The trouble is that I’m a secret-keeper, not a secret-teller.
So, I’ve struggled with how to write this post for days, and most of this morning I’ve sat at a blank computer screen and then walked away again unable to find the right words.
I’m the opposite of my middle girl, who just spills out good news as soon as she hears it, just so excited to share she can’t possibly hold it in one…second…..longer!
I like to hold on to secrets for a while and then I get used to holding on to them and then I don’t know how to tell them even when it’s time.
Yet, my husband assures me that you can’t keep secrets forever and this one, well, it’ll tell itself soon if I don’t share.
So, here goes.
In December, my husband and I both spoke the word: “Incomplete.” Our family wasn’t full, wasn’t finished, and there was someone still missing. So we prayed and prayed, trying to discern what that meant for us. Baby, foster care, wait for a future adoption? Or were we wrong and this was it?
We prayed separately. We prayed together.
Finally, we just sat holding hands and my husband said the words: “God, we want what You want, but we need You to show us clearly what that is.”
When we ask for God’s guidance, sometimes we must wait with determined patience for the neon sign.
Then other times, it seems like He says, “I was hoping you’d ask me that!” and the answer is right there before you’ve even finished praying.
On Sunday night, we told my daughters the news at the dinner table. My oldest girl asked, “Am I allowed to tell my friends?”
My middle girl didn’t even think to ask because of course she’s going to tell her friends! By the time I picked her up from school the next day, I’m fairly certain she’d told every single person she’d passed in a hallway, classroom, lunch line, and on the bus. She’s telling people all over town, everywhere we go–school, church, ballet…
It’s joy; it’s just sheer joy bursting out of this little person! And I love that about her. I don’t ever tell her any news I don’t want broadcast to the whole town, but I love it about her just the same.
Sometimes God does that for us surely, giving us news that’s not meant to be contained or hidden away or kept to ourselves for one single moment. It’s the “good news” and it’s meant to be shared. Christ has come! He has risen! He has saved! He has delivered! He has changed me and I tell you, I just won’t ever be the same, not ever, ever again.
When Jesus spoke truth to the hurting Samaritan woman at the well, she ran into town and told everyone she could find about Jesus and what He had said. It was her overwhelming urge to tell the good news that brought salvation to her people: “Now many Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of what the woman said when she testified, ‘He told me everything I ever did'” (John 4:39 HCSB).
But if she had waited, they would have missed Jesus sitting at the well that morning.
Some secrets aren’t the joy-kind, though. They aren’t the spilling over with good news kind, not the new baby news or the salvation and deliverance testimony.
Eventually, we’ve got to give in and tell somebody, not everybody, but somebody who is safe and full of grace and who is willing to pray us through it all. Because the secrets of shame that we lock away can ultimately lock us right up in this prison of darkness and loneliness.
Maybe we’ve grown so used to just keeping that secret that over time the secret is really keeping us, and we need to put it to death by putting it into words.
Or perhaps you’re like me, someone who holds on even to blessings and good news for just a little while. It gives us joy just to pause and consider what God has done.
Like Mary, receiving the gift of mothering God’s Son and watching Him grow, who was “treasuring up all these things in her heart and meditating on them” (Luke 2:19 HCSB), I like to ponder and treasure.
And sometimes that’s important. Sometimes we’re so quick to tell and then the emotional high passes and we forget the beauty of this grace and the grace of this blessing.
Yet, even a secret-keeper like me needs to tell the good news eventually so that this isn’t just part of my life; it’s part of my testimony.
Do you have something to add to your testimony today? Maybe you can find a friend and share the secret.
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her upcoming book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, will be released in November 2013! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2013 Heather King