I know it is a really crazy time for me to be talking about a possible next book/bible study project, but this morning in my prayer time God continued to impress upon me a potential topic that I feel is huge: The Secret Lives of Women.
Do you have a secret? Lots of women do. I do. Each of us holds things deep in the recesses of our hearts that colors the way we move throughout the world. In my prayers on this subject, I wonder:
1. Do we try to keep our secret from God? (As if He doesn’t know) Or perhaps we are just in denial with Him about the way it truly affects our relationship with Him and others.
2. Do we always have to tell it? Is there a time we can confess it to God, stop it, release it, process it through Scripture – whatever – and then walk away?
3. What are we afraid of? Who are we trying to protect by holding on so tightly?
4. To what lengths are we willing to go to keep it? Will we become a habitual liar to keep people from knowing we lied once?
5. What does it feel like when we do some truth-telling? To lay still and let God open us up and do a little secret-otomy. We know we can trust God to still accept us, but can we trust what people will do to us with the information? Can we handle it?
6. What kinds of things do we lie about? S*x, Money, Abuse, Addiction..??
7. Does our secret even have to be something big? If who we claim to be doesn’t add up to who we are in reality, does that make us a pretender? I love the meaning of the word conscience – it means, “to see throughout, transparency”. Is there consistency between our hearts and our hands?
Those are just a few random thoughts on my brain this morning. I had to purge or they would be forever lost. I’d love your feedback on the subject. Does any of this speak or am I just weird? :) And in the spirit of the post, please feel free to remain anonymous if there is something personal you would like to share.
I am always mad at God for the ministry taking so much time from hubby being with family.
I can rationalize him having a good job, and the results of his labor, but my heart stays so bitter time after time !?
Great book idea.
I’ve lived with so many secrets for so long, sometimes I wonder who I really am.
A teen pregnancy and child given up for adoption…years of alcohol abuse (while running the sunday school program at my church)…and now a crushing depression that I’m getting help for, but afraid to tell anybody at church about.
Honestly, in my experience, Christians are the meanest people around. I’m not sure that as a whole, we can be trusted with eachother’s secrets.
Just my experience…
I think sometimes our secrets are not even the big things–I mean we “Christian” ladies feel as if we have to keep it together all the time… and are often afraid to be real — and when we get real… we all have junk in our lives… so in a sense we all live this “secret” life. Probably because if others knew the stuff going on in our heads they would judge us and condemn us! LOL!
Last commenter – you are so right. It is so tempting to become a Pretender. Just like the song Stained Glass Masquerade I wonder when we’ll get the telephone poles out of our own eyes instead of worrying about the toothpick in someone else’s?
I am so going through #7…sorting through all this is difficult and scary…your right some it is not BIG stuff as the world may describe “BIG’ but may be considered big in the light of God’s word…things such as not loving each other – thinking of our self more highly than we ought…or being so insecure that we are cynical in our thoughts of others…fearing to let our sisters in Christ know when we are experiencing times of doubt…
I am currently doing the cha cha cha with this wanting to be free and taking those forward steps toward freedom and then resisting exposure and retreat with those side to side and backward steps…
I think that this would be a great book and study.
In His Love,
I, too, have a secret that the Lord and my husband know about… one I’ve been forgiven for and realeased from… but one the enemy tries to throw in my face from time to time.
In wondering what to do with it (share it with others, etc…) what I understand from the Lord is that no one else needs to know the details. I just need to remember it enough to stay humble, and realize that I, too, am a sinner in need of a Savior. Whenever I’m tempted to judge someone, I remember that if the Lord hadn’t stepped in, and I hadn’t held on to Him to rescue me, I would be in the same pit with the one I’m tempted to judge. In that way, the Lord has used my “secret” for His good work in my life.
I have been one of those walked around with a secret life. It is the most miserable I have ever been in my life, all the while teaching Sunday School and leading Bible Study. I remember clinging to the scripture that God spoke through a donkey so he could still speak through me. Do I think it has to be publically exposed, No. I have repented and been severly broken over the whole mess. And God has used it privately with others to minister to them. I think 9 out of 10 of us in the church have or have had a secret life. And we all feel the same way, if anyone knew they would never speak to me again. Another of satans lies. Great topic…
So many people walk around with secrets, afraid to tell the truth. I was (and to some extent still am) one of those. Freedom comes in bringing those secrets to light – not necessarily in a public tell-all, but in allowing God into those dark places we keep to ourselves.
