A Secret-Keeper Spills the Secret

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.”

A month later, I gave my husband a present for our wedding anniversary—a baby blanket—for use in October.010

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

Pocket Discovery

It’s an annual surprise.

Some afternoon, usually in March, I hang up my gray winter coat for the last time.  I never know which day will be the very last of the cold season. We’ve even had freak winter snowstorms in April. There’s no official ceremony or anything and the groundhog’s shadow predictions never prove perfectly accurate.

It’s just a simple thing.  One day I casually drape my coat across the hook in my closet and there it stays through spring, summer and fall.

Then on a morning usually in November I stop deceiving myself into thinking that sweaters are enough to keep my teeth from chattering.  I reach past my fall jacket in the closet, pull down that same wool coat from its trusty hook, slip my hands into the sleeves and dip my hand into the pocket.

Whatever I left there eight months before is what I’ll discover on that first pocket search of the winter season.

I’ve pulled out Mom-things, like pacifiers and baby socks (don’t all moms pop baby socks into pockets)?  Grocery store receipts unfold like magician’s handkerchiefs—always one more emerges from hidden corners.  There are pens and paper clips, ticket stubs, rocks for my daughter’s collection, hair clips and ponytail holders, cough drops, and maybe even tissues (unused, thankfully).

There’s generally little treasure among the trash.  Mostly my life out and about with my kids consists of guiding them, protecting them, and holding their stuff, periodically dumping the overflow into my pockets when my hands are full.

Occasionally, though, I reach into that winter coat for the first time in November and pull out coins.  Better yet, a dollar or two or three….or even ten.

That’s enough to make this girl happy dance in the middle of my closet.

Then, pulling myself together, I announce the news to my kids, post a happy-face announcement on Facebook and tell my husband the story later that night.

Discoveries, after all, are meant for sharing.  They’re the kind of spill-all-over joy that we can’t keep quiet about.

Maybe that’s how the Shepherds felt standing on that darkened hillside with snoring sheep.  Perhaps it even explains what the angels were doing, singing their praise songs in the night sky to an audience of somnolent herdsman about a Savior being born.

All of heaven exploded with the “good news that will cause great joy for all the people!” (Luke 2:9), the Messiah, the Lord.  They couldn’t contain the excitement!

One angel made the announcement, but others crowded the sky and joined in the chorus: “Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praise God” (Luke 2:13).

The angel’s joyful news sent the shepherds tumbling all over themselves to see “this thing that has happened, which the Lord had told us about” (Luke 2:15).

When we hear good news, don’t we long to see with our own eyes, to experience this joy ourselves? 

Won’t you, after hearing my story, dip your hand into your winter coat with a little more anticipation this year?

That’s what sharing our testimony of discovery does, it ignites passion, it incites curiosity, it encourages a searching and finding of the truth, the Savior, of salvation.

Then, when the shepherds found the manger and peered over the corners at the baby-King, “they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them” (Luke 2:17-18).

They had discovered Jesus and no way could they keep that quiet.

No matter how many times Jesus asked those he healed in his ministry to keep quiet about it, still they rushed home and called up the local newspaper to tell their story.  The blind can see, the lame can walk—how to hold that in?

Jesus himself finally told one man to, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you”  Mark 5:19.

Isn’t that the story for all of us?

Our testimonies of what God has done, the discoveries of how He’s been so good to us, those moments of amazing grace and unexpected mercy in the middle of the daily grind, are all meant to be shared with others.

That’s part of the joy, extending the celebration and encouraging others to go seek our God themselves, dig in His Word, trust in His promises.  What they discover there will be worth shouting about and more cause for a happy dance than whatever treasures I pull from my coat pocket this November.

Christian Writers Blog Chain

Today’s post is part of the October topic ‘Discovery’ by the ChristianWriters.com Blog Chain. You can click on the links on the right side of this page to read more articles in this series.

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com 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 the Fall of 2013!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2012 Heather King