I hated the idea of telling anyone my secret, and now I’d have to tell my kids about what I’d done. I didn’t want them to know I started dating when I was thirteen or that I faced my first pregnancy at fifteen. I didn’t want them to know I’d had an abortion, and then found myself pregnant again at seventeen. I especially didn’t want Cory to know his biological father had wanted me to get an abortion or that he dumped me before Cory was born.
I worried that if my kids knew all the horrible stuff I’d done, they’d think they could do the same. Even more, I worried that they’d look at me differently. I’d be devalued in their eyes. They wouldn’t respect me.
God was squeezing me, molding me into a woman willing to put her life and her kids into His hands. But I wished it wasn’t so painful. Instead of them using my mistakes as an excuse for their own sins, the opposite happened. They witnessed my pain, regret, and struggle, and because of that, they developed high standards for themselves. They made positive decisions for their lives, in part because I was truthful about negative ones I made. And the things I wanted to hide forever are the things that showed them that I’m human, that God is big, and that there is nothing we could ever do to separate ourselves from His love.
It’s hard not to pretend we are better than we are. We all want to look good—to ourselves and to others. We want to hide our imperfections. I wanted to hide my mistakes and sins—hide them all. But in the end what my kids needed from me was the truth. The truth of who I was and who I became because of Christ. They needed the truth of how wrong we can all go when left to our own devices. And where God can take us when we depend completely on Him.
Are you carrying your own secrets or have you been able to share them?
Excerpt © Tricia Goyer, Blue Like Play Dough