By: Riva Ham
"And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death."
I will open with a quote from author of “The Shack”, Paul Young,
“We are as sick as the secrets we keep”.
Think about that for a moment. What are you keeping inside of you? What is in the deepest dark part of you that you haven’t delved into yet? What secrets have you buried so deep that you are afraid to reveal? Even to God? What part of your story/testimony are you ashamed to share? I know from experience that it can be painful to dig that deep inside yourself, but I also know that it is even more painful to keep those secrets buried. Your testimony, that pain that you’ve experienced- sharing it could be the only thing that stops someone else from taking their life. It could be the very thing that someone needs to hear to overcome their battle.
Many of us choose not to “dig deep” or share our testimony because we are afraid of being vulnerable. We are afraid that if people know who we really are and what we’ve been through, they won’t be able to accept us. Afraid that others will dislike us more than we dislike our self. I used to feel this way. Like I had to hide who I really was because the “real me” was too ugly for the world to see. Like sharing my testimony and what I went through was pointless. I allowed thoughts like, “You can’t tell anyone, they will judge you!”, and “You will never be understood.” to cloud my mind. So, instead of sharing how I felt, I hid everything with a smile. I remember being at the peak of my sadness and depression and having someone tell me, “You always seem so happy. I always see you with a smile on your face”. Oh, how badly I wanted to tell that person that I felt sick and as if I was dying on the inside. Like I had no purpose in life.
As Women, I think that we feel the need to take on the role of Superwoman. Red cape and all! I will speak specifically from the viewpoint of Women of color for a moment. Growing up I was taught that opening my heart was a sign of weakness. So, I felt the need to create this image of “a STRONG black woman”; able to do it all, see it all, and not feel any pain or show emotion. It’s what I saw my Mother doing. So, to follow in her footsteps, I made it seem as if I had it all together. Afraid that if I told people what I was really going through, I would be dethroned. So many people were counting on me to be strong. I did not want to lose that position in their eyes. I felt as if I had nowhere to release and regain my strength. After years of hiding my secrets from them, I found myself trying to hide from God.
The enemy wants you to play pretend. To stay stuck in a constant state of condemnation in your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. To get you to the place where you feel like you must try to hide things from God. Then we become used to hiding that we say, “I believe in faith that this will go away….”. Knowing that we haven’t really gotten to the root of the issue. To constantly focus on yourself and your wrongs. That way, you won’t be able to focus on others and even listen to do the things that God needs you to do. Like sharing your testimony so that someone else can know that they will triumph because you did. Paul Young also stated, “When darkness and lies are kept inside our hearts; when we let them out, they become powerless.”. Sharing your pain with Him sets you free! You will no longer bound. Then you become that much more powerful!
Let’s look at our Lord and Savior for a moment. Before the foundation of the world, He knew that He would have to die the most degrading and painful death, all for the sake of our victory. And Yes, Jesus hesitated. When He was in the garden, He literally sweat drops of blood because He knew the pain that He was about to face. But after prayer and being strengthened by God, He did it anyway; for us. Jesus exposed Himself because He knows that we would receive the power to overcome any situation we faced. He did not allow the weight of sin, shame, and condemnation to stop Him from setting us free! We must follow in His courageous footsteps! Hear my heart. I’m not saying you must go around telling everyone your business. We should draw on the strength and wisdom of the Lord when it comes time for us to share our pain/testimony/story. One act of selflessness, even in the face of great pain and shame, set the entire world free! Your testimony, your pain, that thing the enemy tried to use to kill and destroy you, could do the same thing. We were made to live in community. One person affecting the other; all needing each other to complete the picture. We aren’t referred to as the “Body of Christ” for nothing. We MUST remember that we have a purpose! We need each other to complete that purpose!
So, what’s your secret Sis? What is it that is making you feel like you can’t grow close to the heart of the Father? Like you can’t be used? What secret are you keeping that is being used as a tool for condemnation against you? You got to get to the root of that thing and fight it with the word. Don’t just accept that defeat when you have the very weapon that will end the war. That weapon is the word (The Bible). Find one scripture, pick it apart. Read it. Say it repeatedly, out loud, until you gain the strength you need to release those secrets that are making you sick. God needs you to know that you are whole and complete in Him. He wants to use you for His glorious purpose! To share that awesome testimony of yours. To inspire someone else to go on living, so that they may complete their purpose. Remember this, “When we are liberated from our own fears, our presence automatically liberates others!”. Once you get free, go set someone else free Sis!
is a newcomer and the owner of "Peculiar People". She is very passionate about seeing people gain a full understanding of their power and purpose in Christ. Riva knows all too well what it feels like to live a life without purpose and feel powerless. So, she finds great joy in sharing that testimony with others.
Connect with her on social media: Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @ _rivaaaa
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