been guiding me to those pages a lot. The message is very clear. Nobody is perfect. We all fall short. God sees every detail of our life. He knows when I wake up, what I eat, where I go, who I talk to. He knows what I am thinking, contemplating and much more. He knows it all. He is the secret keeper.
We all have a secret or two. And this isn't going to be a blog about me revealing my deepest darkest secrets to all of you. Quite frankly my sins are really none of your business. I am not trying to be rude. They just aren't. I may have shared a few of them with some of you in the past. I believe that often those sinful secrets are good to reveal when I want to share how God, the secret keeper and holder of my heart, can and does still love me.
Like I said, "we all have secrets". But what happens when those secrets bind us and prevent us from moving forward. Those BIG stinkin secrets that escalate into a mountain of lies. We fear that the truth will one day be revealed. We walk on egg shells when at family functions because "they" might talk to each other and find out the truth. Or you bump into a work friend on a day you called out sick and it's evident you were not sick. Awkward to say the least.
In 1 John God calls us to live in the light. The secret keeper wants us to tell the truth. When we tell the truth we don't have to worry about the story. I would have to say that I admire the fact that my husband is a pretty truthful man. If I look good he tells me I look good. And if I look bad. He doesn't say a word. Ha ha ha. But seriously he really is quite honest. However, he too has a few secrets in his head and heart. But when Greg tells me something the story is always consistent and never cloudy. There are some people in my life that if they told me the sky was blue and the grass was green I would have to go a see it for myself. It makes me sad when trust is broken because it hurts a multitude of people. There is a bit of a trickle down effect. The person or persons being lied to feel duped and the ones being lied about feel betrayed. As a parent I have been the liar, the lied to and the lied about. I am not eighteen, you are smoking and I am not the evil one. All angles and aspects of a lie can cause pain. Not just for the victims but for the liar too. Lies cause separation. I have seen it in my own family. And I know my own heart has felt guilt and shame over lies from my past. And that guilt and shame has put a wedge between me, my loves and God. Just like Adam and Eve. I want to hide in a dark corner.
Over the years my husband and I have sinned against each other and God. We both have secrets and I believe we are both okay with that. We are pretty equally yolked in that aspect. Every now and then we have a heart to heart and reveal a little more to each other. We are still learning each other and I believe that it will be a lifetime of learning. There are moments that it's hard to share the deep dark secrets. But God has consistently guided us to a loving place to let the light of truth shine.
What is the difference between guilt and shame? Well in my opinion when I feel guilty about something I am usually in the midst of a sinful situation. And I feel shameful when I realize that I
followed through and actually acted in a sinful manner. Both of these emotions cause me to become distant. How do I stand before a loving God knowing I willingly lied, cheated, stole and or betrayed someone? How could he possibly look a me and smile ever again? Love. Grace. And Jesus. Yes, God sent Jesus as an advocate. He is the atoning sacrifice for my sins, your sins and everybody's sins. We need to forgive ourselves and others. Yes, forgive yourself. Place those secrets, lies and your sinful nature in His hands. Let go and let God. If He wants your sin to be revealed have faith that He knows what and why he is shining the spot light on you.
Praying for all of you! And waiting on the Lord to guide my heart as we prepare for the next part of the journey. "Spirit lead me where my trust is without boarders."