I am a verbal processor. I am a transparent, bare-my-soul-to-the-world person. What you see is what you get and I don’t have any secrets.
That’s a good thing…right?
Most of the time, yes, however recently the Lord invited me into a new and specific season.
This year I have been drawn into a season of intentional intimacy with the Lord. Now, I would categorize my relationship with the Lord as close and deep, but there is something that He is calling me to and I feel very strongly that it will be marked as different – set apart.
The concept of intimacy strikes me as something that is reserved for one, or only a few people. I have an intimate relationship with my husband, because we are one, and we share something that no one else has access to. I have intimate relationships with my close friends because they also have access to my heart, time, and resources more than others. However, if I am being honest, I think that the line of who gets my intimacy is very fuzzy…okay, it may be very faint – almost unintelligible.
It goes back to the value I place on transparency. I want to be known. Not because I want to be famous, but because I want people to feel like they know the real me. I want people to feel valued, and to me, value is closeness.
But what happens when everyone gets the same access to me? I spend a lot of time with a lot of people, and less time with the Lord, my husband, and my daughters. The hard part is that I really like spending time and sharing myself with people, but I love the Lord even more, and so I listen and respond to his invitation.
The invitation is to deeper intimacy with Him, and that means that some things must change. Intimacy requires sacrifice. When I said “I do” to my husband, it also meant I would forsake all others. Saying yes to one means saying no to someone else.
I have practiced many spiritual disciplines throughout the years. Spiritual disciplines are ways we connect with God, practices found in scripture to promote spiritual growth. There are many ways to do this, some obvious ones are reading scripture, prayer, and fasting, but then there are the others that are more unique like silence and secrecy.
A few years back as I was looking into adding some new spiritual disciplines to my regimen, I came across secrecy. At first glance I was confused because I’ve always considered secrets to be unhealthy or dangerous and I’ve prided myself on being an open book. However, this discipline challenges that idea and invites a person into a trust and reliance on God in a way that was new for me.
When something goes wrong or right, I enjoy having dialogue with those around me…verbal processor, remember? I tend to feel the need to process with all those in my circle, but then I find myself on repeat because my “circle of trust” is so big. With the discipline of secrecy the Lord asks me point blank,
Am I enough for you? Is my ear and my voice sufficient?
My immediate answer is, “yes Lord!” But is it?
It isn’t always easy, but it certainly is powerful. When I let the Lord be the one to listen, offer comfort, and advise, I find I have not only a more peaceful process, but a quicker one! It takes a lot of time and energy to cycle through my go-to friends and loved ones, relay my current struggle or dilemma, and process with them. It actually prolonged my suffering or the necessary change in attitude or behavior that was needed. When I go straight to the Lord – my most pure and trustworthy source, things just get clearer, faster, and a whole lot easier.
So, I’ve been keeping secrets – or more like, God has been keeping my secrets. It’s been good for me. Maybe it would be good for you too….