“I need to tell you something”
Words I’ve heard a thousand times.
Is there anything scarier than confessing? Yet something inside us compels the lips to give voice to the heart’s secrets. There is a deep knowing that all that hides in darkness must be brought to the light.
It takes different forms, confession. In my many years of youth ministry the conversation usually begins with a teenager telling me that what they are about to disclose will shock me. Sadly, after more than 15 years of youth ministry not much shocks me anymore. Still often times their confession is stated brashly, with as much shock value as they can throw in. A false bravado to hide the terror in their hearts.
Other times with those of us older, wiser, more seasoned, the words come in stops and starts. Between long pauses and silent tears. Eyes downcast, hands wrung we whisper out the admission of our guilt.
Earlier today I read a profound question posed in another blog that keeps rolling around in my mind. The question:
Do you want relief? Or do you want to be healed?
Most of the time I think we want relief. We want the pain to cease. The guilt to go away. The fighting to stop. The bills to quit arriving in the mail. The memories to quit haunting us. We just want relief.
Healing on the other hand seems too difficult. It involves pain and pressing through. It requires us to sacrifice and seek. It demands confession and surrender.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other
so that you may be healed. James 5:16
I’m not quite sure why God ties our healing to confession, but He does. I think when we confess what was hidden in darkness it loses its power over us.
Knowing that doesn’t make confession any easier. I distinctly remember sitting in Jennifer’s car late one night after a women’s ministry meeting as I whispered secret struggles to her. My heart pounded in my chest as I wondered if this new friend would offer condemnation or grace. Thankfully she not only extended grace and love to me, she went one step further. She offered confessions of her own. “Confess your sins to each other”. That night Jennifer didn’t leave me to drown in a sea of guilt. She offered me a life preserver, her own sin. Her own failures.
There in that raging sea confession became a lifeline that started these two broken girls on their journey to healing. No longer alone in our struggle we found a life raft, climbed in, and starting paddling for shore.
Girls, this journey is hard. Sin and temptation sit around every corner ready to pounce on us. None of us live outside of the grasp of temptation. God’s word tells us that ALL have sinned. Why then are we so fearful to give voice to the sin in our hearts?
We so desperately need each other. To confess to. To encourage each other. To give us a swift kick in the pants when we need it. This thing was never meant to be lived alone!!!
Do you want relief? Or to you want to be healed?
Because healing will require confession.
It’s scary stuff. But so worth it.
Praying that God will surround you with safe people who will jump in your lifeboat and help you paddle through your storm!