And yes, I think we do become habitual liars in order to protect our secrets… which only gives Satan more rope to hang us with.
I have a secret of sexual abuse (from my brother). Until a few years ago I had only shared it with my husband. Then I was able to share with our pastor and his wife. They are such godly people. So non-judging and compassionate. I have always thought I would never share with any one, but I have a feeling that God is working towards someday sharing with my adult kids and their spouses. I have lately realized that this has affected how I feel about my parents. They didn’t protect me like parents should. I don’t think this is something that needs to be a public part of “my story.” There are just some things you share with a select few. Our pastor and his wife shared some hurts from their past that they don’t tell every one. I think that makes for some strong unique bonding.
Oh my. I have never written those things out. I think I will remain anonymous on this one. Thanks for caring about such strong issues, Lisa.
I think it’s a great idea to write about this topic. We all have secrets in our lives. I believe that Satan often tempts us to keep things secretive and we, as Christians, go for it believing His lie that we’re the only ones going through a particular issue and that we will be judged and hated if others found out.
Personally, I believe a huge secret that Christian women struggle with is that of lust. I sit in church and hear pastors preach directly to the men about this subject and often as an afterthought include the fact that a small percentage of women struggle with this. Well, one of those in that percent sits right in front of him every sunday, teaches sunday school, attends Bible studies, and volunteers in the childrens ministries. She’s not a bad person, she just struggles with sin like everyone else. She knows she needs accountability but unless you’re a man that kind of sin is not something that’s socially acceptable to speak about in the church. She is me.
I think this could be a wonderful book!
I should email you because I’ve had a Christian book rolling around my head and heart for some time that is right along these lines. I haven’t gone there as I’ve been so busy with my other writing. And I just don’t feel it’s been time to commit it to paper yet.
Yes, I think this is an excellent idea. I think the “skeletons in our closets” can absolutely stifle us and our walk. Yes, I have “secrets”…and when I went out on a limb to confess one “Christians”, I got “burned” terribly.
I’m also fairly certain all this is directly connected to a woman’s self esteem.
I’m just thinking “out loud” here.
I don’t think it’s abnormal at all to have other books rolling around your head. I have 7 books for teachers in my head while I’m working diligently to get two more “really published”…I keep “eating the elephant”…one bite at a time.
Secrets — I think we all have them. Some deal with huge secrets like addiction, abuse, etc and others have smaller secrets that are just as damaging — jealousy, anger, fear, pride.
I believe you nailed it with number 7 — “If who we claim to be doesn’t add up to who we are in reality, does that make us a pretender?” Great question and for me the answer is Yes. I have to live transparent or I will be a pretender, but that’s me. Does that mean that everyone knows absolutely everything about me and my life? No, but God and I are good on all. I’m forgiven.
Check out Lisa Whittle’s Book, Beyond those Eyes: What Really Going inside the Souls of Women. http://www.Lisawhitle.com It’s a similar topic and one that truly spoke to my heart (my former mask-wearing, pretending heart).
I found your site from a friend and I love your idea. I think that as christian women we tend to hold on to things and aren’t sure how to let them go – we know we are forgiven, but we still hold on to them and can’t get rid of it. I have a secret that only God knows about and even though He has forgiven me, it still affects me at times. I would love for you to write more – book or blog….go for it!
I think we all have secrets, and whatever the root cause, we learn to build walls in our life and not let anyone in. Then it becomes second nature to lie about how we really are and we lie to God and ourselves and even lull ourselves into believing we are fine. But it is a fleeting feeling that never lasts.
I believe we do have to tell, definitely God and occasionally others at his leading. This is the way His spirit helps break down that wall. And while we keep patching up the holes he has made in our facade, we will have to keep bringing it before him and others for his spirit to do more demolishing.
We are afraid of being vulnerable, mostly because that first time hurt us so badly, and deep down we dont trust God or others. Often we are trying to protect that little girl inside us that was not protected before.
We will go to any lengths to keep that secret – to keep that wall up. Including pretending to ourselves, our spouses and our maker, not letting anyone get close in case they bring that wall down.
It hurts to do some truth telling, and let Gods spirit work in our hearts, tearing down that wall. Our well known protection is being eroded and we are left with only Him.
Our secret doesnt have to be big, but the wall we build to protect ourselves can be huge.
I think you should definitely write this book, and I look forward to buying the one thats coming out next!
