Laying down secret

Because God is good, I write to remember.

Because God gives grace, I write to give thanks

Because God is faithful to repair these broken parts of me, I write to share the story of his mercy.

The moon peaks through windows of the room casting shadows.  She is settled in for sleep, and her sister lays beside her.  When she closes her eyes she remembers all that remains unsettled.  How many nights, she wonders, has she prayed that God would forgive her?  How many nights would she remember the sickness of her secret, and lie awake beneath the coverings of shame?

Trees move against the wall, and little legs squirm beneath blankets.  She is overwhelmed by what she knows, and she tries to forget how she was held down.  Her stomach turns inside her as the familiar nausea returns.  She tries to forget how her eyes were opened to the disgust of sin.  She wants to escape her thoughts, and she wonders if she had been able to escape the Evil if she would be laying here right now in her bed of guilt.

But she wasn't strong enough.  She wasn't fast enough.

Tonight is the night she is crushed by the weight of hell.  Tonight is the night she will stumble out of her silence.  She is brave, she is courageous and she won't realize how amazing she is until she looks back at that night many years later.

Her whispers carry to her nearly sleeping sister, "I can't sleep.  I've done something bad."

The drowsy sister questions.

"I can't say," she whispers, "it's too bad.  I need to tell Dad."

Yes, she knew she must.  She knew she needed to bring this brokenness to her father, and he would put her back together.  She makes her way through the house while darkness surrounds her.  She is all fear and trembling.

Her parent's room is quiet while that same moon brightens small.  She worries of upsetting them, but any anger that resulted would be fair exchange for the weight of her confession.  She has come too far to turn back from that racing mind determined.  She moves to his side of the bed.  "Dad?" she urges.  She wonders how he isn't already awakened by the thudding of her heart.

He stirs and she tries to get it all out before her nerve deserts.

"I've done something. . ."  There are no words that she can give to tell her story.  "I can't say. . . I just need you to forgive me!"  She falls limp into arms and he holds her.  She trembles with tears inside that place of acceptance as he holds her.  Time passes in that room on one ordinary night that guilt proved too much for one small girl to carry and still he holds her.

She releases all in the arms of her father, and he is the symbol of powerful love, patience, and acceptance.

Not one night since did she lay awake haunted by the shame of her past. God was faithful to that little girl who sought forgiveness for sin she didn't own, and it was years later that she saw the beauty of her story.  She learned that she could come to her father and lay out all the ugliness of her life for him, and he would welcome her into his embrace.  His arms are always open and ready to receive the mess of sin and he is waiting to exchange it for a beautiful life of hope and healing.

Isaiah 61:3 "To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair."


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