I’ve probably shared this fun fact before but my sister Erin calls me “the Truth.”  I’m usually the first to confront an issue. The first to try to solve something. I say things sometimes without thinking, but are true 95% of the time. I am very good at articulating my feelings, and am honest about how dramatic/crazy I can be.   I am open. I don’t hide my faith, or hide the fact that I am overprotective of the people I love.

I don’t know if I’m the truth, but I believe in Truths that stand the test of time.  And I believe in No Secrets.

It’s funny how my sister calls me The Truth when I spent years being an incredibly dishonest person.  I was paralyzed by an event that led me to lie upon lie, weaving them into a web of lies to conceal secrets that threatened to eat me alive.  I hated myself those years, and looked for attention in the wrong ways.  Hello Shame. I know you well. Hello Regret. Nice to see you again.  Hello Guilt. There you are.

But by the grace of God.  By the grace of healing. By the grace of every counselor, youth minister, teacher, person who believed in me until I could believe in myself and heal.  And the lies or a hurt or an event didn’t have to define me, and I knew that I could never ever allow secrets to ever rule my life.

It’s funny because people like to tell me Secrets.  And even though secrets don’t rule my life, I am a vault. If you tell me something, I don’t say anything.  I lock it away and I keep it safe. I’m not a gossip.  But people tell me stuff. And I tell them the truth as I know it and as I see it.  My Dad said recently he’s scared of me because I always tell him the truth even when he doesn’t want to hear it.  I don’t think I’m scary, but  the truth can be.

There are moments in my life where the truth hurt and cut so deeply, that I wanted to cover my ears and curl up so I didn’t have to hear it…

“My Mom said we can’t be friends anymore.”

“I love you, but I just want to be with her.” 

“Wow did you see Kristin? She’s really put it on.”

“I’m sorry…I can’t find her heartbeat.”

“There was nothing else we could do.”

“I don’t want to get better.”

And yet I can’t hide away from it, because these truths changed the course of my life. And sometimes the Truth helps us to see how strong we are. Or how broken we can be.

My kids aren’t allowed to keep secrets. Why? Because secrets steal.  They hide things that need to be seen. We keep surprises, but secrets are off limits. I’ve had two very important reminders of that this past year, when parents of my children’s friends came to me with very important reminders of why No Secrets are a must in our family.

So no more secrets…

The Truth:  This past year and a half has been so hard. You could ask every member of my family and they would say the same thing. Some weeks I just throw myself into volunteering, or parenting, or work, or I run so hard I can’t breathe or think, or feel, or cry.  Things have shaken us to the core, on multiple surfaces, and I’ve found myself sometimes wishing my faith wasn’t comforting me. I wish I could be more angry, so I could dive into the dark waters where the truth isn’t staring me right in the face. But I’m tired of Secrets. I’m tired of pretending that things aren’t hard. I’m tired of  my heart aching watching someone I love so completely openly choose something that will kill them. That it’s hard watching a parent lose absolutely everything and having no justice. And then to watch someone I love so much fight so hard, defying so many odds and still not having answers…

The Truth: I thought things would be better.   And I’ve come to the realization that sometimes you just have to be honest with people and tell them what’s going on rather then slapping this fake pinterest inspired persona that I’m more together, that I’m not crazy, when it’s really that “I can’t run with you today because I’m afraid I will cry so hard when I see you, that I will scare all the children in strollers.”

The Truth: I’m finding that no matter how hard I pray, things don’t always go the way I’m praying.  While my faith has never been stronger, my heart hurts, and I want to tell you “Things will get better.  God is bigger.” But the words stay with the lump in my throat because I don’t know if things will get better, and while God is big…I don’t know what his plan is.  All I know is he is Love.

The Truth… all I can do now is beg for every person who reads this to turn away from the dark water and look the truth right in the face.  Face it. And turn to the people around you, and tell them YOU LOVE Them. Cling to Love.  Don’t wait to forgive, or to tell them. Don’t hold back affection and love.  If you love someone tell them you will fight for them, you will never give up.  Don’t keep secrets. Don’t pretend.  Be real and present.  And don’t ever be afraid of healing.  Don’t ever be afraid of the grace of God. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  He is the original love song.  He brings light to the dark and while we may never get over it, with Him we can live.

Hello the Way. I see you.

Hello the Truth. You define me.

Hello Life. Let’s do this…Let’s Love. And live.