There is a saying that “Christians are the only ones who shoot their wounded.” I have seen this time and again. So while folks need to be encouraged to share their secrets, we also need to examine our hearts and how we respond when we see others struggling. It is far too easy to judge.
I came from such a legalistic Pharasaical background and for years went to a large church where it was very hard to be real. I didn’t even completely realize the extent of it until we left and came to an authentic church. Now I look at my years of Bible Study leadership and small groups and see how little was really shared by those women (and me!)- it was all external. I grieve for the lack of depth.
Where do I start?
I think I’d better email my response to this post… but I’ve got some reading to do first! ;O))
Will be in touch real soon x
Have you ever read the secrets on PostSecret.blogspot.com?
Sadly, we Christians are known for shooting the wounded, so it is better to pretend and be the one with either the gun or the arrow, then to be open, honest, and real, and be looking up the sight of the gun or the arrow.
Blogging has created a pleace to be open, honest, and real..People that read our blogs are either going to be touched, and try to touch in return, or move on to the next blog. And since most of us do not have a sitemeter, we do not know who has been there and who has not, so we are “safe” here.
So since you have been messing in my life for quite sometime now, why stop, do another on line blogstudy, and help us unmask in this safe environment, so that we can do it in our day to day lives. And finally live in the freedom that Christ has called us to live in.
I agree with everyone else that this is a wonderful idea… I personally am carrying secrets that I haven't even openly admitting to the Lord. I don't think that I'm hiding it from Him. I think that if I don't admit it then it's not really real & I don;t have to face it because I'm afraid that if I actually were to face reality & deal with it that I would lose it & never recover emotionally.
Another great site for this is http://mysecret.tv/ . We did a sermon series at church about this and had people write their secrets down anonymously and then we brought in a coffin to put them to death. Very powerful series!
I have always attended church, but never really GOT IT until 5 or 6 years ago.
We were going through a very rough time in our marriage, and hubby and I both did things that we regret.
Now I can see clearly that we were attacked after Hubby received his CALL into the ministry. We have both repented completely to God and talked through a lot of our “baggage”… but hubby doesn’t know every single thing I did… and frankly I don’t want to know every single thing he did.
Guilt is HUGE and I know that someday I may need to completely come clean with my husband. I feel by not telling him, it’s saving him grief. Or maybe it’s my own selfishness. But I do know that I need to be willing to tell him, or else the Enemy uses that guilt as a foothold into my life.
There isn’t a day that goes by in which I don’t think about this THING. Some days I just thank God for leading me out of that pit. Other days I feel like I am going to just lay down and die because I am so embarassed that I believed the enenmy’s lies!!!!!
I know that guilt isn’t from God. I know that my life NOW is following God’s will. But I also know that if anyone in the church decided to go digging in our past, that it would be ugly, and there are things they just don’t need to know about hubby or me.
Thank you for writing this. It’s such an outlet, and I am glad to share and help you with your idea.
If my husband knew how strongly rooted in God I really was (and continue to grow in), I don’t know that he would still be around since I know precisely what he thinks of “those people”.
I think you’ve hit a nerve. I too have a secret. In my case 2 people know about it. One is my husband and the other, a dear friend. It helps to know that someone else knows, but I wish it never happened and pray that my children and loved ones never find out.
I think this would make a great book. I saw an advertisement just today of a reality show about this very subject.
I thank God that He is big enough to forgive me. His forgiveness is healing me from the hurt and quilt I still feel. I think women need to know that God can forgive anything.
Thanks for the post and may God bless whatever project comes out of this.
My husband has always said that every woman’s mind is like a secret garden – and if we give in to the thoughts that go through there long enough then all kinds of things can take place IRL.
I also believe that we keep a lot of things from people . . . for lots of different reasons – mostly fear of rejection.
I believe this would be a great topic for a book!
Wow! Interesting comments. I think when you get that many anonymous comments…you’re on to something :)
Praying for you as you seek Gods leading on this one!
WOW, those sweet women up there have carried stuff or are carrying stuff for far too long! Go for it girl! Sounds like many need to be mentored through this. I’ve come out of secrets and the freedom is worth the pain.
It is pretty easy to see by all of the SECRET/AKA “anonymous” responses above that hiding our pain and our past is a place that women live.
Thank you for having the courage to confront. Jesus gave His life for our FREEDOM yet so many women remain hidden and hurting!
Blessings to you and your NEXT project,