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Redemption

“You don’t have to be pretty and polished and have it all together for Jesus to love you.” By Captain Lisa Barnes
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“I don’t care if the world knows what my secrets are. I don’t care if the world knows what my secrets are. So what?”

These are the lyrics of the chorus of one of my favorite songs, written by a singer/songwriter named Mary Lambert. I was driving when I heard that song for the first time, and I will never forget how those lyrics made me feel. There are a ton of things that I love about this song, but when she said she didn’t care if the world knew what her secrets are, it slightly blew me away. 

Really? You really don’t care if people know all your secrets? You wouldn’t mind people knowing the things that you would do anything to keep secret? You would shout it from a mountaintop and not even freak out a little bit? That’s brave. 

Some of us would do anything to keep our secrets hidden. Anything. End friendships. Lie. Leave big parts of our lives out of conversations. Move. Run. Anything. 

I like my secrets. If I keep them to myself, they keep me safe and hidden and guarded. If you don’t know my secrets and decide you don’t like me, that’s okay, because you didn’t really know me and you didn’t know all about me. But what if you saw all the things I work hard to keep hidden, and you loved me anyway? Everything would be different. Everything. 

“I don’t care if the world knows what my secrets are.” How many things in our world would be different if that were really true? 

Sins and shortcomings hold us captive like dragons guarding a castle. What if the weight of guilt and shame were gone? How many dragons would have no power? How many people would feel free for the first time? How many more apologies would be spoken without embarrassment? How many broken relationships would be mended? How many people could experience the grace of Jesus?

We even try to keep our secrets from God. We think that if we don’t pray about it, or talk about it or act like it exists then no one will ever know—not even the Lord. When we give those thoughts real words, it’s crazy. We know that God knows it all. He sees our dragons for what they are, things that separate us from Him and what He has for our lives. He hates our dragons even more than we do. 

He already knows, friends. And He is ready with His arms open to help you find freedom and hope—the same freedom and hope that Jesus died for you to live in every day. You don’t have to be pretty and polished and have it all together for Jesus to love you. 

Take a second and think about the things you never ever want people to find out—things that you would do anything to keep a secret. Maybe there are things that you did, and maybe there are things that were done to you. Friends, you at your very worst—covered in guilt and shame and fear and regret—is the you that Jesus died for. The you that you hate and are sure everyone else will hate too if they ever really knew is the you that Jesus looked at with His eyes of love on the cross and said, “this is for you” (Hebrews 9:20).   

Yes, Christ died for the whole world. We know that because of John 3:16. Jesus loves you enough that He went to that cross just for you. 

Take that gift and live in that freedom. No more dragons. 

If you let your dragons go, if you find help from a friend or pastor or counselor, they can’t hold you captive anymore. Join me in dancing in the freedom and hope of Jesus. It’s real, and its waiting for you right now. 

No matter who you are, or what you’ve done, there are none of us that are too far from God’s grasp. 

Romans 8:1-2 (MSG) says, “With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.” 

You are new. Your secrets can’t hold you captive if you let them go. 

They will be a part of your story, but they don’t have to impact your every day and they don’t have to control your futures. No matter what we have in our pasts, we are new every day. We are renewed, restored and free. 

You belong. 

For Further Reflection 

Steps Towards Freedom:

  • Is there a secret that you need to be free from today?
  • Grab a rock. Hold it tight in your hand. In your mind, transfer your secret to the rock, and throw it in the trash. 
  • If you have someone you trust to share that secret with, think about talking about it and join together in freedom. That person might need to be a counselor or therapist if your secret feels too big or too hard for you to release all on your own. There is no shame in that, only freedom. 

Read:

  • Jesus, the Greatest Therapist Who Ever Lived by Mark W. Baker, Ph.D.
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Captain Lisa is a pastor, author and international speaker. She holds a bachelor’s degree in counseling for Christian ministries and authored Love to a Whore’s Daughter: Life and Faith Through the Lens of Grace and Redemption. Passionate about social justice, Lisa has ministered in Oregon, California and Washington, and in the Southwest Division of the Western Territory as DYS and currently serves in Las Vegas as County Commander over Southern Nevada and corps officer. 

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